You Feel Nauseous After Meals Often
Nausea is associated with so many things that it can be hard to attribute it to reflux. But, says Dr. Coyle, “in some people, the only manifestation they have of reflux is nausea. If you have nausea and can’t figure out why, one of the things think about is reflux.”
And if the nausea tends to come on right after meals, that’s even more of an indication that it might be acid reflux. If so, a regular antacid treatment such as an over-the-counter acid-countering medicine could cut down on your discomfort.
Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.
If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
Whats The Difference Between Dyspepsia And Heartburn
Heartburn occurs when the esophagus is exposed to stomach acid. The valve between the esophagus and the stomach is designed to allow food and liquid to pass downward from the esophagus into the stomach as well as to prevent the backwash of acid into the esophagus.
Occasionally, the valve relaxes and allows stomach acid to reflux backwards into the esophagus. The acid stimulates nerve endings in the esophagus and causes the symptoms commonly referred to as heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease . GERD can be associated with a burning sensation in the chest, belching, a bitter taste in our mouth, coughing and wheezing.
Dyspepsia is a term reserved for the symptoms we might think of as a sour stomach, slight nausea or an upset stomach. These symptoms dont result from acid splashing back into the esophagus as in heartburn. The symptoms of dyspepsia are from an abnormal accumulation of acid in the stomach. The acid accumulates because it is not being emptied normally, not because our stomach is producing too much.
To review, the symptoms of GERD are from stomach acid splashing backwards into the esophagus and dyspepsia is from too much acid accumulating in the stomach.
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Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol
Alcohol increases the amount of acid the stomach produces and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter . If you do want to have some alcohol during your festivities, try the following tips:
- Dilute alcoholic beverages with water or club soda.
- Limit alcohol consumption to one or two mixed drinks, no more than 16 ounces of wine, or and no more than three beers.
- Drink white wine instead of red wine.
- Choose non-alcoholic beer or wine.
- Keep track of which alcoholic drinks aggravate your heartburn, and avoid them as much as possible.
Some Behaviors Can Cause Gerd Or Make It Worse
For instance, many people experience symptoms of acid reflux disease after a night of drinking alcohol.
It appears that alcohol can have an effect on the muscle valve which is supposed to stop acid from flowing up into the esophagus.
Many foods can also make the problem worse, such as oranges and chocolate.
However, this doesnt mean GERD is always the result of actions youve taken. Some people simply suffer from GERD without any explanation that relates to the way they eat or behave otherwise.
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Could You Have Gerd Take Our Test
For most people, heartburn is an annoyingbut usually briefproblem triggered by too much wine, smoking, spicy food, or other overindulgence. But for some people, heartburn is a painful and constant companion. If youre in the second group, your chronic heartburn could be the sign of something more seriousgastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
GERD is characterized by unrelenting acid reflux that can result in not only heartburn, but other symptoms as well, such as chronic cough. If you think you might have GERD, its important to get help. Over time, GERD can damage the lower esophagus and can lead to a precancerous condition known as Barretts esophagus. Left untreated, Barretts esophagus can raise the risk of esophageal cancer.
However, GERD can be trickynot all people with chronic heartburn have GERD, and you can have GERD but not necessarily have chronic heartburn as your main symptom. Whats more, stomach or chest pain can be caused by other conditions, such as an ulcer.
To find out if your symptoms might be due to GERD, take this test.
Symptoms Of Gerd And Palpitations
The link between heartburn and GERD is well known, but can GERD actually affect the workings of your heart? As opposed to an actual stinging pain, heart palpitations involve a speeding up in the beating of the heart, often accompanied by irregular beating patterns.
Its quite unlikely that any palpitations youre experiencing are the direct result of GERD.
However, what may be happening is that a certain food youre eating or substance youre taking is setting off both your palpitations and GERD symptoms at the same time , giving the impression that one is causing the other.
For example, drinking caffeine can be linked to both heart palpitations and symptoms of GERD.
Another approach has suggested that heart palpitations and GERD symptoms may be experienced together because the feelings of anxiety that can come with GERD pain can set off heart problems.
In any case, heart palpitations are certainly a good reason to contact your doctor for a check-up, but they are probably not a direct physical symptom of GERD and are most likely an indication of another health problem.
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Heartburn Bloating And Belching
Bloating, belching and heartburn after eating can be caused by consuming particularly fatty or oily foods. When it comes to drinks, carbonated or alcoholic beverages can lead to excess gas and bloating. Equally, wearing tight or restrictive clothing around your waistline may exacerbate the problem further, so it may be a good idea to wear loose clothing while eating.5 You should not try to relieve gas by belching, as this can make heartburn worse as it causes more acid to rise in your throat.6 Find out more about the causes of heartburn so you can identify your personal triggers.
What Lifestyle Changes Help Gerd
Here is a list of lifestyle changes that may help your GERD:
Stop smoking if you smoke.
Don’t drink alcohol.
Lose weight if you’re overweight.
Eat smaller meals.
Avoid eating and drinking about four hours before going to bed.
Avoid lying down within three hours of a meal.
Raise the head of your bed by putting blocks of wood under the bedposts .
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When To Go To The Doctor
Usually, indigestion only happens once in a while, like after eating certain foods that don’t agree with you. But you’ll want to see the doctor if you get indigestion even when you’re eating healthy foods, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
You may need to be examined or have stomach X-rays or other tests to make sure your indigestion is not a sign of another problem in your digestive tract. Depending on what the doctor finds, you might need to make changes in your diet or take medicine.
Be sure to tell your parent or talk to a doctor if these things happen in addition to your indigestion:
- vomiting , especially if you see blood in your vomit
- weight loss
- frequent or intense stomach pain
- black or bloody bowel movements
These can be signs of other problems, so be sure to talk to a doctor if you experience one or several of these symptoms.
Most Common Symptoms Of Gerd
Lets start by running through the most common symptoms of GERD. Well then focus in on some of the more severe GERD symptoms.
Once you know these GERD Symptoms well youll be able to take the actions you need to relieve yourself quickly, as well as having the peace of mind of knowing when your symptoms are bad enough for you to need medical assistance.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of GERD:
- A sour, acidic taste in the mouth
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Lying Down Vs Sitting Up
When a person with acid reflux is lying down, the stomach contents dont go down the stomach. In fact, its more likely for the stomach contents to travel back up the esophagus, leading to acid reflux symptoms.
Compare that to sitting or standing where gravity pulls the stomach acids and digested food contents away from your esophagus.
When in doubt, make sure your head is elevated to help your body keep stomach contents right where they belong.
Signs And Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. People with heartburn feel a burning sensation inside their chest. Heartburn often occurs after consuming a meal. The feeling of heartburn can get more intense during the night.
The location of heartburn discomfort can cause some people to believe they might be having a heart attack. If symptoms of heartburn fail to clear up after taking medication, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Ten common symptoms that people with GERD or other forms of acid reflux experience include:
- Problems swallowing
- The feeling of a lump in your throat
- Regurgitating food or sour liquids
- The onset of or worsening of asthma
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What Is Heartburnand Why Does It Feel So Horrible
Heartburn isn’t necessarily a mysterious condition. The pain and burning in your chest or throat, which can also be called acid reflux, is caused by stomach acid backing up into your esophagus, according to the US National Library of Medicine. In fact, it’s something that over 60 million Americans experience one a monthwith a reported 15 million Americans suffering each day, per the American College of Gastroentrology.
Clearly, such discomfort in your chest would be easy to identify, right? Not exacftlysomtimes acid reflux symptoms are less obvious, or easily mistaken for something else. But, left untreated, heartburn can lead to serious issues, like Barrett’s esophagus, for example, which is a precursor to cancer, says Timothy Pfanner, MD, assistant professor of internal medicine at Texas A& M Health Science Center College of Medicine, in College Station.
That’s why it’s important to get a firm diagnosis of heartburn, and then manage it, with the help of your doctor. But, to get the ball rolling, here are TK symptomsboth common and not-so commonthat could mean you have acid reflux.
Here are some symptomsboth common and unusualthat could mean you have acid reflux.
Avoid Spicy Foods And Keep Some Dazzle In Your Diet With Low
The fiery feeling of heartburn is the last way you want to remember a great meal. But when your doctor says you have chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease , you may worry that a bland and disappointing menu is in your future. “That may not be true,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “The foods that trigger heartburn are different for everyone.” He suggests keeping a journal to determine which foods cause symptoms.
Some foods and ingredients may intensify heartburn, such as spicy foods, citrus, tomato sauces, and vinegar.
Fatty and fried foods linger longer in the stomach. That may increase stomach pressure and force open the muscles that keep stomach acid out of the esophagus.
Other common heartburn triggers include chocolate, caffeine, onions, peppermint, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
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Does Lying On Stomach Help Reflux
Finding a peaceful position to sleep in can be a tough one for acid reflux sufferers. Because lying down prevents gravity from doing its job keeping the food contents back down, patients feel anxious about falling asleep. Sleep deprivation becomes a problem among acid reflux sufferers in fear of choking or asphyxiation while asleep.
Lying down alone can trigger acid reflux effects, but it gets worse with certain positions. Lying flat on your stomach produces the same result as lying on your back, if not worse.
When youre lying flat on the bed, your stomach and esophagus are on the same level, making it easy for stomach contents to find their way into the esophagus. When youre standing up or sitting down, youre allowing gravity to move these digested bits throughout the rest of your stomach.
Lying on your stomach also tends to put pressure on your stomach. This alone could push the stomach contents to travel upwards and cause heartburn.
The next time you want to lie on your stomach, make sure your head is elevated. Support your neck with a pillow and keep it a few inches higher than your stomach. Otherwise, youre asking for a bad reflux episode.
Heartburn Or Heart Attack
A heart attack is when the arteries connected to the heart become blocked. Heartburn, on the other hand, occurs when stomach acid travels back up the esophagus.
Some symptoms of heartburn and a heart attack could be similar, such as chest pain. As a result, some people who are having a heart attack do not take action as they think they have heartburn.
If a person experiences heartburn pain alongside shortness of breath or sweating, this could be a heart-related issue.
Other symptoms of a heart attack can include:
- discomfort in the chest, such as squeezing, fullness, pressure, or pain
- pain or discomfort in one or both arms, stomach, neck, jaw, or back
If a person has some or all of these symptoms, they should seek emergency medical attention. In the words of the American Heart Association , If in doubt, check it out.
Knowing how to distinguish a heart attack from heartburn can save lives.
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Heartburn Vs Heart Attack Symptoms
To complicate things even more, angina/heart disease and heartburn share risk factors of being older or overweight.
Signs more typical of heartburn include:
- You have a sharp, burning feeling just below your breastbone or ribs.The chest pain can be accompanied by an acidic taste in your mouth, regurgitation of food, or a burning in your throat.
- Pain generally doesn’t spread to your shoulders, neck, or arms, but it can.
- Pain usually comes after meals, particularly after foods or drinks that trigger reflux in you.
- Pain also comes when you lie down or exercise on a full stomach.
- Symptoms usually get better quickly after taking an antacid.
- You rarely get a cold sweat or shortness of breath along with your other symptoms.
When To See A Doctor
If OTC medications arent treating your heartburn, talk to your doctor.
In rare instances when you cant manage heartburn with medications, a doctor may recommend surgery to reduce the risk that acid will reflux up from the stomach.
If you cant tolerate OTC medications for heartburn, your doctor can recommend other options.
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What Can Trigger Heartburn
Heartburn can be triggered by many different things that are a part of your daily life. For many people, heartburn can be caused by certain eating and lifestyle habits. These habits can involve things like eating large portions of food, eating too close to bedtime or even having high stress levels.
Certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn for some people. Some foods and drinks that could trigger your heartburn can include:
- Caffeinated beverages.
- Carbonated beverages.
Your lifestyle habits can also play a part in why you might experience heartburn. These everyday factors often contribute to medical conditions that cause heartburn, like GERD or hiatal hernia. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger your heartburn include:
- Being overweight.
- Having a high stress level.
- Wearing tight clothes and belts.
Identifying Symptoms Of Gerd In Children
It can be hard to pick up on the symptoms of GERD in a young child as the symptoms can differ from those experienced by adults.
If you have a baby or toddler who cant yet speak enough to describe symptoms to you, here are some of the visual indicators to keep an eye out for:
- Regurgitation and vomiting these are amongst the most common symptoms in babies
- Fussy behavior
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Is It Heartburn Or A Heart Attack
While painful and disruptive, occasional heartburn isn’t a serious medical condition. However, more severe heartburn symptoms can sometimes feel like a heart attack which does require immediate medical attention. How can you tell the difference between heartburn and a heart attack?
To compare, here are the typical signs and symptoms of a heart attack:
- Chest pain and discomfort that includes pressure, fullness, tightness and an aching or squeezing sensation
- Pain or discomfort in one or both arms, shoulder, back, neck or jaw
- Shortness of breath
- Breaking into a cold sweat
- Nausea, indigestion, vomiting, abdominal pain or heartburn
- Lightheadedness or sudden dizziness
If you have any doubt about the source of your pain, or experience any of the symptoms associated with a heart attack, get emergency treatment immediately.
“The most common symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation, but it’s not the only one.”
Your Pain Is Worse When You Lie Down
Because heartburn is caused by stomach acid that creeps back into your esophagus, your symptoms can worsen when you lie down or bend over. “If you’re sitting up straight, gravity helps keep food in the stomach,” says Dr. Coyle. “If you lose the gravity, you’re more prone to reflux.”
A qjuick fix? Many people with chronic heartburn often raise the head of their bed, so they’re not laying completely horizontal. Eating meals right before bedtime is also something that should be avoided if you have recurring heartburn.