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What Causes You To Have Heartburn

Other Ways To Relieve Heartburn

What causes heartburn? – Rusha Modi

In addition to removing foods from your diet that may cause heartburn, there are other ways to tame heartburn.

  • Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity is associated with GERD. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight may decrease GERD symptoms like heartburn (
  • ).

There are many other ways to improve and manage symptoms of GERD.

If you have heartburn, its best to develop a treatment plan with a healthcare professional.

Summary

There are many other methods you can use to manage GERD symptoms. A healthcare professional can help come up with a treatment plan that works best for you.

What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Oesophagitis

  • Heartburn: this is the main symptom. This is a burning feeling which rises from the upper tummy or lower chest up towards the neck.
  • Other common symptoms: these include pain in the upper abdomen and chest, feeling sick, an acid taste in the mouth, bloating, belching, indigestion and a burning pain when you swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to come and go and tend to be worse after a meal.
  • Some uncommon symptoms: these may occur and if they do, can make the diagnosis difficult, as these symptoms can mimic other conditions. For example:
  • A persistent cough, particularly at night, sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe . Asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze can sometimes be due to acid leaking up .
  • Other mouth and throat symptoms sometimes occur, such as gum problems, bad breath, sore throat, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
  • Severe chest pain develops in some cases .

What Medications Do I Take To Manage The Symptoms Of Gerd

Many over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve GERD. Most of OTC drugs come in prescription strength too. Your provider will give you a prescription for these stronger drugs if youre not getting relief from the OTC formulas.

The most common GERD medications:

  • Antacids include Tums®, Rolaids®, Mylanta®, Riopan® and Maalox®.
  • H-2 receptor blockers include Tagamet®, Pepcid AC®, Axid AR® and Zantac®.
  • Proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Zegerid®, Nexium®, Protonix®, AcipHex® and Dexilant®.
  • Baclofen is a prescription drug used to reduce the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter which allows acid backwash.

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Manage Symptoms During Pregnancy

Approximately 30% to 50% of women complain of heartburn during pregnancy. The symptoms tend to be worse during the second and third trimesters when the woman’s abdomen grows the largest. Increased intra-abdominal pressure and changing hormones during pregnancy up the risk of heartburn and acid reflux. Some women may achieve relief from their symptoms by making certain lifestyle changes. This includes eating several small meals per day instead of three large main meals. Pregnant women should not eat fried food or spicy foods. Pregnant ladies should not lie down immediately after eating. While several over-the-counter medications are available for the treatment of heartburn symptoms, pregnant women should consult with their doctors before taking medication to make sure it is safe for the fetus.

How Is A Supergastric Belch Treated

Probiotics for Heartburn

Supragastric belching is a learned behavior. There is little information available about treatment and there are no large controlled trials of therapy. Most doctors who see these patients start by trying to explain the mechanism by which this belching occurs, and that it is a learned response to something. Patients often are resistant to this explanation. There is some evidence that speech language pathologists knowledgeable on this topic might help retrain the patient. The same might be true of behavioral therapists. There is a small amount of evidence that baclofen, a GABA-B receptor agonist traditionally used to treat muscle spasms, might improve supragastric belching.

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What Triggers Indigestion

Depending on what’s causing your indigestion, you may experience abdominal pain, bloating , belching and gas, nausea, vomiting, and acidic taste in your mouth, “growling” stomach, and even diarrhea. Symptoms usually get worse when you’re stressed but normally go away in a few hours.

Indigestion can be linked to more serious chronic conditions, including ulcers, pancreas abnormalities, or acid reflux disease. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms are severe or last for more than two weeks.

References

  • Indigestion . National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/indigestion-dyspepsia.
  • Heartburn Causes. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Aug. 2014, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/basics/causes/con-20019545.
  • Amos, Julie-Ann. Acid Reflux Statistics and Facts. Healthline, Healthline Media, 30 June 2012, www.healthline.com/health/gerd/statistics.
  • Indigestion. Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 24 Aug. 2016, www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/indigestion/symptoms-causes/dxc-20209277.
  • What Are Gerd Symptoms

    Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition whose main symptom is caused by acid reflux. This reflux causes burning in the chest, typically after eating. An attack may last for up to several hours. Lying down and bending over may make symptoms worse. Severe reflux may cause additional symptoms including trouble swallowing, a feeling that something is stuck in the throat or chest, or a sour taste in the back of the throat. Reflux can trigger shortness of breath, asthma attacks, and a chronic cough. Chest pain caused by reflux may mimic chest pain that occurs during a heart attack. If you are unsure about reflux vs cardiac chest pain, see your doctor. A doctor can usually diagnose reflux easily by asking a patient to describe his or her symptoms.

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    Top 10 Heartburn Foods

    Making changes to your diet is a great way to help ease heartburn. You can start by avoiding foods that are likely to worsen your symptoms and then add in other nutritious foods. There are no specific diets for acid reflux, but these top 10 heartburn foods might help:

    Oatmeal

    High fiber foods keep you feeling full for longer. This can stop you from overeating, which might trigger heartburn. Fiber-rich diets have also been linked to lower acid reflux risk. Eating whole grains like oatmeal and whole grain rice can help.

    Sweet potatoes

    Root vegetables like sweet potatoes are great sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Try roasting, grilling, or broiling sweet potatoes with other root vegetables like beets and carrots. Roasting brings out sweeter flavors and avoids frying, which can trigger heartburn. Make sure to leave out the garlic and onions, which can be irritating.

    Ginger

    Ginger is well known for its soothing digestive effects. It can help with gas, nausea, and bloating, and its anti-inflammatory, which can help soothe an irritated digestive system. If you normally enjoy coffee, try switching to ginger tea. You can add a slice of fresh ginger to a mug of hot water.

    Melons

    Fruits are part of a healthy diet, but citrus fruits can trigger heartburn. Instead, focus on eating watery fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Extra water can help dilute stomach acid and ease your symptoms.

    Chicken broth

    Fennel

    Non-fat milk

    Fresh herbs

    Olive oil

    Lean meats

    Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux

    Do You Have Acid Reflux or GERD?

    If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:

    • tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
    • an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication

    Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023

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    What Are The Common Signs Of Gerd

    The most common sign is heartburn. Heartburn is a pain in the middle of your chest. The pain from heartburn can be very strong. Sometimes the pain can be so strong that you think you’re having a heart attack.

    GERD can cause other signs, too. You can even have GERD without having heartburn.

    Sometimes GERD can cause problems in your throat. It can make you feel like you have a lump in your throat or like you always have to clear your throat. It can also cause hoarseness. You might be more hoarse when you first get up in the morning.

    GERD can give you a burning feeling in your mouth. It can cause you to have a sore throat or to have trouble swallowing. You may feel like food is sticking in your throat. GERD may also make you feel like you’re choking or that your throat is tight. A dry cough is another sign. GERD can also cause bad breath. It can even cause pain in your ears.

    If you have any of these signs, you may have GERD. Be sure to tell your doctor about any of these signs.

    What Tests Might Be Done

    Tests are not usually necessary if you have typical symptoms. Many people experiencing acid leaking up into the gullet are diagnosed with ‘presumed acid reflux’. In this situation they have typical symptoms and the symptoms are eased by treatment. Tests may be advised if symptoms are severe, or do not improve with treatment, or are not typical of GORD.

    • Gastroscopy is the common test. A thin, flexible telescope is passed down the oesophagus into the stomach. This allows a doctor or nurse to look inside. With inflammation of the lining of the oesophagus , the lower part of the oesophagus looks red and inflamed. However, if it looks normal it does not rule out acid reflux. Some people are very sensitive to small amounts of acid and can have symptoms with little or no inflammation to see. Two terms that are often used after an endoscopy are:
    • Oesophagitis. This term is used when the oesophagus can be seen to be inflamed.
    • Endoscopy-negative reflux disease. This term is used when someone has typical symptoms of reflux but endoscopy is normal.
  • A test to check the acidity inside the oesophagus may be done if the diagnosis is not clear.
  • Other tests such as heart tracings, chest X-ray, etc, may be done to rule out other conditions if the symptoms are not typical.
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    Check If You Have Acid Reflux

    The main symptoms of acid reflux are:

    • heartburn a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
    • an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid

    You may also have:

    • a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
    • a hoarse voice

    Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.

    If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional

    Most Common Heartburn Causes &  Symptoms

    That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional. On the other hand, if a person only has occasional bouts of heartburn, he or she may find that taking nonprescription antacids and making some simple changes in lifestyle can resolve the heartburn. If these measures do not help, then a visit to a health care professional is warranted.

    If a person has any of these symptoms, with or without heartburn, call a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away:

    • Throwing up blood or passing blood in bowel movements
    • Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
    • Difficulty swallowing

    With proper understanding of the condition and treatment, relief can be attained.

    When I have chest pain, how can I tell whether it is my heart or just heartburn?

    Sometimes a person can’t tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately.

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    How Is Dyspepsia Treated

    If you have a stomach ulcer, it can be cured. You may need to take an acid-blocking medicine. If you have an infection in your stomach, you may also need to take an antibiotic.

    If your doctor thinks that a medicine youre taking causes your dyspepsia, you might take another medicine.

    A medicine that cuts down on the amount of acid in your stomach might help your pain. This medicine can also help if you have acid reflux disease.

    Your doctor might want you to have an endoscopy exam if:

    You still have stomach pain after you take a dyspepsia medicine for 8 week.

  • The pain goes away for a while but comes back again.

  • In an endoscopy exam, a small tube with a camera inside it is put into your mouth and down into your stomach. Then your doctor can look inside your stomach to try to find a cause for your pain.

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    Diagnosing H Pylori Infection

    If your GP thinks that your symptoms may be due to an infection with H pylori bacteria, you may need to have a test for it, such as:

    • a stool antigen test a pea-sized stool sample will be tested for H pylori bacteria
    • a breath test
    • a blood test a blood sample will be tested for antibodies to H pylori bacteria

    Antibiotics and PPIs can affect the results of a urea breath test or a stool antigen test. Therefore, these tests may need to be delayed until two weeks after you last used a PPI, and four weeks after you last used an antibiotic.

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    Preparing For Your Appointment

    To prepare for your appointment, see the topicMaking the Most of Your Appointment.

    You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

    • What are your main symptoms? Report any symptoms, such as abdominal pain, a change in bowel habits, or vomiting.
    • How long have you had heartburn?
    • Have you had this problem before? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated? How did you respond to that treatment?
    • Have you had any signs of bleeding from your digestive system?
    • Have you had any difficulty swallowing when you eat or drink?
    • How much tobacco do you use? How much alcohol do you drink? How much caffeine do you drink?
    • Has your weight increased or decreased more than 5 lb recently?
    • Have there been any changes in your diet? Are you eating certain foods more often?
    • Have there been changes in your daily schedule, such as when you eat and when you go to bed?
    • Are you taking any nonprescription or prescription medicines? Bring a list of all the medicines you are taking to your appointment.
    • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help? Be sure to include lifestyle changes you have made.
    • What nonprescription medicines have you taken or used to treat your heartburn? Did they help?
    • Do you have any health risks?

    Remember to take your heartburn symptom record to your doctor visit. Be sure to note any lifestyle changes you have made or nonprescription medicines you use.

    How Do Antacids Work To Treat Heartburn

    Fighting Acid Reflux

    Antacids reduce the amount of stomach acid, relieving your heartburn. These medications can also be used to soothe stomach upset, indigestion and other pains in your stomach. Some antacids contain simethicone, which reduces gas. Antacids that you can get without a prescription include:

    • Tums®.
    • Maalox®.
    • Gaviscon®.

    Make sure you always follow the instructions on the package or talk to your doctor about the right way to use an antacid. If you use tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.

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    Elevate Head End Of The Bed

    Raise the head end of your bed by putting something under your bed or mattress. Chest and head should be above the level of your waist, so stomach acid does not move up to your mouth.

    It is helpful to reduce reflux symptoms at night because the majority of the people suffer reflux symptoms at night .

    How Is Heartburn & Reflux Diagnosed

    Your doctor will ask you to describe your reflux symptoms and the length of time you have had them and review the need for prescribing you acid-suppressant medication. Should you require such medication long term or the treatment is not working, your GP is likely to request a gastroscopy. This will ensure there are no underlying problems with your oesophagus or stomach. Up to half of all patients with symptoms that suggest they have reflux turn out to have only mild inflammation or an oesophagus that looks quite normal.

    Gastroscopy: This involves passing a thin, flexible tube through the mouth and down into your oesophagus, stomach and start of small intestine9. The endoscopist will be looking for signs of inflammation. It is usually carried out as an outpatient and takes less than 15 minutes. You can choose to have a local anaesthetic throat spray and/or sedative. The endoscopist can guide you in this decision. The procedure is not painful, but it may be uncomfortable at times.

    Barium Meal: An alternative to a gastroscopy is a Barium Meal10. This involves drinking some barium liquid which will show up your oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine on x-ray. It gives less information than a gastroscopy but is good at showing whether you have a hiatus hernia or whether your oesophagus is narrowed for any reason.

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    What Causes The Valve To Malfunction

    In some people, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes at the wrong time or becomes weakened. This allows stomach contents to escape and travel up the esophagus. This causes burning, irritation, and pain. Surprisingly, not everyone who has acid reflux experiences a burning sensation. Other times, burning in the area of the chest and abdomen is caused by a condition other than reflux. Sometimes chest pain may occur due to a heart attack or other serious conditions. Acid reflux is the main symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , but GERD is associated with other symptoms like nausea, dry cough, hoarseness, sore throat, trouble swallowing, and a feeling of a lump in the throat. See your doctor if you experience pain, burning, or irritation in your chest or abdomen.

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