Reducing Pressure On Your Stomach
Putting pressure on your stomach may push stomach juices into your esophagus, causing heartburn. Some ways to reduce heartburn include the following:
- After you eat, wait 2 to 3 hours before you lie down. Late-night snacks aren’t a good idea. When you are lying down, the contents of your stomach can push against the valve between the esophagus and stomach . Sitting up allows gravity to help food and stomach juices from the esophagus drain back into your stomach.
- Avoid tight clothing over your stomach. Tight belts, waistbands, or panty hose may push against your stomach and make your heartburn worse.
- Use care when lifting and bending. Bending over tends to increase the amount of stomach acid that can get into your esophagus. When lifting, bend your knees to avoid bending over at the waist.
Can Exercise Be A Cause Of Heartburn
Exercise can trigger heartburn. Sometimes thatâs due to increased pressure on the abdomen, which can increase the risk of acid reflux. In one study looking at different types of exercise, weightlifters had the most heartburn and acid reflux. Runners had milder symptoms and less reflux than weightlifters. Cyclists had the least reflux.
How Is Gerd Diagnosed
Usually your provider can tell if you have simple acid reflux by talking with you about your symptoms and medical history. You and your provider can talk about controlling your symptoms through diet and medications.
If these strategies dont help, your provider may ask you to get tested for GERD. Tests for GERD include:
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Quickly Eating Down Lunch
Whilst this is a very unhealthy habit to be in, it may seem like the only option for people with very busy schedules. Eating too fast can cause heartburn and indigestion as if you are not chewing your food properly, then more stomach acid is needed to help digest it later on. Also, when gulping your food down, you will swallow a lot of air which can also cause discomfort. Apart from this, you may overeat as it can take 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full.
What Is Acid Reflux
A circular muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter joins your esophagus and stomach. This muscle is in charge of tightening your esophagus after food passes to the stomach. If this muscle is weak or doesnt tighten properly, the acid from your stomach can move backward into your esophagus. This is known as acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause heartburn and other symptoms that include:
Most people can experience heartburn and acid reflux intermittently related to something they ate or habits like lying down immediately after eating. However, GERD is a chronic condition where doctors start to examine long-lasting habits and parts of a persons anatomy that could cause GERD. Examples of the causes of GERD include:
- being overweight or obese, which puts extra pressure on the stomach
- hiatal hernia, which reduces pressure in the LES
- consuming alcohol
- taking medicines known to weaken the LES, such as antihistamines, calcium channel blockers, pain-relieving medicines, sedatives, and antidepressants
Symptoms of GERD may disrupt your daily life. Fortunately, they can usually be controlled with treatment. Options include:
- diet modification
- smoking cessation
- alcohol cessation
Medications for GERD work to reduce the amount of acid in the stomach. They may not be effective for everyone. Some people need surgery to help reinforce the LES.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Gerd
Often, people who have GERD notice that they regularly have the pain of heartburn in the chest or stomach. This can last up to a couple of hours. Many notice their heartburn is worse after eating.
Regurgitation when food and liquid containing stomach acid comes back up into the throat or mouth is also a sign of GERD. But, like heartburn, occasional regurgitation is common for everyone.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- a sore, raw throat or hoarse voice
- a frequent sour taste of acid, especially when lying down
- a feeling of burping acid into the mouth
- trouble swallowing
- bad breath
Cooking Tips To Prevent Heartburn And Indigestion
If you suffer from heartburn, you can use different cooking approaches,;which may help to alleviate stomach problems including acid reflux.
- Try cooking with as little fat as possible.
- Skip deep frying and pan frying.
- If youre going to sauté, use non-stick sprays as opposed to butter.
- Broiling, steaming, boiling, grilling and roasting are healthier ways to cook meats and veggies because they dont require high levels of fat.
- To get flavor into your food, use heartburn friendly spices as well as broths and low-acid juices instead of oils, which are high in fat.
In addition to eating heartburn-friendly foods and cooking with less fat, it is important to remember that eating large meals and eating before going to bed are likely to increase heartburn. Be;sure to pay attention to portion control and timing of meals to avoid indigestion.
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Things To Stop Doing If You Have Gerd
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.
How To Avoid Gerd Symptoms
You can reduce or eliminate the discomfort of GERD symptoms by taking a few simple steps. These include:;
- Avoiding fast food
- Not eating 3 to 4 hours before bed;
- Staying at a healthy weight
- Eating smaller meals
- Staying away from spicy foods
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing
- Exercising regularly with an empty stomach
- Avoiding stress
If you notice that your GERD symptoms are interfering with your daily life or drastically restricting what you can eat, consider talking with your doctor about treatment options, says Dr. Purcell.
If you need further treatment, your doctor can help you find a treatment that works best for you and will help you find relief from GERD.
What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when someone has reflux more than twice a week. It’s a more serious condition than GER. Doctors usually treat it with medicine.
GERD can be a problem if it’s not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.
Inability To Get Pregnant
Undereating may interfere with a womans ability to become pregnant.
The hypothalamus and pituitary gland located in your brain work together to maintain hormonal balance, including reproductive health.
The hypothalamus receives signals from your body that let it know when hormone levels need to be adjusted.
Based on the signals it receives, the hypothalamus produces hormones that either stimulate or inhibit production of estrogen, progesterone and other hormones by your pituitary gland.
Research has shown that this complex system is highly sensitive to changes in calorie intake and weight .
When your calorie intake or body fat percentage drops too low, signals may become impaired, leading to changes in the amount of hormones released.
Without the proper balance of reproductive hormones, pregnancy cannot take place. The first sign of this is hypothalamic amenorrhea, or having no menstrual period for three months or longer .
In an older study, when 36 underweight women with amenorrhea or infertility related to calorie restriction increased their calorie intake and achieved ideal body weight, 90% began menstruating and 73% became pregnant .
If you are trying to conceive, make sure to consume a well-balanced, adequate-calorie diet in order to ensure proper hormonal function and a healthy pregnancy.
Consuming too few calories can disrupt reproductive hormone signals, leading to difficulty getting pregnant.
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How Can I Prevent My Symptoms Of Gerd
As you can see, there are many types of foods to avoid if you have GERD or acid reflux disease. However, you may or may not experience symptoms after eating one of these foods as each case is different. This list of foods is meant to give you general guidelines of foods to avoid.
With that being said, the most reliable way to know which foods you should avoid is to keep a food journal. Pay attention to what you eat, then record whether or not you experience symptoms after.;
You should also pay attention to which situations lead to your symptoms. For instance, do you experience symptoms in the morning before youve eaten, or after a large lunch? Or, perhaps you notice symptoms at night after eating a late dinner or dessert.
If you have more questions about preventing GERD or acid reflux symptoms, talk with your doctor. Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may give you a prescription to help soothe your heartburn.
Prescriptions usually include histamine-2 blockers , proton pump inhibitors , and promotility agents. These are usually short-term prescriptions for acid reflux treatment while you make dietary adjustments.
What Can Heartburn Be A Sign Of
Heartburn is most likely a sign of acid reflux or as its sometimes termed as gastro esophageal reflux disease or GERD for short. People with GERD typically have more chronic and consistent heartburn and acid reflux effects.
The most likely cause of heartburn is something you have drank or eaten or even a medicine you have taken. Some of these things will only make heartburn more likely.
For example, the common trigger foods include spicy food, fatty food, and citrus fruits to name a few. For someone with heartburn likely lowering or eliminating these triggers will help or in some cases completely stop the heartburn from happening. The same can be said for drinks, thinks like soda and alcohol are common heartburn triggers and some medication like anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics can cause heartburn especially if taken longer term.
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What Else Should I Know
Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or even stop uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Untreated GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.
You’ll probably find that one of the simplest ways to make living with GERD easier is to avoid the things that trigger your symptoms. Some people will have to limit certain foods; others may have to give them up entirely. It all depends on your symptoms.
It can be hard to give up sodas or favorite foods at first. But after a while, lots of people discover that they feel so much better that they don’t miss the problem foods;as much as they thought they would.
Don’t Lay Flat When You Sleep
Lying down flat presses the stomach’s contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure.
You can elevate your head in a couple of ways:
- Place bricks, blocks, or anything that’s sturdy and securely under the legs at the head of your bed,
- Use a wedge-shaped pillow under your head and shoulders.
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The Effects Of Irregular Eating
Life can often be very busy. Whether you are a full-time mum or a nine till five office worker in the city, there are so many different things that need doing every single day.
For some, there are so many things, in fact, that there is hardly time to squeeze in eating. Apart from sometimes;causing you the horrible symptoms of heartburn and indigestion, irregular eating can affect your health in other ways. Read on as we explain some of the effects of irregular eating through the day!
Your Stomach Growls Regularly
If your stomach seems to be constantly growling, you may not be eating as often as you should be. While a stomach growling can either be a sign that you’re full or hungry, a loud, persistent growl points to the latter because a louder growl or rumbling is heard when the stomach and intestines are empty.
Try eating in larger amounts or at more regular intervals to see if the growling stops. If it seems to help with the problem, that’s a sign that your stomach growling was the result of you not eating enough, even if you think you are.
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Foods That Could Trigger Heartburn And Indigestion
Each person is unique,;and what triggers stomach problems for you may not be what triggers them in someone else. Keeping;a food diary is useful for determining;what foods trigger your indigestion. Once your food triggers are identified, it is best to eliminate;them from your diet completely to avoid experiencing further stomach problems and heartburn episodes. That being said, there are several foods that;are known to trigger indigestion in many people, including:
- Caffeinated beverages
- Carbonated beverages
- Tomatoes and tomato juice
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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Lower Esophageal Sphincter Problem
The thing that basically always plays an important factor in heartburn and GERD is the lower esophageal sphincter . If you didnt know the LES is the valve above the stomach which is designed to open when you eat and drink. When you are not eating or drinking the LES is meant to close over to keep the acid inside the stomach as its meant to be.
The problems arise when the LES doesnt close. There are a lot of potential reasons that they LES might not close properly. Though if it doesnt close properly this is what can lead to the heartburn, indigestion, and chest pain even when you havent eaten.
There are countless things that can cause the LES to malfunction, its uncommon to be solely related to a direct LES malfunction. This is because it has often been caused by another factor like the diet and medication I mentioned already.
To mention another couple of reasons the LES can malfunction one is simply overeating. When I say overeating, I mean eating too much in one sitting.
Basically, when you eat too much like this puts more pressure on the stomach and this can lead to LES opening up due to this increased pressure. This repeated process over several years can weaken the LES over time which then can sometimes lead to the LES malfunctioning and not closing properly as it should.
This in turn leads to heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Sometimes for certain people simply loosing some weight around this area can completely stop heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.
Feeling Cold All The Time
If you constantly feel cold, not eating enough food could be the cause.
Your body needs to burn a certain number of calories in order to create heat and maintain a healthy, comfortable body temperature.
In fact, even mild calorie restriction has been shown to lower core body temperature.
In a six-year controlled study of 72 middle-aged adults, those who consumed an average of 1,769 calories daily had significantly lower body temperatures than the groups who consumed 2,3002,900 calories, regardless of physical activity .
In a separate analysis of the same study, the calorie-restricted group experienced a decrease in T3 thyroid hormone levels, whereas the other groups did not. T3 is a hormone that helps maintain body temperature, among other functions .
In another study of 15 obese women, T3 levels decreased by as much as 66% during an eight-week period in which the women consumed only 400 calories per day (
Overall, the more severely you slash calories, the colder youre likely to feel.
Consuming too few calories can lead to a decrease in body temperature, which may be due in part to lower levels of T3 thyroid hormone.
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Why Do I Get Heartburn When I Havent Eaten
If you visit a doctor to talk about your heartburn, one of the first things they will ask is your diet.
As most people know and what we constantly mention, heartburn is often caused by what you eat and what you drink, so your doctor wants to be sure you are eating a diet that wont provoke any additional symptoms before moving into treatment options.
If youre getting heartburn without eating anything, here are some of the reasons:
Serious Conditions That Mimic Heartburn
Heartburn-like pain is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease . But several other conditions can cause a burning feeling in your chest.
Most of the time, your doctor will be able to identify whether you have heartburn or GERD by doing tests.
Here are nine other conditions that can cause heartburn-like pain.
1. AnginaAngina, or chest pain caused by lack of blood flow to the heart, can feel a lot like heartburn.”The major key is if you’re getting heartburn when you’re doing strenuous or moderate activity,” says Dr. Ryan Madanick, a gastroenterologist and assistant professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, in Chapel Hill.
If you’re 50 or older and getting heartburnespecially if you haven’t had this kind of pain beforeit can raise suspicion of angina. Suspicions can also be raised if you’re younger but have heart risk factors such as hypertension, diabetes, or a family history of heart disease.
2. GallstonesAlthough gallstones don’t always cause symptoms, a stone blocking your bile duct can hurt, usually in the middle or upper-right side of the abdomen.
Pain may be cramping, dull, or sharp, and often strikes minutes after you eat.
3. Stomach UlcerUlcers can cause a gnawing, burning sensation, usually felt in the upper abdomen. The pain can find its way up to the chest, Madanick says.
Certain anti-inflammatory drugs , and osteoporosis drugs called bisphosphonates, can also cause stomach ulcers.
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