Take Control Of Your Heartburn
A muscular ring called the lower esophageal sphincter separates the esophagus from the stomach. Normally, the LES works something like a gate. The muscle relaxes when you swallow, opening the passage between the esophagus and stomach and allowing food to pass into the stomach. When the sphincter tightens, it closes the passage, keeping food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. In people with acid reflux , the LES relaxes when it shouldn’t or becomes weak and doesn’t close tightly. Either problem allows the contents of the stomach to rise up into the esophagus. The LES is controlled by various nerves and hormones. As a result, foods, drugs, and certain emotions such as anxiety or anger can impair its function, causing or worsening acid reflux. The following factors are under your power to change:
To learn more about GERD and heartburn, readControlling Heartburn from Harvard Medical School.
Could The Pill Be Messing With Your Gut
Is this you?; A young woman, who I have been seeing over the years for PCOS , came in struggling with terrible acid reflux.;;She had never had it before and it was even keeping her up at night.; There had been no dramatic diet or lifestyle changes in the past few months.; The only thing different was she had recently started hormonal birth control.; As a naturopathic doctor in New York City specializing in womans menstrual issues, I have seen a number of woman struggle with a variety gastrointestinal issues such as IBS, constipation, and acid reflux as a result of birth control pills.; Now you might be wondering what exactly is the connection between hormonal birth control and your gut. Believe it or not just like your ovaries and uterus respond to estrogen and progesterone, so does your gut.; Why your gut responds so differently to naturally occurring hormones versus their synthetic counterparts found in birth control is that they are not exactly the same and dont behave in exactly the same way. First they are stronger than their natural counterparts. They also have a longer half life meaning that they stay in our bodies longer and will last longer.; Lastly the levels of hormones are kept constant and so is their influence on your digestive tract.;
So how exactly is your hormonal birth control messing with your gut?
Disrupts the Microbiome
Slows Down Bowel Movements
Inflames the Gut
Relaxes the LES
What To Do If You Vomit While On Birth Control
Whether your vomiting had anything to do with your birth control, youll still want to know what to do to ensure its working.
First you should rule out other medical problems, such as the stomach flu. If youre sick, youll want to seek appropriate medical care.
Also keep this advice in mind regarding your next pill:
If youre unable to keep pills down for more than a few days or if theyre causing you to vomit, you should also ask your doctor about additional birth control options.
Here are some tips for avoiding nausea:
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When We Slow Down Or Relax The Muscles Of Gi Motility
Now, here is why this is important and why I show you this illustration. When we slow down or relax the muscles that affect the Motility of the intestines or the emptying of stomach contents, We can develop a bacterial or fungal overgrowth or excessive colonization in the stomach in the upper part of the small intestines or the lower part of the small intestines.
If you are woman who experiences acid reflux after taking the pill or worsening of your acid reflux after taking the pill- I would start thinking about the effects of The pill as it relates to relaxing the LES
NowJust a side note- if you are a woman who experienced acid reflux with any of your pregnancies, this is most likely the culprit. The estrogen from pregnancy was causing the relaxation of this sphincter.
One point to keep in mind and this is very important. SIBO is a secondary condition that develops in the setting of slowed intestinal motility or slowed stomach/gastric emptying- Both of which can be and are caused by The Pill this is the very definition of SIBO!
What Should I Watch For While Using This Medicine
Tell your doctor or health care professional if your pain does not start to get better or gets worse. You may need to take this medicine for several days before your symptoms get better. Finish the full course of tablets prescribed by your doctor or health care professional even if you feel better.
Do not take with aspirin, ibuprofen, or other antiinflammatory medicines unless directed to do so by your health care professional. These can make your condition worse.
Do not smoke cigarettes or drink alcohol. These increase irritation in your stomach and can increase the time it will take for your ulcer to heal.
If you get black, tarry stools or vomit up what looks like coffee grounds, call your doctor or health care professional right away. You may have a bleeding ulcer.
This medicine may cause a decrease in vitamin B12. You should make sure that you get enough vitamin B12 while you are taking this medicine. Discuss the foods you eat and the vitamins you take with your health care professional.
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Estrogen Obesity And Acid Reflux
Obesity is associated with an increased risk of acid reflux. Being overweight is believed to contribute to reflux in a number of different ways. The effect of extra body fat on estrogen levels might be one of them. Circulating estrogen levels tend to be higher in overweight and obese females, especially after menopause. If such elevation causes a loosening of the LES, women with a higher body mass index may be at greater risk for developing acid reflux for a number of reasons. Maintaining a healthy BMI can help avoid this.
- Obesity is associated with an increased risk of acid reflux.
- If such elevation causes a loosening of the LES, women with a higher body mass index may be at greater risk for developing acid reflux for a number of reasons.
What Birth Control Will Not Cause Acid Reflux
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Mood Swings & Anxiety After Stopping Birth Control
Let’s not forget that for as long as you’re on the birth control pill, your brain and your ovaries aren’t talking, so it’s to be expected when you ditch that pill that they’re going to take some time to come back online and start communicating again. And as they start talking again, there may be some ups and downs in your mood. This could result in symptoms of anxiety after stopping birth control.
Your body has been dealing with a combination of inflammation, blocked ovulation and nutrient depletionsany one of which can lead to mood issues.
Ive seen women in my clinical practice have symptoms that vary from anxiety and debilitating panic attacks to feeling depressed and falling out of love with their life all while on the pill.
It might feel scary to come off the pill, but listen, you can do a hell of a lot more for your mood off the pill than you can on the pill. For however long you’re on it, it’s depleting nutrients, creating inflammation and doing a whole lot of things that are going to mess with your mood.
I recommend women work with a counselor or mental health specialist if they are experience extreme ups and downs with their mood and anxiety after stopping birth control. Leveraging a mental health expert alongside a Naturopathic or Functional Medicine Doctor can help you get ample support in breaking up with these hormones and rediscovering you off of hormones.
How Should I Use This Medicine
Take this medicine by mouth. Follow the directions on the prescription label. Swallow the tablets with a drink of water. If you only take this medicine once a day take it at bedtime. Take your doses at regular intervals. Do not take your medicine more often than directed.
Talk to your pediatrician regarding the use of this medicine in children. Special care may be needed.
Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.
NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.
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Studies Show Estrogen Slows Down Intestinal Contractility Resulting In Slower Transit Time
Studies show Estrogen slows down intestinal contractility resulting in slower transit time and slower transit time allows bacteria to accumulate. In this study,;it was found that 32 % of 1,657 women who started taking oral contraceptive pills discontinued them within six months;;46 % stopped taking the pill due to side effects.;
Estrogen Hormone Replacement Therapy And Acid Reflux
In hormone replacement therapy, estrogen, along with other hormones, is given during menopause or afterward. Such treatments can help minimize symptoms like hot flashes or vaginal dryness. It also helps prevent bone loss, which can occur due to the sharp drop in estrogen after menopause. Unfortunately, the supplemental estrogen received when undergoing hormone replacement therapy, along with another hormone called progesterone, may also lead to acid reflux. Some research suggests that this may be due to relaxation of the LES, though other mechanisms are possible. According to a 2008 study in the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” the risk of GERD symptoms increased with the dose and the duration of estrogen use.
- In hormone replacement therapy, estrogen, along with other hormones, is given during menopause or afterward.
- It also helps prevent bone loss, which can occur due to the sharp drop in estrogen after menopause.
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Why Does Birth Control Cause Nausea
First of all, its important to state that not all forms of birth control cause nausea. If you and your partner use condoms, a diaphragm, a cervical cap or another non-hormonal method such as the birth control sponge, theres little to no risk of this type of birth control causing nausea.;
Other non-hormonal methods of birth control, like withdrawal or abstinence are also not linked to nausea.;
Instead, nausea mostly occurs as a side effect of certain forms of hormonal birth control. These include the birth control pill, the patch, the vaginal ring, the Depo-Provera® shot and the hormonal IUD.;
Nausea may occur with the birth control implant, but its worth noting that its typically a side effect experienced during or immediately following insertion and is not a long-term issue.;
Nausea from birth control is typically caused by ethinyl estradiol an estrogen hormone thats found in the combination pill, patch and ring.;
Estrogen can irritate the lining of your stomach, causing you to feel nauseous. When you start to use a form of birth control that contains estrogen, such as the combined pill, the increase in estrogen can trigger this stomach irritation and make you feel queasy.
Some progestin hormones used in the birth control pill, patch, ring and other forms of hormonal contraception may also contribute to nausea.;
As a result of this, systemic side effects such as nausea and vomiting were relatively common with early birth control pills.
Think Of The Ileocecal Valve Like A Trap Door
Think of the Ileocecal valve like a trap door- but it opens to allow food to pass from the small intestines into the large intestines and then it closes. But when it stays open or develops high pressure because of constipation, bloating or because we have slowed intestinal motility or because we have slowed gastric emptying . Bacteria will colonize in the small intestines where they dont belong.
If you are taking The Pill Estrogen Replacement therapy, using a hormonal IUD, Patch or ring or in the past have had fertility shots this can affect gastric motility, gastric emptying, dysbiosis, leading to the symptoms of constipation, bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, and SIBO
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Side Effects Of Estrogen And Acid Reflux
The use of estrogen, whether in hormone replacement therapy or birth control, can lead to many side effects, including nausea and vomiting, and some of these symptoms are similar to those associated with acid reflux. An increase in any of these symptoms may be serious and should not automatically be attributed to heartburn. In addition, long-term use of estrogen can place a person at an increased risk for blood clots, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer. Thus, it is very important for people to report any symptoms to their medical provider.
- The use of estrogen, whether in hormone replacement therapy or birth control, can lead to many side effects, including nausea and vomiting, and some of these symptoms are similar to those associated with acid reflux.
- In addition, long-term use of estrogen can place a person at an increased risk for blood clots, heart disease, stroke and some forms of cancer.
Common Medications That Can Irritate The Esophagus Or Stomach
The lining of the stomach and the esophagus are delicate. It doesnt take much for certain medications, even in small amounts, to cause irritation. Among these are:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs taken orally, such as aspirin, ibuprofen , naproxen , and indomethacin .
- Antibiotics, such as tetracycline and clindamycin.
- Dietary supplements, such as iron and potassium.
- Medications used to treat osteoporosis and similar diseases, including bisphosphonates taken orally such as alendronate , ibandronate , and risedronate .
Many of these medications cause problems because they inhibit the production of mucus and other substances that protect the stomach lining. This may lead to chronic heartburn and other digestive issues if left untreated.
If you still need to take an NSAID to treat pain or inflammation, but are worried about adverse side effects, try taking the drug after a meal or with a full glass of water. The Hospital for Special Surgery also suggests that you limit your alcohol intake while taking these medications.
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Nausea And The Birth Control Pill
Most birth control pills are combination pills made up of two hormones: estrogen and progesterone. The hormones work together to stop the release of an egg during your monthly cycle. The pill also helps thicken cervical mucus, which makes it hard for sperm to reach the egg. Thatâs what prevents pregnancy.
But one of the hormones that prevents pregnancy can cause you to feel nauseated and dizzy, especially during your first 3 months of taking the pill.
Medications That Can Cause Acid Reflux Rebound
Even some anti-heartburn medications can lead to an increase in stomach acid. This phenomenon, which is called acid rebound, is the bodys attempt to override an acid suppressing medication. In other words, your stomach may react to an acid suppressant by producing even more acid. This can cause very painful heartburn symptoms.
Acid rebound most often occurs when you take a medication called a proton pump inhibitor for a few weeks or longer and then stop. According to Medsafe, the New Zealand Medicines and Medical Devices Safety Authority, the withdrawal from PPIs can cause severe heartburn symptoms. Medications that may cause acid rebound include:
- Omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate
Some studies have suggested that OTC antacids, such as Tums , can also increase the stomachs secretion of acid. In this case, acid rebound may occur because the stomach works to replace the acid that was just neutralized.
If you want to stop taking PPIs or OTC antacids, talk to your doctor about alternatives. You may first need to wean yourself off the medication instead of going cold turkey. From there, your doctor might suggest lifestyle changes and alternative medicines, such as an H2 blocker like famotidine or a prokinetic agent.
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Vomiting And The Birth Control Pill
If you throw up after taking the birth control pill, you may need to take a second dose to make sure youre protected from pregnancy.
Whether or not you need to take another pill depends on the total amount of time thats passed between you taking the pill and vomiting:
- If you took the pill more than two hours before vomiting, youve likely already absorbed the hormones in the pill and do not need to take a second dose.
- If you took the pill less than two hours before vomiting, youll need to take another pill to make sure youre protected.;
If youre currently taking the inactive pills and throw up after taking your birth control pill, you do not need to take an extra pill to stay protected.;
If you have ongoing nausea that makes it difficult to take your birth control pill without vomiting, talk to your healthcare provider; about changing to a form of birth control thats more suitable for you.;