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What Happens When You Get Heartburn

Home Remedies For Heartburn: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux

Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD-Mayo Clinic

Despite what its name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.

Rather, it’s a burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the 10-inch tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.

When it hits, heartburn can last for just a few minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable so it’s no surprise if you’re looking for a way to get rid of the sensation fast.

Back Sleeping: Avoid Whenever Possible

Sleeping on the back increases how often acid reflux happens at night.

When you sleep flat on your back and acid escapes from your stomach, it can flow freely into your esophagus and remain there.

Studies show that symptoms are often more frequent in this position and tend to last longer because the acid cannot flow back to the stomach.

Your symptoms may also be more severe if you have stomach fatwhich pushes down on your stomach forcing contents to escape. Back sleeping should be the #1 position to avoid at night if you suffer from nighttime acid reflux.

Is Heartburn A Sign Of Food Intolerance

While heartburn doesnt always mean that you have a specific food intolerance, there can be a wide range of reasons why you would get heartburn. For example, sometimes it can be because you ate too much acidic food.

And since bananas are classified as alkaline fruits, getting heartburn after eating one could mean that the heartburns are a sign of food allergy.

Heartburn can also be a sign of a bigger physical issue with your sphincter muscle, which isnt doing its job of containing the acid in your stomach.

The simplest way to find out if a specific food is causing heartburn is to note down if you get heartburn every time you eat. If this is the case, you should visit your doctor because there might be an issue with your stomach sphincter.

Below are some other common causes of heartburn.

  • Being overweight
  • Stress and anxiety
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    What Makes Your Heartburn Worsen Over Time

    There are four common reasons for increased heartburn.

  • Aging muscles
  • Your muscles weaken as you grow older. And that includes one critical to fending off heartburn the lower esophageal sphincter.

    Food passes down your throat and through your esophagus to your stomach. This sphincter controls the opening between the esophagus and the stomach. It typically remains tightly closed except when you swallow food. But as you age, it can weaken and stop functioning properly.

  • Weight gain
  • Many older adults carry extra weight that can weaken the sphincter further. And, for reasons that arent entirely clear, the risk and severity of GERD is higher for those who are overweight, Dr. Gabbard says.

  • Medications
  • As you age, your health problems increase and so does your need for medication.

    Some blood pressure and antidepressant medications can cause heartburn. Also opiates, says Dr. Gabbard. Being overweight and taking certain medications may be the major driving factors for heartburn.

  • Hiatal hernia
  • With age often comes a hiatal hernia, where the upper part of the stomach pushes up into the chest cavity.

    Sixty percent of people over 60 have a hiatal hernia, Dr. Gabbard says. Most are small and do not cause problems, but the larger ones put you at risk for heartburn.

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    Chronic heartburn can impact your whole life. It may interfere with your sleep. You may have to stop eating some of your favorite foods. Heartburn can even impact your work.

    Chronic heartburn is often associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease . When you have this condition, stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. This can cause heartburn, a burning sensation in your chest.

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    What Should You Know About Heartburn

    Heartburn is a symptom that feels like a burning in your chest, and is a symptom of acid reflux .

    Do most people get heartburn?

    Heartburn is more common during pregnancy. Most people get heartburn after meals, but can also awaken people while they are sleeping. People also may experience heartburn after eating specific foods or drinking certain beverages.

    What can heartburn be a sign or symptom of?

    How can you tell if you are having a heart attack or heartburn?

    How can you get rid of heartburn?

    Heartburn can be relieved and cured for many people with lifestyle changes, for example,

    • eat a healthy diet,
    • sleep with your head elevated with pillow.
    • Over-the-counter, prescription, and surgery may be necessary to cure heartburn.

    When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn

    Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.

    You should contact your doctor if:

    • Your heartburn wont go away.
    • Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
    • Its hard or hurts to swallow.
    • Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
    • You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
    • You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
    • You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
    • You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
    • Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.

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    Reasons Not To Ignore Heartburn Symptoms

    For most Americans, heartburn is just an occasional problem. Sixty million people get it at least once a month.

    But for the 19 million people who have a chronic form of heartburn known as gastroesophageal reflux disease , untreated symptoms can lead to a variety of health complications.

    If you experience frequent or extended heartburn , see your doctor. Here are nine reasons why you shouldnt ignore signs of GERD.

    Esophagitis In GERD, food, acid and digestive juices flow back into the esophagus, the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Over time, this causes irritation and swelling, known as esophagitis. “If you have acid exposure in the esophagus for even as little as a few weeks, you can develop inflammation of the lining,” says Anish Sheth, M.D., assistant professor of digestive diseases at Yale School of Medicine, in New Haven Conn. “It can be very uncomfortable, even painful, and can leave the esophagus vulnerable to even more harmful erosion or scarring.”

    Esophageal stricture If esophagitis goes on too long, scar tissue can narrow the esophagus. Called a stricture, this can make it hard or painful to swallow. Large pieces of food can get stuck and may require endoscopy to remove them. You may also be at risk of choking, and you can lose too much weight if you avoid food and drinks because of a stricture.

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    Work with your doctor, who may consider lung function when treating reflux.

    If Your Heartburn Lasts Longer Than Two Weeks

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    Occasional heartburn may not require a visit to the doctor, but if you have heartburn that occurs several times a week, for more than two weeks, then it’s time to go to the doctor. For most people, the symptom can be controlled with either over-the-counter or prescription medications. However, in rare instances, that constant heartburn can indicate a far more serious condition. Because heartburn damages the esophagus tissue, you may be at risk for a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. That, in turn, puts a person at risk for esophageal cancer, which is the fastest-growing cancer in the United States . To determine the extent of esophageal damage, a doctor will perform an endoscopy, in which a tube is slid down the throat to the esophagus. In some cases, surgery to reinforce the esophageal sphincter may be recommended, so if you suffer from heartburn very frequently, consult your doctor.

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    Can You Get Heartburn When Hungry What Causes Heartburn

    Heartburn is a burning, painful sensation that occurs in the chest when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. The sensation is usually felt in the center of the chest, right behind the breast bone. Its often worse when you lay flat or on your right side.

    Over the counter antacids like Tums, Zantac, and Pepcid can bring fast relief in many cases. There are also some home remedies and lifestyle changes that can be very helpful. People who experience heartburn only occasionally dont usually need to see their doctor.

    However, if your symptoms become frequent or severe, you should see a gastroenterologist. Anyone who experiences shortness of breath, pain going down the neck and arms, along with severe heartburn should seek emergency medical attention because they may be having a heart attack.

    Yes, you can get heartburn when hungry, and hunger pangs can make the heartburn sensation more intense. Some types of heartburn, such as dyspepsia, can also mimic hunger pains. GERD and acid reflux are more common after eating certain foods or after a heavy meal.

    Whether you get heartburn when hungry or after eating, knowing which type of heartburn you are experiencing can be helpful when seeking treatment.

    Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly

    When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.

    Read Also: What To Eat Or Drink To Relieve Heartburn

    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.

    When You Have A Cough That Just Won’t Go Away

    Home remedies you can use of heartburn

    There are any number of reasons for why you may have a chronic cough, from a respiratory tract infection to bronchitis. But often, a chronic cough is a symptom of heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease . It’s not just a persistent cough, though — heartburn frequently occurs in conjunction with symptoms of asthma, such as wheezing. Of course, you may not have the chest pain that accompanies heartburn, so you may not think that you’re actually seeing a doctor for heartburn until you get the diagnosis. Since the constant coughing can do damage to the esophagus, it’s important to seek treatment so that permanent harm isn’t done.

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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 that√Ęs probably because elevated levels of the hormone progesterone cause a temporary weakness in the LES.

    Why Even Water Can Cause Heartburn

    Heartburn is the result of acidic liquid from your stomach entering your esophagus, or the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. Normally, a valve called the LES maintains a barrier between the esophagus and the stomach, so that the latter’s acidic contents don’t spill into the esophagus. The stomach and LES are protected from acid the esophagus is not.

    The LES opens when you swallow food or drink, so that what you consume can enter your stomach. It also occasionally opens momentarily when there’s pressure in your stomach from trapped gas, so you can burp/belch it out. Sometimes, however, it will open up when it shouldn’t, like when the stomach is very full, or when there’s pressure on the stomach . In that case, the acidic liquid can overflow into your esophagus, and you feel pain.

    So why can water trigger this? There are two primary reasons:

  • Your stomach might still be filled with chyme from a recently-eaten meal. Drinking some water might add more volume to your stomach contents, and pressure on your stomach which might trigger the LES to open. Imagine a bowl filled with soup. If you were to add a cup of water to that full bowl, what would happen?
  • If your stomach is empty and you drink a large volume of water, the water itself can fill your stomach enough to cause the LES to open. Distension of the stomach causes it to release acid, which mixes with the water, resulting in an acidic liquid which can enter the esophagus and also cause heartburn.
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    What Makes It Worse

    Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.

    If You Or Your Child Has Trouble Swallowing

    Acid reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and treatments – Heartburn remedies

    If you’ve had heartburn or acid reflux for so long that you have trouble swallowing, then it’s a sign that damage to the esophagus has been building for awhile. The esophagus may be inflamed, scarred or full of ulcers, indicating esophageal cancer. Other symptoms to be on the look out for include nausea and vomiting, particularly if you’re vomiting blood.

    It’s important to note that children can suffer from heartburn and acid reflux as well. Unless you have an extremely advanced child, he or she probably won’t be able to put the discomfort into words, so take note if a baby experiences trouble swallowing. Other signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease in children are repeated regurgitation, asthmalike symptoms, frequent arching of the back and irritability after feedings. The good news? Many infants and children outgrow the condition, though don’t sit around and wait for them to do so: See a doctor.

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    What Else Should I Know

    Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or even stop uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Untreated GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.

    You’ll probably find that one of the simplest ways to make living with GERD easier is to avoid the things that trigger your symptoms. Some people will have to limit certain foods others may have to give them up entirely. It all depends on your symptoms.

    It can be hard to give up sodas or favorite foods at first. But after a while, lots of people discover that they feel so much better that they don’t miss the problem foods as much as they thought they would.

    Why Do I Get Heartburn When I Havent Eaten: The Nine Reasons

    Growing up, you probably heard your parents talk about heartburn when it would affect them.

    Unfortunately, as you age, at some point, it started to affect you, too.

    Heartburn is something that nearly everyone in the world has experienced at one time or another, and usually, people know what they ate that caused them that kind of grief.

    Typically, we link heartburn to foods that we eat and the beverages we consume.

    Sometimes, though, unique situations can occur, and you will get heartburn that leaves you wondering, Why do I get heartburn when I havent eaten anything that might have triggered it?

    At the very minimum, we assume that the parts of our body that cause heartburn are only in action whenever our body is processing food.

    What is going on when we get heartburn when we havent eaten?

    We will give you nine potential reasons why the fiery feeling is plaguing you in your chest despite not having eaten anything.

    Read Also: What To Eat With Heartburn Problems

    Heartburn Back Pain And Bloating

    Heartburn with back pain and bloating can occur together in the presence of a digestive disorder that accompanies the reflux.

    As weve considered before, IBS is just one of them.

    The concomitant presence of bloating and upper-back pain is quite common, even though in such cases heartburn may not be present at all.

    In fact, reflux and related symptoms affect the gastroesophageal tract, with no direct action on the bowel and other organs located below.

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    Can Heartburn Cause Back Pain

    Pin on Acid Reflux and Heartburn

    This is a very interesting question.

    In fact, we cant say that heartburn are able to directly cause back pain.

    However, this painful manifestation and reflux disease can have a special relationship.

    The most important premise is that, in most cases, people who report back pain are affected by real GERD, more than simple reflux, and even less from occasional episodes of heartburn.

    This is important because it means that by working well on the root causes of the disease, theres a solid chance to get rid of this symptom.

    The relationship between acid reflux and back pain can be quite complicated because of some reasons.

    What we considered above is important, because it means that by working well on back pain and/or reflux we can potentially prevent the other condition.

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