When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
Indigestion can be a sign of a serious health problem. Call your healthcare provider right away if you have indigestion and any of these symptoms:
- Frequent vomiting
- Weight loss or not feeling hungry
- Bloody, black, or tarry stools
- Sudden sharp pain in your belly or abdomen
- Trouble breathing
- Pain that spreads to your jaw, neck, or arm
- Difficult, painful swallowing
What Heartburn Feels Like
You get this problem when stomach acid moves into a tube called the esophagus, which carries food from your mouth to the stomach. When that happens, you could have a burning pain in your chest. Your throat might burn, and you could have a sour taste in your mouth or a cough. You may also hear it called GERD , which is heartburn that happens often. But other conditions can have similar symptoms.
How To Manage Heartburn And Stress
Several activities and habits can help you manage heartburn and acid reflux from stress. Try adjusting your daily routine to include things like8,9:
If you cant seem to manage your stress, or you are feeling very overwhelmed, it may be time to talk to a healthcare professional. Your doctor or a counselor can introduce you to ways to manage stress that may be a better fit for your personal needs.
For times when lifestyle modifications don’t seem to help with your heartburn symptoms, an over-the-counter medication like PEPCID® may help. PEPCID® helps relieve your heartburn symptoms, so at least you dont have to be stressed about that. Try Maximum Strength PEPCID AC® to help prevent heartburn before it starts or ease symptoms in minutes. Take this over-the-counter heartburn reliever 10 to 60 minutes before eating to help prevent your heartburn or once you first notice that burning feeling begin to help relieve your symptoms.
You May Like: Klonopin For Ibs
Dont Lay Flat When You Sleep
Lying down flat presses the stomachs 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 thats sturdy and securely under the legs at the head of your bed,
- Use a wedge-shaped pillow under your head and shoulders.
You May Like: Can Morning Sickness Cause Diarrhea
What Does Heartburn Look Like
Acid reflux is when the acid that is normally in the stomach backs up into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. A small amount of acid reflux is normal. If the reflux happens frequently, it can give the sensation of heartburn as a result of irritation to the esophageal lining.
Read Also: How Long Do Ibs Flares Last
Tackling Heartburn And Acid Reflux With Emazole Control
Emazole Control is used in adults for the short-term treatment of reflux symptoms, for example, heartburn and acid reflux. It contains esomeprazole, a molecule that belongs to the class of medicines referred to as proton pump inhibitors or PPIs.
PPIs are considered an essential medicine by the World Health Organisation. They are among the most widely used medications in the world.
Improvement of symptoms will be felt within 2-3 days of taking Emazole Control. The duration of the treatment is up to 2 consecutive weeks. Upon complete relief of symptoms, the treatment should be stopped.
Psychiatric Disorders And Pain Perception
Vic Velanovich, MD, a gastrointestinal surgeon and another one of the studys authors, says this is not an isolated phenomenon but part of a broader problem in assessing the severity of disease. Its always very difficult to correlate patient-perceived symptoms with actual physiological measures, he says.
Dr. Velanovich offers a neurological explanation. Its called the pain modulation network. Pain is converted to electrical signals that travel to the brain. Its interpreted there by the frontal cortex, he says. So anything happening in the frontal cortex, including mental disorders, makes pain perception worse.
However, experts emphasize that this is not the patients fault, and it is in no way all in their heads.
This is just how complicated human beings are, Dr. Lupe says. As you put the system under stress, there is more dysfunction within the system as a whole, and that means we’re going to interpret the things that are going on in our body as more threatening. That doesn’t mean it’s in your head those are real problems happening in our body.
He likens it to an engine running at 5,000 revolutions per minute. There’s nothing wrong with the engine when it starts to have some problems, he says. Its just the stress of running it that high can cause some problems. It’s the same thing inside the human body. That’s why we see stress is linked to all health conditions.
You May Like: Fish Oil Hemorrhoids
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.
Dont Miss: How To Tell If Yogurt Has Probiotics
Stress And Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is something that many people experience. Heartburn can be a result of eating the wrong thing, but research has been done that shows acid reflux is “significantly associated with high stress.”
However, scientists have differing opinions on what causes the problem. Some believe that your body creates more stomach acid under stress and others believe that your body just becomes more sensitive to it during stressful situations. One Healthline article explains that, “Stress can also deplete the production of substances called prostaglandins, which normally protect the stomach from the effects of acid. This could increase your perception of discomfort.”
But chances are, if you’re experiencing acid reflux from stress, you don’t really care if it’s happening because you have more acid or are more sensitive to it. You just want it to stop. Learning how to reduce your stress or cope with it in a healthy way is one of the best ways to address stress and acid reflux. But, it’s also helpful to identify what foods trigger your heartburn. Stress may make acid reflux worse but avoiding the foods that contribute to it is also effective in helping to reduce your symptoms.
Keeping a food diary or food journal is a way to spot any patterns. You can track the food that you’re eating along with your stress levels each day. This can help you see both of causes of stress and food triggers of your acid reflux.
Increased Heart Rate
Also Check: Will Turmeric Give You Diarrhea
Avoid Spicy Foods And Keep Some Dazzle In Your Diet With Low
The fiery feeling of heartburn is the last way you want to remember a great meal. But when your doctor says you have chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease , you may worry that a bland and disappointing menu is in your future. That may not be true, says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. The foods that trigger heartburn are different for everyone. He suggests keeping a journal to determine which foods cause symptoms.
Some foods and ingredients may intensify heartburn, such as spicy foods, citrus, tomato sauces, and vinegar.
Fatty and fried foods linger longer in the stomach. That may increase stomach pressure and force open the muscles that keep stomach acid out of the esophagus.
Other common heartburn triggers include chocolate, caffeine, onions, peppermint, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
Heartburn Causes And Risk Factors
Heartburn symptoms can start up because of a problem with a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter . It’s located where the esophagus meets the stomach — below the rib cage and slightly left of center.
Normally, with the help of gravity, the LES keeps stomach acid right where it should be — in your stomach. When it’s working right, the LES opens to allow food into your stomach or to let you belch, then closes again. But if the LES opens too often or doesn’t close tightly enough, stomach acid can seep into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation.
If your LES doesn’t tighten as it should, there are often two things that contribute to the problem. One is overeating, which puts too much food in your stomach. Another is too much pressure on your stomach, often due to obesity, pregnancy, or constipation.
Certain foods can relax your LES or increase stomach acid, including:
Meals high in fats and oils often lead to heartburn, as do certain medications. Stress and lack of sleep can raise how much acid your stomach makes and can cause heartburn.
If you’re pregnant, the hormone progesterone can relax your LES and lead to heartburn. Smoking also relaxes the LES and increases stomach acid.
You May Like: Bananas Cause Bloating
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.
Here Are Some Of The Reasons Stress Heartburn Occurs:
- Stress may cause changes in your brain that amplifies pain receptors, making you physically more sensitive to slight increases in stomach acid levels. In other words, your heartburn may not be stronger during stress but just more noticeable.
- Stress can also deplete the production of compounds known as prostaglandins, which normally serve as a barrier and protect your stomach from the effects of acid. This may increase your perception of discomfort.
- The brain has a direct effect on the digestive system. Stress can cause digestive changes, and similarly digestive changes can cause stress reactions in the brain and body.
- Stress can slow down digestion. Have you ever noticed that you may lose your appetite when stressed out? That is because your body is slowing down the digestion process, keeping food in your stomach longer, and as a result, giving stomach acids more time to cause stress-related heartburn.
Regardless of what exactly happens in the brain and body, for those who experience heartburn symptoms, we understand that stress can make you feel uncomfortable.
Recommended Reading: Soy Milk Causing Diarrhea
What Kind Of Doctor Treats Non
The first time a person has non-cardiac chest pain, he or she usually goes to the emergency room, thinking he or she is having a heart attack. The first thing the emergency room doctor will do is make sure the pain is not a heart attack or due to heart disease.
If it truly is non-cardiac chest pain, the emergency room doctor usually refers the patient to a gastroenterologist, a doctor who specializes in digestive system disorders, for more testing and treatment.
Some people who have had several episodes of non-cardiac chest pain go to their primary care physician or a heart doctor instead of the emergency room. The doctor will follow the same steps to make sure the pain is not heart-related, then refer the person to a gastroenterologist.
How Long Should Indigestion Last
The uncomfortable symptoms of heartburn can last for two hours or longer, depending on the cause. Mild heartburn that occurs after eating spicy or acidic food typically lasts until the food has been digested. Heartburn symptoms may also return several hours after they first appeared if you bend over or lie down.
Recommended Reading: Can Lettuce Cause Constipation
Family Problems Can Cause Acid Reflux From Stress
This includes problems with your hubby, rebellious children, or siblings. A lack of communication between spouses often causes stress. Other stress triggers include unfulfilled expectations, differing views on gender roles, an inequality between sharing responsibilities. Infidelity, job-related travel and money are also big stressors.
Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
Read Also: Safe Diarrhea Medicine During Pregnancy
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.
Can Pain Between Shoulder Blades Be Caused By Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a fairly common condition in the United States, with over 15 million Americans experiencing heartburn each day. While acid reflux has a variety of symptoms, it rarely progresses to anything an antacid cant fix. But for serious cases of acid reflux, it can manifest in some extremely painful and difficult to manage symptoms, most of which arent typical of your usual episode of heartburn.
So can acid reflux cause symptoms like acute pain between your shoulder blades? It can, but it usually means its progressed beyond simple heartburn and into Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. While it can require more treatment than acid reflux, the chest and back pain it causes can be managed.
You May Like: Stomach Flu Bloating
Also Check: Side Effects Of Reflux Medication
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
Acid reflux is a condition that many of us will experience at least once in our lives.
It is brought on by digestive issues and specifically occurs when stomach acid or bile enters the lower esophageal sphincter and irritates the pipe lining.
It is an extremely unpleasant experience that can make your chest burn and cause discomfort when speaking.
Recommended Reading: Omeprazole And Baking Soda
The Importance Of Sleep Quality
As you adjust your lifestyle to treat anxiety and GERD, it may be helpful to focus on your sleep quality and length. Research has found an association between anxiety, GERD, and poor sleep quality.
We do not know the exact relationship between these, but it has been theorized that improving sleep quality could also improve GERD and anxiety symptoms.
Discuss your sleep patterns with your healthcare provider or therapist. They may recommend a supplement like melatonin or changes like using blackout blinds, removing electronics from your bedroom, and more.
Treatment Options For Heartburn From Anxiety
Traditional heartburn treatments only have a moderate effect on anxiety heartburn. Eating smaller meals, taking antacids, and eating foods that do not contribute to heartburn are a good place to start. But they’re only going to do half the job, as many people that experience heartburn from anxiety fail to get complete relief when they utilize these treatments alone.
Some of those with anxiety claim to get relief from jogging and other forms of exercise. However, it should be noted that in general, exercise actually makes acid reflux temporarily worse. In the long term, though, it helps a lot with heartburn. While these options may prove helpful, there is one thing that should be considered first by people looking to get rid of their heartburn anxiety: address the root of the problem by treating your underlying anxiety!
Anxiety can trigger heartburn in several ways, from muscle tension to digestion changes to hormone alterations. It can also be a trigger for anxiety, especially in those with hypersensitivity as a result of panic attacks or health fears. Heartburn can often be treated with dietary changes and over-the-counter medications, although anxiety will need to be treated concurrently to keep the symptoms away.
Was this article helpful?
Don’t Miss: Does Xanax Help With Stomach Pain