Common Triggers For Heartburn
Some people experience heartburn regardless of what they eat. Others find they only get it after eating certain foods or meals. Common food triggers for heartburn include:
- large meals
Smoking cigarettes can also be a trigger for heartburn.
Other things that can increase the risk and the severity of heartburn include:
- being overweight or obese
- taking certain medications
- exercising too soon after eating
High Bmi Is Linked To Heartburn
Carrying excess weight slows foods course though your digestive system, creates more pressure within your abdomen, and loosens the sphincter muscle that keeps your stomach contents out of your esophagus, concludes a study from the Annals of Internal Medicine.
All of those may explain the link between heartburn and a high BMI, the study authors say.
Reduction in weight through lifestyle modifications such as meeting with a registered dietitian, eating less, and moving more may be the best solutions to reduce the pain, Dardarian says.
Why Do I Keep Getting Heartburn Every Day
The actual reason behind getting heartburn regularly and a few simple remedies
As the name suggests, many of us may think that heartburn is related to the heart. When we notice irritation in your esophagus, then we call it heartburn. The esophagus is the tube that forms a connection between our throat and stomach. The stomach acid formed can create a feeling of discomfort around the area of our upper belly.
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A Digestive Problem That Affects Roughly 18 Percent Of The Us Population
More than 60 million people in the United States experience heartburn at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology .
The group also notes that according to some studies, over 15 million Americans have heartburn symptoms every single day.
Heartburn is more common in older people and pregnant women.
In fact, between 17 and 45 percent of pregnant women report episodes of heartburn, according to a study published in September 2015 in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence.
Harvard Medical School notes that according to one survey, 65 percent of people with heartburn experience symptoms both during the day and at night.
Among those who report nighttime symptoms, 75 percent experience trouble sleeping as a result, and 40 percent say that it affects their job performance the next day.
While both occasional and frequent heartburn commonly cause discomfort, only about 6 percent of the population has heartburn that causes ongoing functional problems, according to the ACG.
Eating Spinach Can Potentially Help Reduce Stomach Acidity
âSpinach is rich in calcium, which increases bone health, and itâs highly alkaline, which helps the stomach to reduce acidity levels,â Scabardi said. Spinach is a versatile ingredient that can be added to recipes or smoothies in order to get the most out of its potentially soothing impact on heartburn.
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Why Did I Start Getting Heartburn All Of A Sudden
While tobacco smoking increases your risk of heartburn and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
A chronic digestive disease where the liquid content of the stomach refluxes into the esophagus.
in the long run, alcoholic beverages can trigger heartburn all of a sudden. They both reduce the tonus of your LES, enabling the acid reflux. Smoking also impairs the secretion of bicarbonate-rich saliva, which is meant to protect and clear the oesophagus.
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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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
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Tomatoes And Citrus Fruit
Fruits and vegetables are important in a healthy diet. But certain fruits can cause or worsen GERD symptoms, especially highly acidic fruits. If you have frequent acid reflux, you should reduce or eliminate your intake of the following foods:
- tomato sauce or foods that use it, such as pizza and chili
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Diagnosing H Pylori Infection
If your GP thinks that your symptoms may be due to an infection with H pylori bacteria, you may need to have a test for it, such as:
- a stool antigen test a pea-sized stool sample will be tested for H pylori bacteria
- a breath test
- a blood test a blood sample will be tested for antibodies to H pylori bacteria
Antibiotics and PPIs can affect the results of a urea breath test or a stool antigen test. Therefore, these tests may need to be delayed until two weeks after you last used a PPI, and four weeks after you last used an antibiotic.
More Foods To Soothe Heartburn
Other foods and herbs have long been treatments for reflux and upset stomach. But keep in mind that while they may provide relief for some, âthey wonât work for everyone,â says gastroenterologist Jay Kuemmerle, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University. You might want to try:
- Fennel. This crunchy vegetable with a licorice flavor makes a great addition to salads. Thereâs some evidence that fennel can improve your digestion. It has a pH of 6.9, so itâs low in acid, too.
- Ginger. A long-standing natural treatment for upset stomach, ginger does seem to have benefits for reflux.
- Parsley. That sprig of parsley on your plate isnât only for decoration. Parsley has been a traditional treatment for upset stomach for hundreds of years. And thereâs some evidence that it can help with acid reflux.
- Aloe vera. This is another old treatment for GI problems that seems to help with reflux. You can buy aloe vera as a plant or as a supplement â in capsules, juices, and other forms. It works as a thickener in recipes.Just make sure itÃ¢s free of anthraquinones , which can be irritating to the digestive system.
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What Are Gerd Symptoms
Obviously, heartburn is the main symptom, and its generally worse at night. Not sure if you have GERD? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my heartburn make it difficult to sleep?
- Do I have swallowing problems?
- Do I sometimes spit up food or sour liquid?
- Do I feel a lump in my throat?
- Have I had a chronic cough or laryngitis with my heartburn?
- Do I have chest pain?
Wed like to take a minute to elaborate on one of those symptoms: chest pain. You should always seek immediate medical care if you have chest pain, especially if its accompanied by jaw pain, shortness of breath or arm pain. These could be signs of a heart attack.
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux , also called reflux, is when food and acid from the stomach go back up into the esophagus. This causes an uncomfortable feeling in the chest, often called heartburn.
With GER, reflux happens after nearly every meal and causes noticeable discomfort. After eating, people with GER feel a burning sensation in the chest, neck, and throat.
While its more common in adults, kids, teens, and even babies can have gastroesophageal reflux.
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How Is Heartburn Treated
If you have uncomplicated heartburn from acid reflux, your doctor may prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medicines. These include common antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Tums. Your doctor may also prescribe more powerful medications called proton pump inhibitors, such as Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, and Protonix. These medicines are considered very effective and help heal the esophageal lining. Other drugs like Tagamet and Pepcid reduce acid production, while still others like Reglan help empty the stomach.
Lifestyle modification, such as cutting down on foods that trigger your heartburn, can help. So can avoiding heavy meals, not eating a big meal within two hours of bedtime, and not lying down soon after a meal. Stress reduction may help reduce heartburn incidents. If you smoke, you should quit, as it can be a heartburn trigger.
If you get exercise-induced heartburn, “try to exercise on a relatively empty stomach,” Katz says. Take medication for heartburn before your workout.
If none of those steps help enough, surgery can help. Surgery can be done to strengthen the LES muscle or to repair the hiatal hernia.
Phil Katz, MD, president-elect of the American College of Gastroenterology,clinical professor of medicine, Jefferson Medical College, and chair ofgastroenterology at Albert Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia.
Glenn Eisen, MD, MPH, professor of medicine and director of endoscopy,Oregon Health and Science University, Portland.
What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Oesophagitis
- Heartburn: this is the main symptom. This is a burning feeling which rises from the upper tummy or lower chest up towards the neck.
- Other common symptoms: these include pain in the upper abdomen and chest, feeling sick, an acid taste in the mouth, bloating, belching, indigestion and a burning pain when you swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to come and go and tend to be worse after a meal.
- Some uncommon symptoms: these may occur and if they do, can make the diagnosis difficult, as these symptoms can mimic other conditions. For example:
- A persistent cough, particularly at night, sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe . Asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze can sometimes be due to acid leaking up .
- Other mouth and throat symptoms sometimes occur, such as gum problems, bad breath, sore throat, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
- Severe chest pain develops in some cases .
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When To See A Doctor
If OTC medications arent treating your heartburn, talk to your doctor.
In rare instances when you cant manage heartburn with medications, a doctor may recommend surgery to reduce the risk that acid will reflux up from the stomach.
If you cant tolerate OTC medications for heartburn, your doctor can recommend other options.
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Telling The Difference Between A Heartburn & A Heart Attack
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Many people experience a feeling of burning in their lower esophagusclose to the entrance of their stomachbefore it moves up into the chest. That can be cause for concern, especially since heartburn is also a potential symptom of a heart attack.
If the pain is not relieved shortly after taking antacids, or is accompanied by these symptoms, seek emergency medical care:
- Squeezing/tightening in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Arm pain
Even if it is not a heart attack, it could be angina or another issue that needs to be addressed quickly.
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How Gastroenterologists Help With Gerd
The key to treating your GERD: a board-certified gastroenterologist
If you are suffering from chronic acid reflux, a specialist can help. GERD is a potentially serious condition, and it will not go away on its own. Untreated GERD can lead to inflammation of the esophagus and cause complications like ulcers, strictures and increased risk of Barretts esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer.
A gastroenterologist is a physician with specialized training in managing diseases of the gastrointestinal tract . Our gastroenterologists are fellowship-trained and qualified to diagnose GERD and help develop a meet your treatment plan.
What Is Considered Severe Gerd
Stage 3. Stage 3 is when GERD is considered to be a severe issue that causes a noticeable decrease in the patients quality of life. The damage to the lower esophageal sphincter is severe, and the symptoms being experience by the patient can no longer be properly addressed with prescription medications.
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If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional
That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional. On the other hand, if a person only has occasional bouts of heartburn, he or she may find that taking nonprescription antacids and making some simple changes in lifestyle can resolve the heartburn. If these measures do not help, then a visit to a health care professional is warranted.
If a person has any of these symptoms, with or without heartburn, call a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away:
- Throwing up blood or passing blood in bowel movements
- Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Difficulty swallowing
With proper understanding of the condition and treatment, relief can be attained.
When I have chest pain, how can I tell whether it is my heart or just heartburn?
Sometimes a person cant tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately.
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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.
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Remedies For Heartburn In Teenagers
The following remedies are suggested by doctors to reduce or prevent acid reflux from the stomach. Your teen may require medical treatments if dietary and lifestyle modifications do not resolve it. The remedies to prevent heartburn include :
- Cutting down weight if your teen is overweight or obese
- Eating smaller portions of food, slowy and not overeating
- Eating two to three hours before bedtime
- Getting enough exercise and adequate sleep
- Quitting smoking
- Avoiding foods that cause reflux
You may encourage your teen to consume healthy food and do some exercises to avoid weight gain and to improve overall health. However, there is no approved diet to prevent heartburn, and the triggering foods may vary among individuals.
Back To Basics: What Is Heartburn
Dont be mad if you already know the definition. We just want to educate you and really make sure everyone understands whats going on in their bodies. So give us a few seconds for the basics before we move to the main part .
Despite its name, heartburn has no connection with your heart, even though it can come with symptoms similar to those of a heart attack. It describes the reaction that happens when the muscles around the bottom of your oesophagus weaken or become too relaxed. If your muscles are not strong enough, acid can escape from the stomach into your food pipe and travel all the way up to your throat and mouth.
This process causes that unpleasant heartburn feeling, which can be treated in various ways. However, if youre not used to experiencing it or feel like the symptoms dont seem to be improving, the whole situation can become more worrying.
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What Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn
There are several ways to treat and avoid heartburn with lifestyle changes .
Lose weight and maintain your ideal weight. Excess weight increases the pressure on the stomach, increasing the chance of acid reflux into the esophagus.
Avoid foods that aggravate heartburn and replace them with healthy foods. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn . Consider keeping a food journal to alert you to foods that make your heartburn worse. Decrease the amount of food you eat.
Elevate the head of the bed: If you are experiencing heartburn at night, elevating the head of the bed will decrease reflux.