HomeExclusiveWhy Do I Have Really Bad Heartburn

Why Do I Have Really Bad Heartburn

Checklist Of Foods To Avoid In Your Daily Diet

Why do I get bad acid reflux? | GERD | Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

I have mentioned earlier certain foods will alleviate the pregnancy symptoms indigestion and heartburn. The same sort of food which causes indigestion causes heartburn too.

Unfortunately, pregnancy heartburn is the worst in the last trimester. So, the best way is to completely staying away from those foods even if it is your favorite.

The list is as follows:

  • Chocolates
  • Caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Tomato and store bought tomato products
  • Pickles
  • Large quantities of water while eating

How Good Gut Bacteria Loss From Antibiotic Use Causes Heartburn

How can the lack of good bacteria from the use of antibiotics lead to acid reflux symptoms like heartburn? When good bacteria in the digestive system are killed by antibiotics, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can lead to excessive gas, bloating, belching, reduced stomach acid, and constipation. All of which can lead to heartburn.

Antibiotics Heartburn from Gas and Bloating

Bad bacteria produce hydrogen and methane gas causing an increase in abdominal pressure.

This increase in abdominal pressure will weaken the lower esophageal sphincter prohibiting it from closing tightly enough to keep stomach acid from refluxing into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the base of the esophagus that opens as food travels to the stomach and closes to keep acid reflux from occurring.

The gas produced by bad bacteria not only causes abdominal pressure. It can lead to belching. Belching will help lower abdominal pressure, but it can also force stomach acid through the LES into the esophagus.

Antibiotics Heartburn from Reduced Stomach Acid

An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the digestive system will cause a reduction in stomach acid. This initially sounds great to those suffering from acid reflux symptoms like heartburn, however, stomach acid actually triggers the LES to close. If the LES doesnt close tightly enough, acid reflux can occur.

Constipation After Discontinuation of Antibiotics Can Lead to Heartburn

Why does constipation occur after discontinuing antibiotics?

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.

Recommended Reading: Why Do I Get Really Bad Heartburn At Night

Causes Of Antibiotic Pill

Numerous issues can lead to esophagitis through extended contact with antibiotic pills.2

Antibiotic Causticity

The causticity of antibiotic pills can cause injury if pills remain in contact with the lining of the esophagus.

Posture

Poor posture can cause pills to get stuck in the esophagus.

Dry Mouth

Conditions or medication that lead to decreased amounts of saliva causing dry mouth can cause pills to get stuck in the esophagus when swallowed.

Number of Pills Swallowed

Taking a number of pills at the same time can cause them to get stuck in the esophagus.

Antibiotic Pill Size

Larger antibiotic pills can potentially get stuck when swallowing.

Lack of Water

Not drinking enough water when swallowing pills can cause them to get stuck in the esophagus.

Esophageal Motility Disorder

Esophageal motility disorders make swallowing both solids and liquids difficult.

Esophageal Strictures

Repeated exposure to refluxed acid in patients with GERD can form a ring of scar tissue called an esophageal stricture. Esophageal strictures make swallowing difficult allowing the prolonged contact of antibiotic pills with the lining of the esophagus.

Cardiomegaly

Cardiomegaly is the enlargement of the heart. When the left atrium is enlarged, it can compress the esophagus causing swallowing issues.

Age

The muscles weaken with age. This includes the muscle in the esophagus and LES. The weakening of these muscles can make swallowing pills more difficult and lend to the reflux of medication.

Your Water May Need To Be Filtered To Prevent Heartburn

  • Water isnt made up of just water depending on where you get your water from, it may contain several minerals that have either been added to it or that are found there naturally. Unfortunately, it may also contain chemicals as well as other pollutants and bacteria. Some people are very sensitive to the substances found in water, and if this is true of you, then you may find your bodyand especially your digestive systemresponding badly to the water you drink. This could lead to bloating and indigestion both.

Read Also: What Can Help With Heartburn And Indigestion

Does Chocolate Aggravate Acid Reflux

This specific topic is very important.

Weve already considered the importance of chocolate components in promoting reflux.

With continued consumption, things progressively worsen.

However, theres another fact to consider, which is even worse.

In fact, it has been noted that the adverse effect of chocolate on the LES is not reversed by gastric alkalinization.

This is so important because it means that working on the acidity parameter may not work.

The scientific community already agrees on the fact that acid is not the main factor for reflux, and in this case, we read that working on the pH of stomach content does not solve the issue caused by chocolate intake.

In the long run, this definitely makes your acid reflux worse.

Thats why a good action of prevention, with proper eating habits and lifestyle, is simply essential.

Also Check: Best Heartburn Medicine On The Market

Difficulty Swallowing And Sore Throat

If stomach acids go all the way up your esophagus, they can reach the back of your throat. This condition is called laryngopharyngeal reflux . Besides heartburn, you might feel symptoms like a in your throat or a . You may constantly need to clear your throat or have trouble swallowing. Lifestyle changes can usually correct LPR. Try eating a bland diet and stop eating three hours before bed. If you are overweight, losing weight may help relieve pressure on your stomach. Also skip caffeine, alcohol and cigarettes.

You May Like: How Do I Know I Have Heartburn

What Causes Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn occurs when the valve between the stomach and the esophagus are unable to prevent stomach acid from passing back into the esophagus. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes the valve to relax, which can increase the frequency of heartburn. This allows stomach acid to pass into the esophagus and irritate the lining.Heartburn and indigestion are more common during the third trimester because the growing uterus puts pressure on the intestines and the stomach. The pressure on the stomach may also push contents back up into the esophagus.

How Do Acid Blockers Work To Treat Heartburn

How to fix Heartburn (GERD) at Night. Acid Reflux at Night Causes

Products like Pepcid AC® are called histamine H2 blockers, or acid blockers. Acid blockers reduce the production of stomach acid. They relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. Always follow the directions on the packaging or talk to your healthcare provider about how to take this medication. Acid blockers you can buy without a prescription include:

  • Pepcid AC®.
  • Tagamet HB®.

Take your acid blocker medicine regularly for as long as directed by your healthcare provider, even if you do not have any pain or if your symptoms get better.

Stronger acid blockers are prescription medications. These can be used to block stomach acid, treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD. They work by reducing the production of stomach acid. Your healthcare provider will give you a specific prescription for this type of acid blocker.

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently reported elevated levels of a possible carcinogen, NDMA, in the drugs ranitidine and nizatidine . You should speak to your healthcare provider if you are taking one these medications.

Recommended Reading: What Makes You Get Heartburn

What To Do If Heartburn Is Severe Or Frequent

For mild, occasional heartburn, over-the-counter medications such as antacids and histamine blockers can help relieve symptoms. Always read the product label before taking an antacid or histamine blocker and never take a larger dose or take doses more frequently than directed.

If you’re experiencing heartburn frequently, consult your doctor before taking heartburn medications regularly since these drugs can interfere with many other medications and affect underlying health conditions you may have.

If you have severe heartburn, as well as if it persists or worsens after taking steps to relieve it, consult your doctor. In some cases, heartburn can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease , or possibly a side effect of a medication you’re taking.

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.

Don’t Miss: Best Food For Acid Reflux And Heartburn

Why You Should Never Ignore Gerd

After several years, untreated GERD erodes the lining of the esophagus, and as a protective mechanism, the esophagus starts to create a new lining with cells that resemble the makeup of the intestine. At this stage, GERD has progressed into a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s esophagus, bringing with it a 30-fold increased risk of eventually developing esophageal cancer.

Esophageal cancer is deadly — only about 15% of people are still alive five years after being diagnosed, according to the American Cancer Society. And it’s more common among individuals who have long suffered from GERD that is not properly treated.

According to a study published in TheNew England Journal of Medicine, cancer of the esophagus was nearly eight times as likely among people who suffered from heartburn at least once a week, and almost 44 times as likely in those who had severe, frequent heartburn for more than 20 years. Almost all of these people had only sporadic treatment for GERD, not long-term treatment.

If you have GERD, and you are having any of these symptoms, tell your doctor right away:

  • If difficulty swallowing or a feeling like food is trapped behind the breastbone becomes a new symptom of your GERD.
  • If you vomit blood or have black, tarry bowel movements.
  • If you have the sensation of acid reflux into the windpipe causing shortness of breath, coughing, or hoarseness.
  • If you lose weight unexpectedly or without trying.

Show Sources

Should I Go To Er For Heartburn

Normally, heartburn doesnt need treatment in the ER. Over the counter remedies, such as antacids, are available to calm the burning effect and reduce the symptoms. You should seek medical advice, however, if the symptoms recur frequently or if you get any of the following additional symptoms: Breathing difficulties.

Recommended Reading: What Foods Not To Eat With Heartburn

Elevate Your Head In Bed

If it is too late to avoid the heartburn, you can combat it before it gets painful. Heartburn can last for a few hours, especially if you make the mistake of laying down right away. If you need to get in bed because your heartburn is truly making things unbearable, do not lay flat. It will almost certainly make you feel worse in the long run. Instead, you need to lay with your head elevated.

Studies have proven that some people who elevated their head while sleeping or laying down have significantly decreased the length or discomfort of their heartburn symptoms. Laying like this prevents stomach acid from leaking into the esophagus, which can happen when using a standard pillow.

Serious Side Effects Of Heartburn

Even if its not a heart attack, heartburn can be serious. Dangerous side effects and complications can result if you dont seek treatment. Some common side effects include:

  • Awaking from sleep, especially if youve eaten within two hours of going to bed
  • Esophageal cancer: if Barretts esophagus is not treated
  • Esophagus erosion: scarring, ulcers and narrowing of the tube
  • Barretts esophagus: precancerous condition from chronic acid reflux
  • Esophageal strictures and dysphagia: swallowing difficulties due to esophagus damage

Also Check: How To Reduce Heartburn Immediately

When Should You Go To An Er For Acid Reflux

Some people who experience acid reflux may think that other symptoms that might occur at the same time as reflux are simply part of the bodys reflux response. However, symptoms that go beyond regular heartburn are probably not just incidental and could be a sign of something more serious.

These symptoms accompanying acid reflux should always mean a trip to the emergency room:

  • Feeling confused or sudden weakness
  • When the reflux moves/relocates from how you typically experience it
  • Fainting/loss of consciousness, even briefly
  • Vomit that has blood in it or is black
  • Stool that is black and/or accompanied by blood

Things To Stop Doing If You Have Gerd

Heartburn, Acid Reflux, GERD-Mayo Clinic

When you suffer from chronic heartburn that can be associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease , this condition can affect your entire life. It may be necessary to stop eating some of your favorite foods. The heartburn may interfere with your sleep. It may even interfere with your availability to work well.

Recommended Reading: What Food Can I Eat To Get Rid Of Heartburn

Ways To Help Your Heartburn

Fortunately, there are things acid reflux patients can do to help prevent and minimize breakthrough symptoms.

Take your medication as prescribed. If you dont know how and when to take it, call your doctor for specific instructions.

Dont hit the sack on a full belly. Lying down within three to four hours of consuming a large meal, particularly a late-evening feast, could spell trouble. “My big push is to keep the patients away from late eating, large meals and recumbency,” Dr. Johnson says. Such a triple threat may pose too large of an insult on the body, one that even PPIsthe gold standard in GERD treatmentcant handle. For nighttime symptoms , Dr. Johnson suggests elevating the head of the bed with some blocks or using a bed wedge to elevate the upper torso.

Heartburn: A Symptom Of Gerd

More than 15 million Americans, usually adults but also children, have GERD. Many of these people deal with heartburn, its most common symptom, two or more times a week. The root cause of the disease is a faulty valve between the esophagus and the stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter, that relaxes more often than it should. The result is that juice from the stomach — made up of acid, digestive enzymes, and other unpleasant substances — sneaks back up into the esophagus and damages its lining.

Why this happens isn’t always clear, but doctors do know that the valve may stop working properly if a person:

  • Is overweight. Extra weight puts pressure on the valve, causing it to relax.
  • Is pregnant. Hormones play a role in relaxing the valve, and the growing fetus puts pressure on the stomach.
  • Has a hiatal hernia. This prevents the muscle wall between the chest and the stomach from supporting the valve as it should.

GERD can be just heartburn or heartburn plus other symptoms, including excessive clearing of the throat, problems swallowing, the feeling that food is stuck in your throat, burning in the mouth, and burning pain in the chest. Untreated, GERD can lead to serious health problems, so it needs to be taken seriously and managed with both medication and smart lifestyle choices, starting with maintaining a healthy weight.

Recommended Reading: Waking Up With Heartburn In The Middle Of The Night

How Does The Doctor Evaluate Heartburn

Your doctor may order several different tests and take the following steps to evaluate persistent heartburn that hasn’t gone away even after you modify factors such as your diet:

  • Your doctor may ask for an EKG to help rule out heart-related problems.
  • Your doctor will perform an examination to see if you have any abdominal mass or a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach and the LES move above the diaphragm.
  • Your doctor will check your blood pressure.
  • Your doctor will take a careful medical history to see if medications are causing the problem.
  • Your doctor may ask for a gastric emptying study to see how fast food goes out of your stomach or a test to show how well the esophagus and the LES work.
  • Your doctor may refer you for an upper endoscopy. In this test, a flexible tube with a tiny camera helps the doctor assess the esophagus and look for damage or abnormalities.

What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn

  • Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
  • Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
  • Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
  • If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.

Also Check: Why Does Water Cause Heartburn