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Why Am I Having Heartburn Every Night

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Smokers may be tempted to have an after-dinner cigarette, but this decision can be costly in more ways than one. Among the many health problems that smoking can cause, it also encourages heartburn by relaxing the muscle that normally prevents stomach acid from coming back up into the throat.

Caffeine and alcohol also negatively impact the function of the esophageal sphincter.

Signs And Symptoms Of Heartburn In Teens

The prominent symptoms of heartburn are burning sensation in the chest or throat and taste of acid or food in the mouth.

The following symptoms are often associated with heartburn :

  • Sour taste
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Sore throat

Your teen may experience heartburn while lying down or bending after eating. Although heartburn can be associated with a heart attack in adults, it may not apply to teens. This chest discomfort due to acid reflux can be alleviated with some over-the-counter antacids. However, if the problem persists, you may consult a doctor to identify the exact cause and treat it.

What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn

Heartburn is caused by the contents of your stomach moving back up your esophagus , usually due to a weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter . The LES is a muscle at the end of your esophagus that usually tightens to keep your stomach’s contents in your stomach. However, this muscle can become weak or relaxed at the wrong times .

Heartburn symptoms include :

  • a mild to moderate painful sensation right under your breastbone, sometimes radiating into your back or up your neck
  • The taste of acid in your mouth, commonly caused by regurgitation

While anyone can experience heartburn after a heavy meal, experiencing heartburn frequently may mean that it is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease . Often, people use the term heartburn interchangeably with GERD. However, heartburn is a symptom of GERD, not the disorder itself.

GERD symptoms are a bit more severe. GERD is marked by any of these symptoms :

  • Heartburn
  • Sensation of a lump in the throat
  • Hoarseness

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Do You Have Heartburn Only At Night

There are several reasons why a person can have heartburn at night.

The issue with reflux may be that you have excess acid in your stomach at night, but in fact the difficulty started with low acid. This is the most important thing to understand.

The answer to the difficulty of why is there acid reflux at night would then be reframed then to why is there low acid at night.

What Causes Everyday Heartburn Final Words

Why Am I Getting Heartburn At Night

Many different foods, drinks, conditions, and lifestyle habits can cause everyday heartburn.

Hopefully, this article will help you find and address the root cause of your symptoms.

Until then, baking soda may offer a simple, natural solution for heartburn attacks.

Now its your turn!

Do you have troubles with everyday heartburn?

What is common heartburn cause I forgot to mention?

How do you deal with acid reflux?

Let us know in the comments section below.

Make sure that you subscribe to the comments so that you are notified when we reply!Thanks a lot for reading and see you in a comment section!

Regards

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What Are The Treatment Options

If you have heartburn, your provider may prescribe over-the-counter antacids, which may come in a chewable tablet. They might also recommend prescription drugs such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, which reduce how much acid your stomach makes.

Providers may also recommend lifestyle changes, like losing weight and quitting smoking, which can increase stomach acid production. Other changes often include reducing stress, exercising more, avoiding food around bedtime, raising the head of the bed about 6 inches, and eating more high-protein, low-fat meals.

Elevate Your Head In Bed

Keeping your head up is ideal if you experience acid reflux at night, says Huber. Piling up the pillows isn’t the best way to go about this, though, as pillows are liable to shift. An adjustable bed base might be a better option for you if you have acid reflux, says Huber. Adjustable bases make it easy to get into a sleeping position that will help mitigate symptoms.

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Preparing For Your Appointment

To prepare for your appointment, see the topicMaking the Most of Your Appointment.

You can help your doctor diagnose and treat your condition by being prepared to answer the following questions:

  • What are your main symptoms? Report any symptoms, such as abdominal pain, a change in bowel habits, or vomiting.
  • How long have you had heartburn?
  • Have you had this problem before? If so, do you know what caused the problem at that time? How was it treated? How did you respond to that treatment?
  • Have you had any signs of bleeding from your digestive system?
  • Have you had any difficulty swallowing when you eat or drink?
  • How much tobacco do you use? How much alcohol do you drink? How much caffeine do you drink?
  • Has your weight increased or decreased more than 5 lb recently?
  • Have there been any changes in your diet? Are you eating certain foods more often?
  • Have there been changes in your daily schedule, such as when you eat and when you go to bed?
  • Are you taking any nonprescription or prescription medicines? Bring a list of all the medicines you are taking to your appointment.
  • What home treatment measures have you tried? Did they help? Be sure to include lifestyle changes you have made.
  • What nonprescription medicines have you taken or used to treat your heartburn? Did they help?
  • Do you have any health risks?

Remember to take your heartburn symptom record to your doctor visit. Be sure to note any lifestyle changes you have made or nonprescription medicines you use.

Are There Any Tests For Heartburn

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If it is obvious from the symptoms that a person has heartburn, no tests or exams may be necessary. Advice in regard to lifestyle modifications, diet, or medications may begin immediately.

If your health care professional is not sure about the diagnosis, or if he or she is concerned about damage done by chronic heartburn, tests may be ordered. This is true especially if the patient has already been prescribed medications that are not relieving the heartburn.

There is no simple blood test for heartburn. The tests used to diagnose heartburn include the following:

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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.

What Causes Everyday Heartburn Fried And Processed Fatty Foods

In other words, junk food. Many report heartburn symptoms after eating burgers and deep-fried foods.

The mechanism most probably lies is LES relaxation, mediated bycholecystokinin overproduction.

According to WebMD:

A big greasy burger and supersized serving of fries right before bedtime is a good way to fuel the flame of heartburn.

Fatty foods, large portions, and late-night meals are the top three triggers that affect many people with heartburn.

Ill explain the other two triggers shortly.

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Sleep On An Incline And On Your Side

When you sleep on an incline, theres a drastic reduction in acid exposure and acid clearance time . And when you sleep on your side, relief comes more quickly than sleeping on your stomach or back. Sleeping on your left side means fewer reflux episodes, while sleeping on your right side allows your stomach to empty more quickly: this is why many people choose to use a specialized acid reflux pillow.

Currently, the only sleep system that keeps you comfortably on an incline and on your side is a heartburn pillow from MedCline. With its 3-part construction, youll rest in the best sleeping position for reflux that helps alleviate the worst symptoms. Your esophagus will have some time to heal and youll have better rest without experiencing reflux disturbances or heartburn in the morning.

Keep in mind that some incline products like wedge pillows and bed risers only prop you up at an angle without securing you on your side. If you roll onto your back, youre not optimally positioned for reflux relief. Or, if you slide down the bed or off the pillow, you wont have the benefit of gravity to help reduce acid exposure.

Why Do You Get Reflux More At Night

Why Am I Getting Heartburn At Night

You may experience more reflux at night than during the day. The reason for this is gravity. When you sit or stand, gravity helps move the food through your esophagus and into the stomach. When youâre laying down, you lose the effect of gravity on the food traveling through your digestive system. Laying down also prevents gravity from keeping bile and acids from traveling up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Because of this, many people find their heartburn is worse at night.

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Gerd And Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Research has also identified a link between GERD and obstructive sleep apnea , a sleep disorder that involves blockage of the airway that incites pauses in breathing during sleep. Debate exists among experts about whether GERD causes OSA, OSA causes GERD, or if they simply share similar risk factors.

It is possible that GERD affects the airway and ability to breathe normally, causing more apneas during the night. At the same time, people with OSA wake up frequently at night and may then detect GERD symptoms. Lack of sleep from OSA may make the esophagus more susceptible to reflux.

In addition, factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity can increase risk for both GERD and OSA, so the correlation between the conditions may be a result of these factors.

While the exact relationship between GERD and OSA is subject to further research, it is clear that the conditions can occur together and create significant complications for a persons sleep, comfort, and overall health.

Sleeping With Acid Reflux And Heartburn

Given the differences between nighttime and daytime GERD, it makes sense to do your best to find ways to sleep free of acid reflux. Keep these tips in mind as you find the habit that works best for you:

  • Allow yourself more time between eating and going to bed. Try natural remedies for reflux relief.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively, especially right before bed.
  • Talk to your doctor about finding a medication that works for you.
  • Try to avoid sleeping flat on your back or sleeping on your stomach
  • Consider using a MedCline reflux relief system the only system designed for GERD that keeps you on an incline and on your side while you sleep.

Acid reflux can range from a subtle nuisance to intensely painful, but with the right management tips, you can keep your symptoms at bay. Even if youre not experiencing painful symptoms, youll make a positive impact on your physical health and quality of life with these simple lifestyle changes.

References:

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Other Causes Of Morning Heartburn

Although GERD is a common reason for heartburn in the morning, there are other reasons that someone can experience heartburn during this time. Some factors include your activities the night before and lifestyle habits. Other factors include:

  • Having a high stress level
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Wearing tight clothes and belts
  • Pregnancy
  • Acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus
  • Onions
  • Alcoholic beverages

Your doctor can help you create a list of foods to remove and incorporate into your diet that will help treat your GERD symptoms. It is important to work with your doctor, continuing to take your medicineif prescribedand following a plan that will help you have the best outcome regarding your condition.

Do Certain Foods Cause Heartburn

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Certain foods and drinks, such as fried foods, high-fat foods, soft drinks, and tea , increase your likelihood of experiencing heartburn. Eating meals late at night, no matter what theyre composed of, can also increase heartburn and negatively impact sleep as a result.

Drinks that tend to stimulate stomach acid production, such as coffee and alcohol, contribute to the onset of heartburn . Coffee itself may also affect sleep quality. Although it might feel like alcohol helps you fall asleep, alcohol can cause frequent night wakings which disrupt sleep.

Read Also: What To Do For Very Bad Heartburn

What Is Acid Reflux

When you swallow food, it passes from your throat, through your esophagus, and then through an opening in your stomach.

This opening usually closes once the food passes through. If it doesn’t, acid from your stomach may enter through the opening and travel the wrong wayback into your esophagus and to your throat. This is called acid reflux. The opening can occur sporadically after a meal leading to multiple reflux events.

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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Treatment For Heartburn In Teenagers

Your doctor may suggest dietary modifications and lifestyle changes to reduce acid reflux. Chewing sugarless gums after eating and sleeping on the side or with an elevated head position may be useful in some teens. If conservative management fails to resolve heartburn, your teen will have to undergo pharmacological treatments.

Heartburn can be treated with medications depending on the causes. The following medications are used :

Almost all of the following drugs, except prokinetics are available OTC , one or two doses may be taken for acute relief. But a doctors advice should be sought if they are needed more than that not only because they have potential adverse effects but also because their abuse may mask the underlying condition which could be dangerous.

  • Antacids:This medication neutralizes stomach acid, and it is available as Maalox, Alka-Seltzer, Riopan, Mylanta, etc. Seek a doctors advice for dosing since it may cause side effects such as constipation and diarrhea. Also prolonged consumption of antacids for symptom relief is not advisable and treatment of cause is needed to avoid long-term complications of acid reflux.
  • H2 blockers: These drugs decrease the production of stomach acid. Cimetidine , ranitidine , or famotidine are H2 blockers.
  • Proton pump inhibitors : These drugs also reduce stomach acid production. omeprazole , esomeprazole , and pantoprazole are a few examples of PPIs.

Reasons Not To Ignore Heartburn Symptoms

Why am I waking up at 2am every night?

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.

More from Health.com:

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

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Elevate Your Bed Or Your Head

To keep stomach acid down and avoid heartburn symptoms, elevate the head of your bed by raising its legs. As an alternative, Gabbard suggests sleeping propped up on a wedge pillow, which is gently sloped to on an 8-inch incline that properly supports your head and neck. This helps keep nighttime heartburn at bay by preventing stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus.

What Exactly Is Heartburn Anyway

Heartburnor gastroesophageal reflux or acid refluxis a painful burning feeling in your chest or your throat, according to the US National Library of Medicine .

Basically, heartburn happens when your esophagus relaxes too much and stomach acid comes back up into your esophagus, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases . It can be managed by making changes to your diet, like cutting back on coffee and alcohol, or through medications.

Having heartburn every once in a while, like after a spicy meal or taking a nap too soon after eating, is normal but if it occurs more than twice a week for more than a few weeks, it’s time to see a doctorin that case, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic, sometimes damaging form of heartburn.

But GERD isn’t the only issue that is related to heartburn. Many other conditionssome even life-threateningcan mimic the feeling of heartburn. Here, nine other conditions that heartburn could be masquerading asand when to see your doctor about it.

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