Other Ways To Reduce Heartburn And Acid Reflux
- Eat smaller meals
- Do not lie down too soon after eating
- Do not smoke
- Take home half of the meal from the restaurant
- Record what you eat and drank on a night you had heartburn to discover your own triggers.
Talk to one of our gastroenterologists in Downers Grove and Hinsdale about what else can be done to limit your heartburn and acid reflux.
Are You Popping Tums Like Candy Why This May Be Detrimental To Your Health
“What do you do if you have heartburn or indigestion?”
“Take Tums, of course.”
Well, it’s time to think twice about this answer.
Taking Tums or other antacids for heartburn has become second nature. It has become the adult version of smarties, yes those small little candy tablets you used to eat as a child and pretend they were medicine. Oh, how the times have changed: now we use medicine like it’s candy.
Heartburn usually occurs when a muscle, called the lower esophageal spincture, does not close completely, allowing stomach contents to regurgitated from the stomach into the esophagus.This muscle acts like a valve, opening to allow food from the esophagus into the stomach, and closing to prevent the backflow of contents from the stomach into the esophagus, but with every valve comes the potential for leaks, and in this case heartburn. Part of the contents regurgitated include gastric acid , which is usually the main culprit behind that burning sensation. It is this acid that can lead to corrossion and excessive inflammtion, after all as it’s name implies it is an acid.
Now that we went over some of the basic physiology and mechanisms of action involved in heartburn, lets talk about some risk factors that can be causing or worsening symptoms.
2. Smoking. Once again is it not the easiest to stop smoking, but it is one of the best things that you can do for acid reflux, amongst many other health concerns.
5. Hernias and pregnancy are also common causes of heartburn.
Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, sodium bicarbonate may cause some unwanted effects. Although the following side effects occur very rarely when this medicine is taken as recommended, they may be more likely to occur if it is taken: in large doses, for a long time, or by patients with kidney disease.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking sodium bicarbonate:
- Frequent urge to urinate
- swelling of feet or lower legs
- unpleasant taste
- unusual tiredness or weakness
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Can Drinking Too Much Water Cause Acid Reflux
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Side Effects Of Ingesting Too Much Salt
Sodium chloride, or table salt, supplies the electrolyte sodium to your diet. This mineral is essential for maintaining fluid balance within your cells, for contracting your muscles and for transmitting nerve impulses. It also plays a critical role in helping your digestive system absorb nutrients. Although you need a significant intake of sodium each day up to 1,500 milligrams, or the amount contained in 3 grams of salt most Americans consume far more than this, and ingesting too much salt can lead to adverse side effects.
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Other Ways To Relieve Heartburn
In addition to removing foods from your diet that may cause heartburn, there are other ways to tame heartburn.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity is associated with GERD. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight may decrease GERD symptoms like heartburn (
There are many other ways to improve and manage symptoms of GERD.
If you have heartburn, its best to develop a treatment plan with a healthcare professional.
There are many other methods you can use to manage GERD symptoms. A healthcare professional can help come up with a treatment plan that works best for you.
The Holistic Medicine Approach: Pick The Right Salt
Amidst this confusion, the holistic medicine take allows you to retain both taste and health.
Acid reflux is caused not by too much acid, but often by not enough acid in the right place. Poor stomach acid production is often the real cause of acid reflux, since this makes the LES loose and allows whatever little acid is there in the stomach to slosh back up the food pipe and burn us.
Salt has a vital role to play in digestion, since it has the chemical chloride in it. It is the stuff that stomach acid or hydrochloric acid is made of. So doctors of naturopathic and holistic medicine recommend that everyone, including those who suffer from acid reflux, to use Himalayan salt or Pink Salt or Sea Salt, that is unprocessed. This salt is rich in a variety of minerals and support proper acid production in the stomach.
As Dr.Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS puts it Consuming the right amount of sea salt helps your body produce proper amounts of HCL since sea salt provides chloride, which is the building block of stomach acid.
So go ahead and include the right salt, in the right amounts in your diet, to enjoy tasty food. Eliminate the additional common table salt from your diet and reap the body-wide health benefits including lowered acid reflux symptoms.
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What Are Prescription Medications For Heartburn
If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:
- Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength , Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
- Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.
There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.
Common Types Of Antacids
Ingredients to look for include:
- aluminium hydroxide
- calcium carbonate
- sodium bicarbonate
Some antacids also contain other medicines, such as an alginate and simeticone .
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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.
Surprising Signs Youre Eating Too Much Salt
You can certainly expect a sodium overload when you head out for a pizza night or order that extra-large bucket of popcorn at the movies. But salt has a way of sneaking into your diet from . In fact, some sodium-rich foods, such as bread or cereal, dont seem salty at all.
Salt isnt always the villain its sometimes made out to be. Sodium is necessary for nerve health and healthy blood pressure, and it helps the body absorb certain nutrients. You need a small amount of salt daily to remain healthy.
The American Heart Association recommends a maximum intake of 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day, and notes that 1,500 milligrams per day would be ideal for most adults. However, the AHA says on average, Americans consume over 3,400 milligrams of sodium each day, with 70 percent of it coming from packaged foods. If you go overboard on the sodium, here are some symptoms you can expect.
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What Do I Do If My Baby Or Young Child Has Diarrhea
If your child has severe diarrhea, call your healthcare provider. Young children are at a higher risk of dehydration than adults. You also cant treat a childs diarrhea the same way you would an adult case. Over-the-counter medications can be dangerous in young children and all treatments of diarrhea in children should be guided by their healthcare provider. Its important to keep your child hydrated. Your provider will help you determine the best way to do this, but options often include:
- Breast milk.
- Electrolyte drinks for older children this is not recommended for babies.
The best option to keep your child hydrated might change as the child ages. Always check with your provider before giving your child a new liquid or treatment of any kind.
If you have any questions or concerns about your childs diarrhea, dont hesitate to call your provider.
Is Bloating A Sign Of Something More Serious
Watch Out for Other Symptoms
Simple bloating is usually not a cause for concern, but it may be a warning sign of a more serious health condition in some cases. If you experience other symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea, fever, abdominal pain, weight loss, weakness, loss of appetite, or blood in the stool, see your doctor to rule out potentially more serious conditions. The doctor may order a stool sample or take images of your small intestine to assess for digestive problems and other conditions. Tests are available to check for lactose intolerance, celiac disease, ovarian cancer, liver disease, and other health problems.
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Smoking Extra Salt Increase Heartburn Risk
Drinking Alcohol Doesn’t Appear to Increase Acid Reflux Risk, Study Shows
Nov. 11, 2004 — A late night meal of pepperoni pizza paired with an amusing pinot noir may sound romantic to some, but for people with acid reflux disease it is a declaration of war — a call for heartburn.
Most heartburn sufferers know the foods and situations that trigger their painful symptoms — the burning or pressure sensation behind the breast bone, or sour taste of acid in the back of their throat. Yet much less is known about the lifestyle factors that cause the condition.
Researchers in Sweden recently set out to identify these lifestyle factors, and they came to some surprising conclusions. While smoking, as expected, strongly increased the risk for developing acid reflux disease, drinking alcohol had little impact.
The study also showed that coffee consumption, which commonly triggers symptoms, actually appeared to protect people from developing the disease. Lifestyle modification techniques are frequently recommended to control heart burn. Avoiding foods and beverages that contribute to heartburn such as chocolate, coffee, greasy or spicy foods, tomato products, and alcoholic beverages are typically recommended.
He added that the protective effects of coffee were a weaker association and may not truly reflect a protective association.
Foods To Avoid Due To Heartburn
Heartburn is a very common symptom of acid reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD. It typically starts with a burning sensation in your chest which can become quite painful.
Most of us have had heartburn at least once in our lives, but when it becomes a frequent occurrence and interrupts our sleep, we should take notice and figure out the causes.
The simple fact is that what and how much we eat and drink can contribute to painful heartburn or acid reflux. Not everyone has the same triggers, so our approach will stress common foods to avoid and helpful substitutes.
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Slow Down At Mealtime
Eating too fast is a common cause of abdominal bloating because it results in swallowed air. Once that air reaches the intestines, you may feel pain and be bloated. The stomach stretches as you eat and sends signals to the brain alerting you that you are full. However, it takes about 20 minutes for the stomach to alert the brain, so you could be overeating and swallowing lots of air before you feel uncomfortably full. Slow down, chew thoroughly, and enjoy your meals. Drink enough water and stay hydrated to help ensure healthy digestion. Eat slowly to avoid bloating.
Can I Manage Diarrhea Without Taking Any Medication
When you have an acute case of diarrhea, you can often take care of it without needing any medication. Several things you can do to care for diarrhea include:
- Drinking plenty of water and other electrolyte balanced fluids and caffeine-free sodas). Make sure to hydrate throughout day. Your body loses water each time you have diarrhea. By drinking plenty of extra fluids, you are protecting your body from dehydration.
- Changing your diet. Instead of picking greasy, fatty or fried foods, go for the BRAT diet:
- B: Bananas.
- A: Applesauce.
- T: Toast .
Sometimes, diarrhea can also make you lactose intolerant. This is usually temporary and it means that you need to avoid items with lactose until your diarrhea is gone.
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Your Muscles Feel Weak And Tend To Cramp Easily
Having a healthy, fully functioning body is all about balance. When you drink too much water, your electrolyte levels drop and that balance is compromised. Low electrolyte levels can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including muscle spasms and cramping. You can prevent muscle problems by replacing a couple glasses of water a day with coconut water, which is full of electrolytes and 100 percent natural, or an electrolyte drinkhere are 7 that nutritionists recommend.
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The Feeling Of A Pounding Heart
If you watch enough romantic movies or read romance novels, you know all about the pounding heart. Its the stereotypical flutters experienced when a character falls in love. In medical terms, these flutters are called heart palpitations. Heart palpitations dont feel the same for every person. You may feel like your heart is fluttering, racing, or pounding. Sometimes palpitations make you feel like your heart skips a beat. Palpitations arent only felt in the heart. Pounding is sometimes felt in the chest, throat, or neck.
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High Blood Pressure And Hypertension
Related to its role in maintaining blood volume, sodium can also affect blood pressure. Hormones act on your kidneys to help regulate how much sodium and water they excrete into urine. The higher the sodium level in your blood, the higher your blood volume, because your kidneys excrete less water in order to dilute the sodium in your blood. The increase in blood volume, in turn, raises blood pressure.
Ingesting too much sodium, especially over long periods of time, can lead to a chronic increase in blood pressure as your body continually battles to maintain water balance. In addition, long-term overconsumption of sodium can damage the walls of your blood vessels and predispose you to developing high blood pressure, or hypertension.
What Is The Treatment For Acid Reflux
There are treatments available specifically for treating acid reflux, what youll need will depend on the severity and whats causing the problem. If you have chronic heartburn, its essential to ask your doctor because acid reflux can cause severe damage to your oesophagus if left untreated.
If the problem is chronic or severe, a doctor can prescribe medications which inhibit the production of gastric juices for acid reflux relief and prevent the damage it causes. The medications often prescribed are proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers.
FACT Acid reflux medications, even over the counter ones, change stomach acidity, and this can have consequences on your digestive health.
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It Is Time To Put Down The Shaker
Excessive intake of common salt is one of the contributing factors towards fluid retention in the body, resulting in weight gain. Studies observed that obesity drives GERD. People who eat out a lot, in restaurants that dont pay enough attention to the oils used tend to have greasier, trans-fat laden food. Such food also often needs greater amounts of seasoning, usually by way of common table salt, to mask the poor taste of the food. Processed packaged foods too tend to contain more sodium, because it masks a persons ability to taste the poor quality of foods and increases the perception of pleasure in the food. This has further potential to increase the risk of heartburn.
Your Teeth Could Suffer But Moderation And Washing Down With Water Helps
Seltzer is indeed, harsh on your teeth, but not if you drink it right .
The problem with seltzer is that it can be acidic, says Dr. Lee Gause, a dentist who specializes in implant and cosmetic dentistry and founder of Smile Design Manhattan. Teeth fare better in a neutral or even slightly alkaline solution. Different seltzer brands have different levels of acidity, primarily stemming from both the citric acid that gives seltzers the bubbles and zesty lemony taste. Even unflavored seltzers contain a carbonic acid that gives it its bubbles.
Over time, that acidity can lead to enamel erosion.
I have seen a lot of patients whose main cause of erosion was an overly acidic diet from citrus to sodas and lack of regular or alkaline water, says Dr. Gause. All of that being said, is safe to consume in appropriate volumes keep it to once a day with meals, at a maximum, and be sure to wash everything down with standard water.
Grause also recommends using a straw if you want to be extra careful, as this allows the seltzer to bypass your teeth.
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