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What Does A Heartburn Mean

What Makes It Better

Does Heartburn Mean You Have Too Much Stomach Acid?

For most women, things that help reduce acid production or prevent reux are helpful in avoiding the discomfort of heartburn. Here are tips that may help:

  • Avoid classic spicy foods, as well as those with lots of fat or grease. Many people recommend avoiding citrus and chocolate, as well.

  • Eat multiple, small meals spread throughout the day, much like grazing, instead of three big meals.

  • Try elevating the head of your bed by several inches, and wait a while after eating before going to bed or lying down.

Some women find that its better to drink fluids between meals, rather than with a meal. This can increase the amount of contents in the stomach.

If your symptoms do not improve after the above recommended diet and lifestyle changes are in place, talk with your healthcare provider about over-the-counter medicines. Antacids are available as chewable tablets and liquids. They work by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach and neutralizing stomach acid. Heartburn medicines called H2-blockers work by reducing the amount of acid made by your stomach. Although most of these are considered safe in pregnancy, as with all medicines, these should be avoided in the first trimester.

Is It A Boy Or Girl Busting 6 Pregnancy Myths

Myths and Old Wives Tales

You know what Im talking about: If you have more hair on your legs than normal then youre having a girl. Or depending on how you carry the baby , you can determine its sex.

While your friends and family mean well with their input, dont put a lot of faith into their predictions.

Ive heard it all since I started delivering babies both from parents just looking for some reassurance, and even from others during my own pregnancy.

So lets clear up some of the more common myths often associated with pregnancy.

Myth No. 1: Heartburn during pregnancy means a hairy baby.

The truth is, theres no association between heartburn and the amount of hair on your newborn. You could have a lot of heartburn and deliver a completely bald baby. Acid reflux is common during pregnancy but not an accurate barometer for the number of hair bows you may need to purchase.

Myth No. 2: Low fetal heart rates mean its a boy.

Hate to break it to you, but again, no association with heart rate and the gender of your baby. Bottom line: We want all babies to have a normal heart rate. Once things progress in the pregnancy, we get more insight into gender.

Myth No. 3: If I have severe nausea, its a girl.

There might be some truth to this one. There can be a slight connection between severe nausea and vomiting in the first trimester and having a baby girl but there is certainly no guarantee.

Myth No. 4: Hair dyes can be harmful to the baby.

Predictions and Advice

Symptoms Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Common heartburn symptoms reported by pregnant women include:

  • A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours
  • Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down, or eating
  • Burning in the throat or hot, sour, or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat
  • Belching

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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

Pregnancy Sign: Sore Breasts

What Does Heartburn Mean During Pregnancy

Before you start cursing your bra for suddenly feeling more like a contraption from the hardware store than the lacy lingerie that took a serious chunk out of your paycheque, consider that your newly sore boobs could be a sign that youre pregnant. Breast tenderness is another common early pregnancy sign, according to Nordahl. For many women, what can make this symptom particularly confusing is that breast soreness is also a very common sign of your period. But early on in your pregnancy, your breasts may hurt because theyre expanding in preparation for producing milk.

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Is There Anything Besides Eating That Leads To Heartburn

Besides eating a heavy meal, heavy lifting can cause heartburn, says Galier. So can exercise. And lying flat, especially after eating a big meal, can lead to heartburn, too.

People who are overweight or obese are more likely to suffer, Eisen says, noting that some people think only obesity raises heartburn risk. He also points out that pregnant women can suffer heartburn. He says thatâs probably because elevated levels of the hormone progesterone cause a temporary weakness in the LES.

How Is Heartburn Treated

In most cases, heartburn can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and changes to lifestyle habits that cause the feeling. Occasional heartburn is common and is typically not serious. However, if you have frequent and severe heartburn, reach out to your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a chronic condition like GERD. GERD can lead to other serious conditions like esophagitis, Barretts esophagus and even cancer. Sometimes, your doctor may want to do an endoscopy to check for underlying medication conditions. An endoscopy is the examination of your digestive tract with a lighted flexible instrument.

Over-the-counter medications for heartburn typically include antacids and acid blockers.

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What’s Normal With Heartburn

“Heartburn should never be considered normal,” says Galier. Food is often the culprit. People with heartburn typically may be sensitive to foods such as chocolate, carbonated beverages, peppermint, coffee, citrus foods, fried and fatty foods, and spicy foods.

Having heartburn more than occasionally can reduce your quality of life. It can affect not just what you eat, but how you sleep and what activities you do.

And if heartburn from acid reflux persists and you don’t get treatment, complications can occur. They include damaging inflammation of the esophagus that affects the lining and causes bleeding. Another potential complication is Barrett’s esophagus. With Barrett’s esophagus the cells that line the esophagus become abnormal. That, in turn, boosts the risk of esophageal cancer.

Can Heartburn Be Prevented Or Avoided

Pregnancy Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms, and Foods that Help

You might be able to avoid heartburn by making some lifestyle changes.

  • Place 6- to 9-inch blocks under the legs at the head of your bed to raise it.
  • Try to eat at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down. If you take naps, try sleeping in a chair.
  • Quit smoking if you smoke.
  • Lose weight if youre overweight.
  • Dont overeat.
  • Avoid tight clothes and tight belts.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that give you heartburn.

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Research Study Into This Old Wives’ Tale

In 2006, US researchers looked into this old wives’ tale. Their study at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore involved 64 pregnant women.

They asked each of the women to rank how bad their heartburn was during the pregnancy.

Another group of researchers looked at the amount of hair on the heads of their newborn babies. They also ranked them using photographs.

The researchers found that of the 28 women who had heartburn, 23 had babies with plentiful hair.

The researchers think they know why this happened.

Hormones are released during pregnancy to relax a muscle in the stomach. Researchers think that this hormone may also control a baby’s hair growth.

But that’s just one study. Whether others will report similar findings remains to be seen.

But one thing is for sure, for most women their heartburn is hair today, gone tomorrow’ after the birth.

Structural Physiology And Aetiology

Heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux all commonly occur in pregnancy, usually in the latter stage, although they may also accompany first trimester nausea and vomiting. Symptoms are largely due to the effects of progesterone, which relaxes the cardiac sphincter of the stomach, causing acid reflux. It is worse in women with multiple pregnancy and when the fetal presentation is breech, due to upwards pressure on the diaphrgam. Some mothers may experience a burning sensation at varying levels in the oesophagus, which will usually correspond to tender areas on the oesophagus reflex zones of the feet, relative to the level of heartburn. Mechanical distress also occurs at the junction of the oesophagus, cardiac sphincter and stomach due to changes within the abdominal/uterine cavities, the spinal kyphosis/lordosis and the inter-relationship between the shoulder and pelvic girdles. Heartburn is also often exacerbated by the weight of the breasts, particularly if the mother wears an ill-fitting brassiere, or if her general posture is poor with an accentuated thoracic kyphosis.

Suzanne Yates BA DipHSEC MRSS APNT PGCE, in, 2010

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When Should Someone See A Doctor About Heartburn

Galier says if you are reaching for antacids more days than not, you should see your doctor.

Eisen considers heartburn “occasional” if it occurs once a week or less. He says itâs time to seek medical help if you have had heartburn more than once a week for six months or longer more and are not getting better.

When To See A Doctor

Heartburn Causes

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 Are Prescription Medications For Heartburn

If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:

  • Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength , Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.

There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.

Feeling The Burn Tips To Manage Heartburn Gerd In Pregnancy

Heartburn is common in adults especiallyduring pregnancy. While some research suggests women who have moderateheartburn during pregnancy give birth to babies with fullerheads of hair, having symptoms more than twice a week might be asign of gastroesophageal reflux disease , or recurrent heartburn.

According to a study of 510 pregnant women, approximately 26% have GERD symptomsduring the first trimester. The rate jumps to 36% in the second trimester and51% during the third trimester. Thats substantial compared with the 20% of adults in the U.S. who experienceheartburn.

Why the increase in symptoms during pregnancy? Progesterone, a hormone that increases early in pregnancy, relaxessmooth muscle in the body. It helps your uterus stretch to accommodate thegrowing fetus, but also reduces the reliability of the esophageal sphincter aring-like structure that seals off stomach contents from the throat.

Increased pressure placed on the stomachexternally from the growing uterus, especially in the third trimester, can alsoworsen heartburn symptoms such as:

  • Burning pain in the center of thechest, especially after eating
  • Sour or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Sore throat or cough

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What Are My Options If These Treatments Dont Work

If a person continues to have heartburn, a health care professional may recommend adding a drug such as metoclopramide . This drug empties food and acid quickly from the stomach so less can back up into the esophagus. Reglan also helps tighten the lower esophageal sphincter.

If a person still have symptoms, a health care professional will then recommend one of the drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Examples of these drugs are omeprazole , lansoprazole , esomeprazole , rabeprazole , and pantoprazole . These tablets prevent the stomach from secreting acid. They are very effective and are typically taken only once a day. These drugs usually are prescribed if other drugs have not helped. They may have to be used indefinitely.

Does Water Help Heartburn

Heartburn and Indigestion: What’s the Difference? With Dr. Richard Onishi | San Diego Health

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

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Causes Of Heartburn In Women

  • Heart Disease:

Chest pain or angina that happens due to lack of blood flow from heart usually cause heartburn. The chances are more when you are involved in some moderate or strenuous activity. In case if you have crossed the age group of 50 and are feeling heartburn for the very first time, this condition can increase suspicion of angina. The suspicions may also rise in younger patients when they are already suffering from diabetes, hypertension or have a long family history of heart diseases.

  • Gallstones:

Gallstones are not always the prime cause of heartburn but the stone obstructing your bite can cause discomfort. It usually happens on the upper right side or middle of the abdomen. Pain associated with this condition may be dull, cramping, and sharp or may even strike hard right after you finish your meals.

  • Stomach Ulcers:

  • Hiatal Hernia:

  • Esophageal cancer:

Earlier, this condition was rare but within past few years, several cases of esophageal cancer have been reported in the United States. In case if you are suffering heartburn, there are chances that it happens due to esophageal cancer however, chances are rare. In order to examine this condition, your doctors may follow upper endoscopy. People who drink or smoke heavily are often at risk of esophageal cancer.

  • Gastroparesis:

  • Lifestyle habits:

Social Determinants Of Health

Social determinants such as disadvantage, status, lack of , , access to play an important role in myocardial infarction risk and survival. Studies have shown that low is associated with an increased risk of poorer survival. There are well-documented disparities in myocardial infarction survival by , , , and census-tract-level .

Race: In the U.S. have a greater burden of myocardial infarction and other cardiovascular events. On a population level, there is a higher overall of risk factors that are unrecognized and therefore not treated, which places these individuals at a greater likelihood of experiencing adverse outcomes and therefore potentially higher and .

Socioeconomic status: Among individuals who live in the low- areas, which is close to 25% of the US population, myocardial infarctions occurred twice as often compared with people who lived in higher SES areas.

Immigration status: In 2018 many lawfully present who are eligible for coverage remain uninsured because immigrant families face a range of enrollment barriers, including fear, confusion about eligibility policies, difficulty navigating the enrollment process, and and challenges. Uninsured are ineligible for coverage options due to their immigration status.

Health care access: Lack of and financial concerns about accessing care were associated with delays in seeking emergency care for acute myocardial infarction which can have significant, adverse consequences on patient outcomes.

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How Do You Stop Heartburn While Pregnant

How Can I Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy?

  • Skip foods and drinks that can make it worse, such as citrus spicy, fatty foods caffeine and carbonated drinks.
  • Eat several small meals throughout the day.
  • Take your time when eating.
  • Drink liquids between not during meals.
  • Avoid eating or drinking for 3 hours before bedtime.
  • You’re Drinking Too Much

    Heartburn

    Alcohol can have immediate inflammatory effects on the esophagus and stomach,” explains Berry. “Alcohol also overworks the liver, which can lead to increased stomach irritation and heartburn. We all like to have a drink now and again, but removing alcohol from your diet can greatly improve heartburn in many people.” And for more on the effects of alcohol on the body, Here’s Why Alcohol Wakes You Up in the Middle of the Night.

    To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life,

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    What Week Does Heartburn Start In Pregnancy

    When does heartburn start in pregnancy? You can, of course, feel these symptoms at any time . Many mamas-to-be feel them right from the starting line and will complete the whole course with this nasty collection of symptoms.

    However, according to the NHS, theyre most likely to kick in hard around 27 weeksor after.

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    How Is Heartburn Diagnosed

    Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:

    • Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patientâs symptoms .
    • Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
    • Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.

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