Make Gravity Work For You
People spend approximately one-third of their lives sleeping. Nighttime reflux is particularly dangerous because stomach acid may come into contact with the esophagus for many hours at night while sleeping, damaging and eroding the tissue. Sleep in a way that makes gravity work for you and keeps stomach acid in its place. Put wooden planks under the head of your mattress to raise your head by about 6 to 8 inches. Other good ways to raise your head include sleeping on a wedge pillow or sleeping with multiple pillows under your head. You may also notice that sleeping on your left side is better for preventing reflux than sleeping on your right side.
Donât Miss: Can Turmeric Cause Diarrhea
Medicines That Can Help
We’ve come a long way in the treatment of indigestion, heartburn and peptic ulcers, and it’s all down to advances in medicines.
When I was a medical student, it was fairly common for people to need surgery to control their symptoms – these days tablets like PPIs keep acid under control much better.
Sometimes a germ calledHelicobacter pylori can make indigestion worse. Your doctor may perform a breath, stool or blood test for this and if necessary, give you a one-week course of treatment with three different tablets to get rid of it. This doesn’t always work and it involves taking several tablets a day and often having to avoid even a sip of alcohol for a week, but it can greatly reduce the chance of symptoms returning.
What Are Some Ways To Sleep Better With Heartburn
Creating a sleep hygiene routine that is easy and comfortable to follow may also help improve your sleep. Taking steps such as setting a sleep schedule, creating a quiet, dark bedroom environment, and avoiding eating in the hours before you go to sleep might help. Choose pajamas that are loose around the waist to prevent any restriction around the stomach that could impact your heartburn symptoms.
Read Also: What Not To Eat When Having Heartburn
Note The Time Your Heartburn Symptoms Occur
Think, too, about when the heartburn occurs. Galier says if it happens after a big meal, and it’s just the burning in the chest, with no other symptoms, itâs more than likely heartburn or indigestion. But if you have any doubt, it’s wise to ask your doctor for an evaluation.
“If you have chest pain after a meal, it’s more likely to be reflux,” agrees Glenn Eisen, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and director of endoscopy at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. But that’s not a perfect test, he says. “It could be cardiac.”
Phil Katz, MD, says that knowing what “classic” heartburn is like may help. Katz is president-elect of the American College of Gastroenterology and clinical professor of medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
âThe classic heartburn symptom,â he tells WebMD, âis burning that starts at the upper stomach or lower breastbone and progresses upward and occurs after a meal or when bending over.” He adds, “It’s rapidly relieved by an antacid within a few minutes.â
Do Acid Reflux & Heartburn Medicines Increase My Risk Of Getting Covid
There are many heartburn medications available over-the-counter such as: antacids , famotidine , and proton pump inhibitors . There have been some studies surveying if the use of heartburn medications – specifically proton pump inhibitors – increases your risk of getting COVID-19. One study from The American Journal of Gastroenterology surveyed patients and found that patients using PPIs twice daily had higher odds of testing positive for COVID-19 compared to those using PPIs once daily. Although this showed some data, we cant assume that PPIs automatically cause COVID-19. There must be more clinical trials done to further prove that heartburn medications increase your chances of getting COVID-19. For now, the recommended dosing for PPIs is once daily, unless recommended otherwise by your healthcare provider.
You May Like: Over The Counter Heartburn Relief
Vinegar To Cure Heartburn
Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.
- Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
- Now have this water.
- You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
- Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.
Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.
Preventing And Managing Heartburn
There are many things you can do to help reduce your experience of heartburn.
The first step is make sure your daily meals are based around a variety of foods from each of the five food groups recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating This includes vegetables, fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, lean meats and meat-alternatives, and reduced-fat dairy and non-dairy alternatives. For an idea on how to get balance and variety into your daily meals, check out these sample meal plans for men and women.
Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent heartburn. By not overfilling the stomach, there is less chance of stomach acid rising into your oesophagus. Remember to choose healthy foods and be mindful of how much you eat across the day.
Try to eat your last meal a few hours before bedtime. This gives your stomach enough time to empty and can reduce your experience of reflux when lying down in bed.
Fatty foods take longer to break down in the stomach, which is why these foods often trigger heartburn symptoms. Consider ways to prepare meals that reduce the amount of fat. For example:
- Use low-fat cooking methods such as steaming, grilling or lightly pan-frying instead of deep- or shallow-frying.
- Trim the fat off meats and choose leaner cuts.
- Choose reduced-fat dairy products.
Recommended Reading: What Can I Eat Or Drink To Stop Heartburn
Does Heartburn Impact Mental Health
Heartburn symptoms can be distressing and painful. Although heartburn does not cause mental health disorders, there does appear to be a link between heartburn and an increase in depression and anxiety .
Heartburn symptoms can include chest pains. Heartburn patients report an increase in anxiety when experiencing chest pains. Depression and stress are known to impact the gastrointestinal system, and therefore may make heartburn worse. Additionally, heartburn can cause disruptions in sleep and there is evidence that poor sleep impacts mental health as well.
Which Heartburn Treatment Is Right For You
The type of heartburn treatment that is right for you depends on a variety of factors. The frequency and severity of your symptoms are important considerations. Some medications provide relief from current symptoms while other medications are designed to prevent symptoms before they start. If you are unsure of which heartburn treatment to take, have a discussion with your doctor. Your physician can evaluate your condition and take into account any additional medical conditions you have and medications you may be taking and make an appropriate treatment recommendation.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Heartburn Away Fast
Remedy For Heartburn At Middle Of The Night
Sleep with head elevated: Sleeping with the head elevated can decrease the heartburn at night as there is less chance of regurgitation of acids while sleeping.
Avoid the triggering foods at night: Heartburn at night worsens if you take certain triggering foods at night. Alcohol, spicy and oily foods, caffeinated drinks like coffee, milk tea can provocate the heartburn at night. SO its better to avoid such foods at night.
Avoid tight clothings: Wear loose fitting clothings than tight one at night which will help to some extent to lower the heartburn symptoms at night.
Avoid late night heavy meals: Keep at least time of 2-3 hours after having dinner for your sleep. Avoid having heavy meals.
Reduce your weight: obese individuals are more likely to have heartburn symptoms. So try to reduce your weight.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated: Water can some extent help to reduce the heartburn symptoms. A glass of lukewarm water may help for providing a temporary relief.
OTC antacids: If you are taking any antacid gels for the heartburn relief you can take one that helps to relief the symptom temporarily.
Signs And Symptoms Of Gerd
Everyone has likely experienced common symptoms such as acid reflux, pains in the chest, a cough or a sore throat, however, if any of these issues become chronic, they could be symptoms of GERD. If you start to experience have excessive or daily acid reflux, especially coupled with a sore throat and a cough that lingers, you should ask your doctor about GERD .
Though GERD symptoms can be uncomfortable, alarm symptoms are not typical of GERD and can signal additional, more severe health concerns. Consult a health care professional if you notice a change in your current symptoms or experience any of the following:
- Sudden weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing or a feeling of trapped food in the chest
- Bloody stools
a GERD symptoms tracker document that you can use to track your reflux symptoms.
Why Does Heartburn Happen
Heartburn goes by many names you might also know it as acid reflux or acid indigestion. It is a burning or tingling feeling that occurs when the contents of your stomach rise into your food pipe . Mild heartburn is quite common, and most healthy people will experience it from time to time.
To understand why we get heartburn, it can help to think about how the oesophagus and stomach work.
There is a ring of muscle where the oesophagus and stomach meet . It relaxes to allow food into the stomach and tightens to prevent stomach contents from moving back up into the oesophagus.
In the stomach, strong acids help break down food as part of the digestive process. While your stomach is built to withstand this acid, your oesophagus is not.
If the oesophageal sphincter is weak, or relaxes when it shouldnt, the stomachs contents can move up into the oesophagus and causes pain, irritation, and discomfort. This backward flow is called reflux, and the burning chest pain is known as heartburn.
Lying down or bending over can make heartburn feel worse, as the acidic stomach contents can travel further up the oesophagus.
Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
02-14-20 – Esophageal Issues
Most people have experienced the symptoms of heartburn at one time or another. Perhaps you ate too much just before bed and awoke to a burning sensation in your chest. You may have even had some regurgitation of stomach acid into your throat and mouth. While unpleasant, these symptoms are easily treated with antacids or home remedies for most. Its only an occasional occurrence and is given little thought after the discomfort passes. However, for sufferers of acid reflux disease, these symptoms and others can become a regular occurrence.
When heartburn becomes more persistent, occurring two or more times a week, or if it is resistant to medications, its time to see a specialist. Additionally, there are several other symptoms that may suggest acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease . While these symptoms may not be as disruptive as heartburn, they also point to this chronic digestive disorder and should be addressed.
You May Like: Renew Life Heartburn Stop Reviews
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.
Simple Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Heartburn Without Medications
If you suffer from heartburn, then you are aware of the discomfort and the burning sensation that goes along with it. The burning sensation in your throat and chest from the heartburn is unpleasant and can be triggered by many types of foods especially spicy, acidic or fatty foods. Even people who suffer from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a chronic condition that causes heartburn, know well the crushing chest pain followed by the burning sensation in their throats. Many people often resort to taking medication to get relief from heartburn. However, the fact is that while these drugs can provide you with temporary relief, they can cause potential harm in the long run. Instead of resorting to taking medications, you can actually turn to some natural home remedies to deal with heartburn. So how to get rid of heartburn without medications? Lets find out.
Ways To Relieve Acid Reflux Without Medication
A few lifestyle changes are worth trying before resorting to drugs for controlling gastroesophageal reflux.
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feel like youre having a heart attack.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
If you’ve been having repeated episodes of heartburnor any other symptoms of acid refluxyou might try the following:
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the result of a disordered valve mechanism between the esophagus and the stomach. The valve, or lower esophageal sphincter , opens during swallowing to allow food to enter the stomach and then closes to prevent food and stomach secretions from moving backward into the esophagus. When the LES fails to close correctly, the stomach contentswhich are acidic and contain digestive secretionscan flow back into the esophagus. This reverse flow of food, acids and the digestive enzyme pepsin, can cause damage to the esophageal lining and resulting heartburn.
GERD is a common disorder that has a significant impact on the community. In Canada, people suffering from GERD symptoms are absent from work 16% of each year, representing $21 billion in costs or 1.7 billion hours of lost productivity annually. On average, five million Canadians experience heartburn and/or acid regurgitation at least once each week. Reflux is common during pregnancy and one-quarter of pregnant women experience daily heartburn. Recent studies show that GERD in infants and children occurs more frequently than previously thought and may produce repeated vomiting, failure to grow, coughing and other respiratory problems.
Recommended Reading: What Causes Heartburn And Indigestion
Marshmallow Can Heal Heartburn
The very popular herb marshmallow contains a mucilage property that helps coat your esophagus and stomach lining. This creates a protective barrier against stomach acid and you get rid of heartburn. What more, marshmallow can even repair the damage done to your food pipe and stomach lining by excessive acid.Make Marshmallow Infusion for Heartburn
- In the morning, drink this thick herbal infusion which would taste bitter-sweet.
Precaution: If you are taking some medication, consult your doctor before using any herb.
Serious Side Effects Of Heartburn
Even if its not a heart attack, heartburn can be serious. Dangerous side effects and complications can result if you dont seek treatment. Some common side effects include:
- Awaking from sleep, especially if youve eaten within two hours of going to bed
- Esophageal cancer: if Barretts esophagus is not treated
- Esophagus erosion: scarring, ulcers and narrowing of the tube
- Barretts esophagus: precancerous condition from chronic acid reflux
- Esophageal strictures and dysphagia: swallowing difficulties due to esophagus damage
Recommended Reading: How To Get Quick Relief From Heartburn
Can Lifestyle Changes Prevent Pregnancy Heartburn
Heres some good news: Although heartburn is one of the biggest complaints during pregnancy, its also one of the easiest to treat for many people, says Dr. Ruiz.
Lifestyle changes can make a big difference. For example, eating smaller and more frequent meals may be enough for relief. This helps the stomach expand less, potentially reducing any problematic pressure against the lower esophageal sphincter. As an added bonus, the approach tends to be better for keeping energy levels consistent, Dr. Ruiz says. If heartburn at night is a problemand even if its notits helpful to avoid eating within two to three hours before bed, he adds.
The kind of advice given to non-pregnant heartburn sufferers about diet applies here, too. That means staying away from highly acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and onions, as well as spicy choices that may kick off more acid production. Dr. Gray says three options that tend to exacerbate heartburn during pregnancy are chocolate, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.
Another hack: Sleep with your upper body elevated slightly7, so its at least above the height of your stomach. You can prop up the top of your bed, use an adjustable bed frame, or sleep on a wedge pillow. That may be difficult as your pregnancy progresses and you cant lie on your back, but if youre in the first or second trimester, it may be a way to get relief from nighttime heartburn.