Pharmacy First Scotland: Indigestion Treatment From Your Pharmacy
Most people will not need to seek medical advice for their indigestion. However, your pharmacist may advise you see your GP if you have recurring indigestion and any of the following apply:
- you are 55 years old or over
- you have lost a lot of weight without meaning to
- you have increasing difficulty swallowing
- you have persistent vomiting
- you have a lump in your stomach
- you have blood in your vomit or blood in your stools
An endoscopy is a procedure where the inside of the body is examined using an endoscope .
Severe indigestion can cause long-term problems with parts of your digestive tract, such as scarring of the oesophagus or the passage from your stomach. Read more about the possible complications of severe indigestion.
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.
Heartburn: Nothing To Do With The Heart
Occasional heartburn is among the commonest of symptoms. Ask any group of adults if they have had heartburn in the last year, and a third will put up their hands.
There are a number of things you can do to avoid simple heartburn that occurs now and then.
It is important to distinguish simple heartburn from long-standing heartburn that keeps recurring. This could be a sign of an underlying condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease .
If the heartburn is frequent, or persistent its important to see a doctor so that you receive an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment.
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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.
Can Acid Reflux Cause Gas
On average, healthy individuals pass gas 13 to 21 times a day. This gas is expelled through the mouth or anus . Gas accumulates in the digestive tract through eating or bacterial fermentation.
As digestive bacteria break down food, little pockets of air are created in the process. Because the bacteria in each human body is different, some people may be more tolerant of digesting certain food compared to other people.
How Are Acid Reflux and Gas Related
Excessive gas and acid reflux may exist simultaneously. A patient experiencing excessive flatulence may also experience bloating from acid reflux. While acid reflux does not directly cause gas, doctors believe that the two may be interlinked.
This is because certain conditions that trigger acid reflux can also trigger gassiness. Individuals who eat spicy and citrusy foods may increase their acidity levels while also triggering gassiness. Alleviating gassiness could coincidentally improve acid reflux symptoms because the circumstances that create these conditions tend to be similar.
Learn more about what food to avoid in this article: What Is the Best Breakfast for Acid Reflux Sufferers?
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Do Certain Activities Cause Heartburn
High-impact sports, such as running, rowing, high intensity interval training, and powerlifting, as well as activities that are done while the body is inverted or flat, like swimming or yoga, can cause heartburn or make it worse . Heartburn is caused by a loosening of the lower esophageal muscle. Exercises that push the stomach or keep the body from being upright may contribute to heartburn and GERD.
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy. If you struggle with heartburn, opt for lower impact, upright activities, like walking, light jogging or easy cycling. If you prefer to engage in high-intensity workouts, it could help to adjust when you eat. Try to eat a few hours before your workout to prevent heartburn.
Can Acid Reflux Cause Asthma
Patients with asthma are known to experience GERD and are likelier to develop acid reflux than people without asthma. This is because acid reflux can cause damage to the esophagus, leading to chronic coughing.
Overproduction of acid and constant exposure to stomach contents could also compromise the lungs, making it more susceptible to irritants like dust.
Developing Asthma Due to GERD
Its not just asthmatic patients who can be affected by GERD. Turns out that patients who are non-asthmatic can have respiratory problems due to reflux symptoms.
Wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty are tell-tale signs of asthma. Commonly diagnosed in childhood, adults can also develop asthma late in their lives due to a variety of reasons. Some patients can develop asthmatic symptoms while others go on to experience chronic asthma symptoms and eventually develop adult asthma.
Asthma can be caused by a variety of stimuli including exposure to allergens and persistent flu. Doctors tend to identify acid reflux, or GERD in particular, as the cause for asthma when:
- Asthma symptoms worsen after a meal
- Asthma begins during adulthood, after the patient experiences reflux symptoms
- Asthma doesnt get better with traditional asthma treatments
Is It Always Serious?
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What Does Gerd Pain Feel Like
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.
Is Heartburn A Symptom Of A Heart Attack
Heartburn is often a symptom of GERD, but it can also be a symptom of a heart attack. In fact, heart attacks can cause other symptoms that usually happen with GERD, such as nausea, burping, and vomiting. In this case, the symptoms usually do not occur by themselves and will come with other symptoms that point to a more serious cause.
Can Heartburn Cause Back Pain
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.
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 :
- Sensation of a lump in the throat
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Heartburn That Often Occurs In The Morning
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Pregnancy causes an increased pressure in the abdominal area and cavity. This will greatly affect the functioning of the esophagus, leading to reflux.
8. Certain diseases
- Hiatal hernia. This condition occurs when a part of the stomach lies on the chest instead of the abdominal area. This affects the functioning of the esophagus, making it a risk factor for heartburn.
- Esophageal diseases. These include sarcoidosis and scleroderma. The conditions are some of the primary diseases of the esophagus that can lead to heartburn symptoms.
How Can I Deal With Heartburn During Pregnancy
I’m in my second trimester. No matter what I eat, I get heartburn. Is this normal? If so, what can I do to feel better? Cari
Heartburn, despite its name, has nothing to do with the heart. It’s a burning feeling in the throat and chest when the stomach’s contents move back up into the esophagus .
Heartburn is common during pregnancy. Pregnancy hormones can make the valve at the entrance to the stomach relax so that it doesn’t close as it should. This lets acidic stomach contents move up into the esophagus, a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux , or acid reflux. It can get worse later in pregnancy when the growing uterus presses up on the stomach.
To help ease heartburn pain:
- Skip foods and drinks that can make it worse, such as citrus spicy, fatty foods caffeine and carbonated drinks.
- Eat several small meals throughout the day.
- Take your time when eating.
- Drink liquids between not during meals.
- Avoid eating or drinking for 3 hours before bedtime.
- Resist the urge to lie down after meals.
- Raise your head when you sleep.
- Talk to your doctor about medicines that are safe to take for heartburn during pregnancy.
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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.
When In Doubt Check It Out: Heartburn Vs Heart Attack
Let’s say you’re at the dinner table. You’ve just chowed down on a massive plate of spaghetti and you feel a burning sensation in your chest. The telltale signs of heartburn, right? You take an antacid and hope it goes away. Consider this, though: There’s a chance the pain in your chest is actually the sign of a heart angina or even a heart attack.
In other words, ignoring chest pain can sometimes be fatal. It may represent the first sign of several life-threatening conditions such as a heart attack, a tear in the aorta or a blood clot in the lungs, says Hector Lozano, MD, cardiologist at AdventHealth.
When it comes to heartburn and heart attacks, it is tricky. Both can be in the middle of the chest or left side of the chest, both can radiate to the left arm and left shoulder, explains Ahmad Idris, MD, gastroenterologist and internal medicine specialist, also at AdventHealth.
Heartburn sensation is different than having chest pain, Dr. Idris adds. Heartburn by itself is indicative of acid reflux disease. On the other hand, chest pain can be related to either reflux disease or heart disease. Chest pain with indigestion sensation in some patients especially diabetics can be a sign of heart disease sometimes.
If you suffer from heartburn regularly, you probably know the symptoms. But if you rarely have heartburn and suddenly feel pain, you need to get help.
Signs that are more likely to signal a heart attack
Signs that are more likely to signal heartburn
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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.
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.
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When In Doubt Check It Out
If youre not sure if its heartburn or your heart, seek medical attention right away. Its very easy to confuse the two issues so let a doctor rule out the most severe possibility. This is an especially important message for women.
Women are more likely to call help for someone else but not themselves, Bauman said. In fact, 81 percent of women said they would call 911 for someone else showing signs of a heart attack but only 65 percent would call for themselves, according to a special report in Circulation.
She added: I always tell people if youre concerned and not sure if its your heart, its better to err on the side of checking it out and having someone tell you its not a heart attack.
Severe Heartburn With Back Pain
Severe heartburn is a more serious condition that occurs when reflux and related symptoms are more frequent.
We can consider severe heartburn with back pain as a more concerning condition, even though the presence of back pain is not typical.
When acid reflux goes untreated for a long time, all its related symptoms become more persistent and begin to show up more frequently.
Things are very similar to what happens for GERD and back pain: in fact, more symptoms make the affected person more vulnerable to stress, anxiety, and he/she can make bad decisions in the matter of eating habits and lifestyle.
Treating acid reflux and related symptoms in the most seamless way, by eating the right foods, adopting the proper lifestyle, and then include in your diet some natural remedies that are proven to work is essential to avoid those cascades of events that can lead to the appearance of other symptoms.
In the paragraph below you can find some valuable advice.
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Heartburn Or Heart Attack
The symptoms of heartburn may mimic those of angina or a heart attack . If you’re uncertain, don’t hesitate to get to an emergency room for an evaluation as soon as possible.
Tightness, pressure, squeezing, stabbing, or dull pain, most often in the center of the chest
Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, or arms
Irregular or rapid heartbeat
Cold sweat or clammy skin
Lightheadedness, weakness, or dizziness
Nausea, indigestion, and sometimes vomiting
The appearance of symptoms with physical exertion or extreme stress
Burning chest pain that begins at the breastbone
Pain that moves up toward your throat but doesn’t typically radiate to your shoulders, neck, or arms
Sensation that food is coming back into your mouth
Bitter or acidic taste at the back of your throat
Pain that worsens when you lie down or bend over
The appearance of symptoms after a large or spicy meal