If You’ve Been Taking Medications For A Long Time
Occasional heartburn is often relieved with a simple antacid. However, if you’ve been devouring antacids for weeks and not seeing results, then see a doctor. You may require a stronger prescription medication.
Prescription medications for heartburn aren’t meant to be lifetime drugs, but many people treat them as such. Obviously, it’s difficult to stop taking something that relieves possible pain. While heartburn medications are generally safe, doctors do warn that there are some long-term side effects that are cause for concern. Because the drugs decrease your gastric acid, your body absorbs far less calcium from your diet than normal. As a result, you could be at a higher risk for experiencing a bone fracture or osteoporosis. While the benefits of staying on the drugs outweigh the risks for frequent heartburn sufferers, those who suffer from heartburn only infrequently should eventually taper off their use.
If severe heartburn occurs in a relatively young person, who faces a lifetime of taking prescription medications, doctors may consider surgery in which the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophageal sphincter to strengthen it. Surgery is not recommended for everyone due to its invasive nature and due to studies that show that it might not be a permanent fix .
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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.
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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. âThat may not be true,â says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. âThe foods that trigger heartburn are different for everyone.â 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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What Foods Are Bad For Heartburn
Food and drinks that commonly trigger heartburn include:
- alcohol, particularly red wine.
- black pepper, garlic, raw onions, and other spicy foods.
- citrus fruits and products, such as lemons, oranges and orange juice.
- coffee and caffeinated drinks, including tea and soda.
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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.
Causes Of Heartburn While Pregnant
Sadly, it is very common to have this physical sensation while pregnant. And although morning sickness seems to have all the attention, lots of women look at heartburn as to an uncomfortable pregnancy sign.
During early stages of pregnancy, heartburn is the result of progesterone, one of the pregnancy symptoms that women experience at this point, which will relax the muscles of the uterus in order to fit the developing baby. It relaxes the valve between the valve between the gut and esophagus as well.
In the last pregnancy stages, the baby will squash the digestive organs and this may lead to heartburn. However, the great news is that this will not affect the little one.
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Your Heartburn Feels More Severe Than Usual
Almost everyone has heartburn from time to time, but if you have a particularly severe episode of it, you should bypass making a doctor’s appointment and head straight for the hospital. The chest pain that comes with heartburn is often very similar to a heart attack, so don’t write off a persistent or acute ache as heartburn. A heart attack is usually differentiated from heartburn by shortness of breath, sweating and dizziness, but when in doubt, head to the hospital.
Complicating the matter, certain medications taken by those with cardiac issues often bring on acid reflux or heartburn. Calcium channel blockers, which decrease blood pressure, and nitrates, used for coronary artery disease, can cause acid reflux. If you suspect that a heart medication is bringing on heartburn or acid reflux, speak to your doctor before making any changes to your meds or diet.
How To Relieve Pregnancy Heartburn
Combined with all the other discomforts of pregnancy, that burning sensation can be really unpleasant. The good news is that there are ways to help stop heartburn quickly. Research shows that drinking milk and eating yogurt may help as well as over-the-counter antacids, like TUMS.3 The antacid relieves the stomach and esophagus, neutralizing stomach acid and providing reliable relief.6 Be sure to talk to your doctor about the heartburn treatment options that are right for you.
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How Is It Diagnosed
If you’re experiencing heartburn, make sure to track your symptoms. For example, how often does it happen in a day? Does it happen after eating? You can bring this list to your provider to help make a faster and better diagnosis.
After discussing your symptoms and medical history with you, your provider can usually diagnose heartburn easily.
Slippery Elm Bark And Marshmallow Root
Some mamas find relief from mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Due to their gummy consistency, they coat the intestines and soothe digestion. Be sure to use under the guidance of a healthcare practitioner and away from food and supplementsthey can interfere with nutrient absorption.
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Is It Heartburn Several Conditions Can Be Mistaken For Acid Reflux
Hiatal Hernias and Esophageal Cancer
Gastroparesis and Esophagitis
Gastroparesis and esophagitis are known causes of heartburn. Nerve damage related to diabetes can affect the digestive tract and can cause food to move slowly through the digestive system. This can result in heartburn due to gastroparesis. Esophagitis occurs due to frequent acid reflux. Taking pain killers or osteoporosis medications without water can cause them to remain in the esophagus, resulting in inflammation. Inflammation can also be caused by certain infections or radiation. Esophagitis can also be related to allergies and asthma.
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing the symptoms of heartburn, as it could be something more serious. Treating chronic heartburn can improve your long-term gastrointestinal health!
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.
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When Will It End
Heartburn symptoms are usually mild and manageable. Tell your healthcare provider if your heartburn is severe, if you spit up blood, or have dark-colored bowel movements. This is a sign of blood in your digestive tract. Fortunately, heartburn usually ends with the birth of your baby and your body goes back to its nonpregnant state.
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What Over The Counter Drug Is Good For Acid Reflux
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What Are The Main Symptoms Of Gerd
The main symptoms are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat, or like you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD can also cause a dry cough and bad breath.
Foods That May Help Relieve Heartburn
While many foods can make your heartburn worse, there are several foods that may help relieve symptoms.
Here are some foods that may help relieve heartburn:
- Ginger: This is a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting. While there is limited evidence about gingers effects on heartburn, it may help reduce reflux (
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Take A Proactive Approach
Thats why, if you have had heartburn or acid reflux consistently for longer than three years, you should have an endoscopy, says Brown. An endoscopy is a simple procedure where a specially designed scope is used to examine the esophagus and take tissue samples, when necessary.
The tissue samples or biopsies are examined to look for any abnormal cell growth, Brown explains. The hope is that well be able to catch any abnormal cells before they become cancerous.
Patients who are diagnosed with Barretts typically undergo repeat endoscopies one year and three years later. If precancerous cells are seen at that point, treatment may involve surgical removal of the esophagus to prevent eventual progression to cancer.
But a technique available at Rush, the HALO Ablation System, enables doctors to use radiofrequency ablation to remove Barretts tissue completely, without invasive surgery and with relatively few complications.
HALO ablation has shown to be an effective alternative to surgery in select patients, says Brown. However, the good news is that most patients with Barretts will never progress to the point that they require this level of intervention.
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Medicines For Indigestion And Heartburn
Medicines for indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy include:
- antacids to neutralise the acid in your stomach
- alginates to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux by stopping the acid in your stomach coming back up your gullet
You may only need to take antacids and alginates when you start getting symptoms. However, your GP may recommend taking them before symptoms come on for example, before a meal or before bed.
If youre taking iron supplements as well as antacids, do not take them at the same time. Antacids can stop iron from being absorbed by your body.
If antacids and alginates do not improve your symptoms, your GP may prescribe a medicine to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. 2 that are widely used in pregnancy and not known to be harmful to an unborn baby are:
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What Is Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn is a common issue for pregnant women which involves acidic stomach contents being regurgitated back up the individuals oesophagus, which can cause burning in the throat and chest. Symptoms are often worse immediately after eating or while lying down.
The reasons for the increase in heartburn in pregnancy are complicated and not completely understood, with multiple factors potentially at play:
When To See A Gastroenterologist
Sometimes its difficult to know when your symptoms are severe enough that you need to make an appointment with a gastroenterologist, and we understand that. Here are some indications that its time to call a gastroenterologist:
- Symptoms that continue for more than two weeks
- Heartburn that persists after taking over-the-counter medications
- Heartburn episodes that change in frequency or intensity
- Nighttime symptoms that affect your sleep quality
- Acid reflux that interferes with your daily activities or affects your quality of life
- Unexplained weight loss or decreased appetite
- Pain or difficulty swallowing
- Heartburn accompanied by nausea or vomiting
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chronic hoarseness or wheezing
If you experience any of the symptoms above, its time to see one of our gastroenterologists. After performing a complete medical exam, your gastroenterologist may recommend that you undergo an upper endoscopy to evaluate your symptoms and see if you have suffered any damage to your esophagus, or provide you with the peace of mind that everything is all right. During your visit, the doctor will examine the lining of your esophagus, stomach and duodenum to determine the cause of your digestive symptoms and the appropriate treatment.
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Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Heartburn in pregnancy may happen because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how your body handles different foods.
Pregnancy hormones can cause your lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into your esophagus. Also, as your baby grows, your enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward. Although its rare, gallstones can also cause heartburn during pregnancy.
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.
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Heartburn Or Heart Attack
Symptoms of severe heartburn and those of a heart attack can often overlap, but you can usually tell you have heartburn if you experience a burning sensation in your upper abdomen and chest, accompanied by a sour taste in your mouth. The most common and similar symptom of heartburn and a heart attack is the chest pain or discomfort. Other symptoms that may be a more likely indication of heart attack are listed below:
- Cold sweat
- Sudden lightheadedness
- Pressure or pain in your chest, arms, neck, jaw or back
With heartburn, you may feel like food is coming up into your mouth. Its a different sensation than vomiting, but severe heartburn can also cause you to vomit. If youre not sure if youre experiencing heartburn or a heart attack, seek immediate medical care.
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Why Is My Heartburn Getting Worse
Those who suffer from frequent heartburn can usually see the pain and discomfort coming. For some, heartburn might be triggered by certain types of food, like dairy, or rich foods that are high in fat. For others, its not necessarily the type of food thats consumed, but the amount of food and even the time of day it is consumed. Regardless of what triggers your heartburn, one thing is for sure, heartburn can be quite debilitating for many, and it just happens to get worse the older you get.
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