Benefits Of Propping Up Your Body
Has your doctor recommended that you sleep at an incline using a bed wedge or putting blocks under your bed frame? Studies show that sleeping at an incline decreases reflux symptoms and allows your body to get stomach acid back to your stomach quicker 8. As long as your entire torso is elevated , sleeping at an incline gives gravity a power boost to return stomach acid to your stomach and keep it there.
The Link Between Nighttime Heartburn And Insomnia
The effects of nighttime heartburn aren’t confined to esophagus. It can also result in chronic insomnia. Nighttime heartburn can wake you up and keep you up.
“The symptoms definitely aggravate insomnia,” says Dave White, who has suffered from nighttime heartburn for years. “I’ll wake up with cutting heartburn pain and then have to wait for the effects of to kick in, which can take an hour or so. When that happens, I’ll just get out of bed, since I know I’ll be up anyway.”
One study showed just how common nighttime heartburn can be. Researchers questioned nearly 15,300 average people and found that a whopping 25% reported having nighttime heartburn. The results were published in the journal CHEST.
Another survey of 1,900 people with GERD in the U.S. and Europe found that about half had trouble sleeping at night. In these people, GERD symptoms caused a 22% impairment of leisure activities and a 15% impairment of their ability to work. The findings were presented during the 2005 Digestive Disease Week, an international conference for gastroenterologists. So the pain — and consequences — of nighttime heartburn go well beyond that burning in your chest.
What Is The Treatment For Heartburn
The health care professional will recommend treating heartburn in a stepwise fashion. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.
I take nonprescription antacids for heartburn, but they don’t seem to help.
Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments.
What kind of lifestyle changes and remedies can I make to reduce heartburn?
Try any or all of the following:
Will these changes stop the heartburn?
They may. If they don’t, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.
How do antacids work?
What if lifestyle changes and antacids don’t work?
If a person still has symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, a health care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 blockers, or acid blockers. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach.
What are acid blockers?
Recommended Reading: Alka Seltzer Extra Strength Heartburn Reliefchews
Apples To Reduce Heartburn
Banana is not the only fruit that helps you with heartburn. The nutritious and tasty apples to come to your help when its about getting rid of heartburn. Apples can in fact, even reduce the symptoms of GERD, the chronic heartburn. This is because apple helps in producing an alkaline environment in your stomach so that the excessive acids get neutralized. This also helps in better digestion which is again a key to no heartburn. Not only does apple cure but also prevent heartburn. However, you need to eat sweet apples, preferably those that are organic. Tart apples wont do any wonders.
Ways to have Apples to Avoid Heartburn
Some apples may give you instant and better relief from heartburn than others. Therefore, keep on changing the varieties of apples to find out the one that is most soothing for your condition.
Sleep Position 2 To Avoid For Preventing Acid Reflux At Night
Position #2 to avoid at night issleeping flat on your right side.
Though reflux episodes may be less frequent on your right when compared to flat on your back, the episodes are more liquidy in nature because your LES is often submerged in the acidic stomach content.4
This position potentially creates a leaky faucet spouting stomach acid into the delicate lining of your esophagus.
While liquid reflux can be very distressing, it can also be dangerous as when flat on your right side, the amount of time acid lingers in your esophagus is much longer.3 Gravity is fighting an uphill battle as it is unable to effectively return refluxed content to your stomach.
If you suffer from nighttime heartburn, avoid lying flat on your right side.
Figure 3: Representation of stomach when youre layingflat on your right side.
Recommended Reading: What To Do To Help With Heartburn
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.
Waking Up With Heartburn At Middle Of The Night Here Are Some Solutions
Why Do You Want To Recommend this Blog?
Heartburn is the common symptoms among many of us. It is generally due to underlying acid peptic diseases like gastritis, gastro oesophageal reflux diseases, barret oesophagus and so on. Heartburn is commonly seen at early morning or late night. Sometimes, the symptom of heartburn is so terribling that it makes us awake at the middle of the night.
Don’t Miss: How To Make Heartburn Stop
Make Lunch Your Biggest Meal Of The Day
Eating a big meal can put pressure on your stomach and allow acid to travel back up into your esophagusand that will only be compounded if you lie down soon afterward. To prevent a major case of acid reflux at night, Huber recommends eating a heavier lunch and a lighter dinner. I’ve started to spend a few hours on Sunday meal prep so that I can get more substantial lunches ready for the week.
Symptoms Of Heartburn At Night
Its common for heartburn to become more pronounced in the evening.
People who experience heartburn at night typically report the following symptoms:
- Worse pain when lying down or bending over
- A bitter or acidic taste in the mouth
These heartburn symptoms can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours.
Don’t Miss: How To Cure Heartburn No Medicine
Try Slippery Elm To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Slippery elm has been traditionally used by Native Americans for treating various conditions including wounds, boils, ulcers, burns, skin inflammation as well as coughs, sore throats, diarrhea, and stomach problems. The herb has mucilage, a component that converts into a slick gel when it is mixed with water. It gives slippery elm its demulcent property due to which it coats and soothes the area where it is directed. In case of heartburn, it coats the layer of mucous that lines your stomach and thus creates a barrier against acid that could not find its way up to your esophagus.
- Add the slippery elm powder to water or milk whatever you are comfortable with.
- Stir it well to mix the powder completely into the water.
- You may have it 1-3 times a day depending upon the severity of your heartburn.
- Have this herbal drink after your meals and at bedtime.
Pros And Cons Of The Medcline Acid Reflux Pillow System
I highly recommend the MedCline Acid Reflux Pillow System for anyone with nighttime acid reflux. From my personal experience, I found it to be a great natural remedy for nighttime reflux symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation, coughing, sore throat, nausea and all those other horrible symptoms that go along with acid reflux and GERD.
The Acid Reflux Pillow System is the best of the MedCline products for those suffering from nighttime acid reflux symptoms. The system comes with the MedCline Therapeutic Body Pillow which I prefer over the Advanced Positioning Wedge pillow alone.
PROS of the MedCline Acid Reflux Pillow System:
- It works! The MedCline Acid Reflux Pillow System puts you on an incline and locks you in on your left side to stop nighttime reflux.
- Proven clinical studies that the MedCline wedge pillow system works.
- Its comfortable once you get used to sleeping in the new position.
- It also helps with snoring, sleep apnea, and shoulder pain. Unfortunately, I suffer from all of these.
- The MedCline Therapeutic Body Pillow that comes with the Acid Reflux Pillow System helped with my lower back pain.
- They give you 100 nights to try it out. If you arent happy they will refund your purchase price minus a 10% disposal fee.
- Machine washable covers. They even have extra covers for sale.
CONS of the MedCline Acid Reflux Pillow System:
Read Also: How To Treat Heartburn Without Medication
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.
Changing Your Eating Habits
Developing healthier eating habits, losing weight if necessary, and avoiding foods that increase symptoms of GERD may make heartburn less likely to occur. Take your spouse or partner along with you when you go to your doctor to discuss diet habits. It will be easier to make changes in your diet if your family understands what you need to do and why.
Changes you may want to make include avoiding chocolate, peppermint, and alcohol. These can all make GERD worse by relaxing the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It also may be a good idea to eat smaller, more frequent meals.
If you are overweight, lose weight. Being overweight puts additional pressure on your stomach and increases the likelihood of heartburn occurring. Losing just 2.5 to 4.5 kilograms can help.
Certain foods can be associated with reflux. Though they will not cause GERD, eating these foods can make the symptoms worse, and avoiding them can help reduce heartburn. These include citrus fruits, mint , fatty and fried foods, garlic and onions, spicy foods, and tomato-based foods like spaghetti sauce and pizza. Some people notice that their symptoms get worse after drinking coffee, tea, soda, or anything with caffeine. If you notice that your symptoms are worse after eating a specific food, you may want to stop eating it and see if your symptoms get better.
Recommended Reading: How To Cure Heartburn Without Pills
Make Ginger Tea To Relieve Heartburn
If you want to get rid of nausea accompanying your heartburn, just make a cup of fresh ginger root tea that will soothe your stomach and give you the much-wanted comfort. If nausea and heartburn become a regular feature of your life, you may also consider having a cup of fresh ginger tea before your meals. This helps your stomach in settling down as ginger acts as an acid buffer.
When It Happens
Normally, when you eat or drink something, the band of muscle at the bottom of your esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and allows food and liquid to flow into your stomach.
The sphincter closes and stomach acid starts to break down whatever you just consumed. If the sphincter becomes weak, or if it relaxes abnormally, stomach acid can move up through the sphincter and irritate the lining of the esophagus.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Heartburn Away
Can I Take Over
Nonprescription heartburn relievers, such as Tums® or Maalox®, can help you feel better. But talk to your healthcare provider before taking antacids. They may contain high sodium levels, which can cause you to retain water. Some also have aluminum in them, which isnt safe to consume during pregnancy. Your provider can recommend an antacid thats safe during pregnancy.
What Are The Symptoms Of Gerd
Heartburn, which involves a painful burning sensation in the chest, is the most common symptom of GERD, but not all cases of GERD involve heartburn.
Another common symptom of GERD is regurgitation, which means a small amount of stomach acid and sometimes bits of food come up into the mouth or back of the throat.
When leaks of stomach acid rise to the mouth and throat, it can cause coughing and a feeling of choking. It may cause a sore throat, including a hoarse voice. Some patients experience difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, or the feeling of something blocking their throat.
On top of the discomfort from heartburn, GERD can cause radiating chest pain that can affect the neck, back, jaw, or arms and last for minutes to hours. This symptom is frequently associated with nighttime awakenings for people with GERD.
Recommended Reading: I Get Heartburn All The Time
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.
Sleep Tips For Heartburn
Most people have their worst heartburn at night. That’s because heartburn has a lot to do with gravity. When you’re in bed and lying down, gravity isn’t working in your favor.
Here’s how the problem starts. When you swallow foods and drinks, they flow through your esophagus down to your stomach. Think of the point where the esophagus and stomach meet as a gate made of a circular ring of muscle. This is the lower esophageal sphincter . It opens to let food and drink pass through. As soon as they do, the gate closes.
Gastric juices made in your stomach to digest food are meant to stay there. If they escape back through the LES gate, they irritate the esophagus. You then experience heartburn.
The reason heartburn is worse at night is that the LES has to work against gravity. When you are lying flat, especially if you have food in your stomach, all those gastric juices are knocking at the gate.
You May Like: Why Am I Getting Heartburn With Everything I Eat
Tips For Improving Your Sleep Habits
If you struggle with getting a good nights rest, here are some simple tips to improve your sleep quality. Should you continue to have trouble sleeping or if you do not feel well rested during the day despite being in bed at night, you may want to speak to your doctor.
- Stick to a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at a regular time .
- Exercise. Include regular exercise into your schedule.
- Avoid caffeine and nicotine. It can take 8 hours for the effects of caffeine to wear off.
- Avoid alcohol before bed. Alcohol keeps you in the lighter stages of sleep.
- Avoid large meals and beverages late at night. This can cause reflux as well as cause you to awaken frequently to use the bathroom.
- Avoid naps after eating, it can cause reflux.
- Dont take naps after 3 pm. It might interfere with your ability to fall asleep.
- Relax before bed. This should be a daily part of your sleep ritual.
- Have a good sleeping environment. Get rid of anything that might distract or interrupt your sleep such as TVs, computers, bright lights, or noises.
- Dont lie awake in bed. If you are awake in bed for more than 20 minutes, get up and do a relaxing activity until you feel sleepy.
Adapted from IFFGD Publication: Research Award Report: Sleep and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease by Ronnie Fass, MD, Head of the Esophageal and Swallowing Center, Metro Health Medical Center, Cleveland, OH.