How To Avoid Reflux
There are some things you can do to keep the heartburn away.
Written by American Heart Association editorial staff and reviewed by science and medicine advisers. See our editorial policies and staff.
What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Oesophagitis
- Heartburn: this is the main symptom. This is a burning feeling which rises from the upper tummy or lower chest up towards the neck.
- Other common symptoms: these include pain in the upper abdomen and chest, feeling sick, an acid taste in the mouth, bloating, belching, indigestion and a burning pain when you swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to come and go and tend to be worse after a meal.
- Some uncommon symptoms: these may occur and if they do, can make the diagnosis difficult, as these symptoms can mimic other conditions. For example:
- A persistent cough, particularly at night, sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe . Asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze can sometimes be due to acid leaking up .
- Other mouth and throat symptoms sometimes occur, such as gum problems, bad breath, sore throat, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
- Severe chest pain develops in some cases .
Do Heart Attacks And Heartburn Feel Similar
Although heartburn and heart attacks have different causes, they can feel similar. Both can cause chest pain and discomfort in the center of the chest, so it can be hard to distinguish between the two.
If you have a burning pain behind your breastbone that started after a spicy meal and otherwise you feel well, it is likely you have heartburn. Often, heartburn can be easily treated with over-the-counter antacids. If you try this and your symptoms go away, that is a good indicator they were caused by heartburn.
Many people also get heartburn more than once. So if you had heartburn in the past and experience the same symptoms again, it is likely another case of heartburn.
Angina and heart attacks can also cause a burning pain or discomfort in the chest, so it is important to notice other symptoms. For example, if you also feel short of breath or light-headed, it might be something more serious . If you are unsure about your symptoms, or if you have chest pain that feels different from what you had in the past, be sure to talk to your healthcare provider. They can help you determine if your symptoms are from heartburn or a more serious cause.
It is important to know that heart attacks in women can have different symptoms. Women can have chest pressure and heaviness. But they may also have no chest pain at all. Instead, women may have nausea, fatigue, or lightheadedness that could be mistaken for another illness.
Read Also: Does Pepcid Help With Diarrhea
When Chest Pains Are Serious
Unlike an achy knee or crabby lower back, chest pain isn’t something to shrug off until tomorrow. It also isn’t something to diagnose at home. Don’t play doctor go see one, fast, if you are worried about pain or discomfort in your chest, upper back, left arm, or jaw or suddenly faint or develop a cold sweat, nausea, or vomiting. Call 911 or your local emergency number to summon an emergency medical crew. It will whisk you to the hospital in a vehicle full of equipment that can start the diagnosis and keep you stable if your heart really is in trouble.
There are oh-so-many reasons to delay calling for help.
- I’m too young .
- I’m in great shape .
- I have a family to take care of .
- I don’t want to bother anyone .
Control Your Acid Reflux
If you have frequent acid reflux, that means you have acid reflux disease . The vast majority of patients with acid reflux disease respond well to daily acid suppressing medications, such as proton pump inhibitors.
Its important to note, however, that while these medications effectively manage symptoms, they are not a cure. The heartburn pain will go away, but the backsplash of damaging fluid still occurs.
Thats because proton pump inhibitors cant fix the underlying mechanical problem the dysfunction of the valve between the esophagus and stomach. Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors can also cause significant side effects, and you must consider the lifetime cost of taking these medications.
For these reasons, surgery may be necessary to correct the valve mechanism, with the goal of eliminating the need for reflux medication. Advances in technology have improved doctors ability to tailor procedures to each individual patient, with greatly improved outcomes.
These techniques are performed through small or even no incisions, and serve to restore the valve mechanism between the esophagus and stomach to prevent acid reflux, explains Justin Karush, DO, a thoracic surgeon at Rush. Common procedures for GERD include laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication, transoral incisionless fundoplication and magnetic sphincter augmentation .
Also Check: Can Apple Juice Give You Diarrhea
How Can We Effectively Get Rid Of Heartburn
We can fight heartburn with losing weight, avoiding nutrients that cause heartburn , alcohol, soft drinks and sweet juice and by lifting the beds headboard. It is also recommended not to go to bed immediately after a large meal, wear more comfortable clothes, avoid stress, and stop smoking. If heartburn happens more often and doesnt go away, the best is to consult your doctor.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn
Symptoms of Heartburn include:
Coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
Certain medications such as Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and some blood pressure medications increase the risk of heartburn. In addition, stress and anxiety can cause heartburn. Being obese and pregnant also increases the risk of heartburn.
You May Like: Do Probiotics Make Your Poop Stink
What Is The Treatment For Heartburn
Many over-the-counter medications are available which relieve heartburn. They include:
Antacids: They help in neutralizing stomach acid. Antacids provide quick relief. If the esophagus is damaged by stomach acid, antacids can not heal the damage. Instead, they provide fast short-term relief. Antacids are available in liquid, tablet, or gummy form. They are not intended for daily use.
H2 Receptor Antagonists: They reduce stomach acids. They do not act quickly as antacids but provide more extended relief.
Proton Pump Inhibitors: Such as Lansoprazole and Omeprazole can reduce stomach acid.
A gastroscopy test checks if the medications do not relieve the symptoms. In this procedure, a small tube with a camera is passed down the throat to find out the cause of heartburn.
In more severe cases, a surgery named laparoscopic fundoplication is done to stop the acid reflux from the stomach.
A Pharmacist Can Help With Indigestion
A pharmacist can recommend medicines to ease the burning feeling or pain that can come with indigestion.
Medicines that help reduce acid in your stomach include:
- proton pump inhibitors
Some indigestion medicines are best to take after eating as their effects last longer. Check the information leaflet that comes with the medicines for more information.
Don’t Miss: Does Ibs Get Worse Over Time
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.
Describe Chest Pain To Your Doctor
Doctors use several pieces of information to determine who is, and who isn’t, having a heart attack. In addition to the description of your symptoms and your heart risk profile, doctors use the results of an electrocardiogram and a blood test called cardiac troponin. But sometimes these don’t immediately show abnormalities. So, what you describe to the doctor and your medical history are extremely important in determining the initial steps in your treatment.
Here are some things your doctors will want to know about what you are experiencing:
What is it that you are feeling ?
Where is the discomfort?
Has it gotten worse or stayed the same?
Is the feeling constant, or does it come and go?
Have you felt it before?
What were you doing before these feelings started?
Clear answers to these questions go a long way toward nailing down a diagnosis. A few seconds of recurrent stabbing pain is less likely to be a heart attack , while pain centered in the chest that spreads out to the left arm or jaw is more likely to be one.
Also Check: What Foods Help Cure Leaky Gut
Treating Back Pain Caused From Acid Reflux
Your impulse when experiencing nausea from acid reflux may be to lie down.
Lying down can actually aggravate your acid reflux more, so instead consider finding a calm, quiet place to sit for a while.
To alleviate back pain brought on by acid reflux, improve your posture when you sit to stretch out your diaphragm.
In most cases, acid reflux can be treated with home remedies, lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter medications.
Telling The Difference Between A Heartburn & A Heart Attack
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Many people experience a feeling of burning in their lower esophagusclose to the entrance of their stomachbefore it moves up into the chest. That can be cause for concern, especially since heartburn is also a potential symptom of a heart attack.
If the pain is not relieved shortly after taking antacids, or is accompanied by these symptoms, seek emergency medical care:
- Squeezing/tightening in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Arm pain
Even if it is not a heart attack, it could be angina or another issue that needs to be addressed quickly.
Recommended Reading: What To Eat When Vomiting And Diarrhea
How Is Gerd Treated
Treatment for GERD depends on how severe symptoms are. For some people, treatment may just include lifestyle changes, such as changing what they eat or drink. Others will need to take medicines. In very rare cases, when GERD is particularly severe, a doctor will recommend surgery.
These lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms of GERD or even prevent the condition:
- quitting smoking
- losing weight if you are overweight
- eating small meals
- avoiding carbonated beverages
- avoiding foods that trigger reflux
It also can help to not lie down for 3 hours after a meal and to not eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Doctors sometimes also recommend raising the head of the bed about 6 to 8 inches. Before you start a major bedroom makeover, though, talk to your doctor and your parents about the best sleeping position for you.
If symptoms continue, doctors might prescribe medicine, such as:
- H2 blockers, which can help block the production of stomach acid
- proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes
- prokinetics, which help the esophageal sphincter work better and the stomach empty faster. This can prevent reflux episodes.
Check If You Have Acid Reflux
The main symptoms of acid reflux are:
- heartburn a burning sensation in the middle of your chest
- an unpleasant sour taste in your mouth, caused by stomach acid
You may also have:
- a cough or hiccups that keep coming back
- a hoarse voice
Your symptoms will probably be worse after eating, when lying down and when bending over.
Don’t Miss: Why Does Sugar Give Me Heartburn
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.
Can Costochondritis Cause Trouble Breathing
Difficulty breathing is not a symptom of costochondritis, but its understandable if it feels difficult because of the chest pain, especially when that pain gets worse because of a deep breath or a cough. Go to the hospital immediately if youre having trouble breathing. This is an emergency.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Chest pain may be a very scary symptom. If your chest pain is severe, you should go to the emergency department to find out whats causing it. It might be costochondritis or it might be a heart attack or some other serious condition. If its costochondritis, theres no reason to worry. Costochondritis is a short-term swelling of the cartilage. Treatments are available to help reduce the pain associated with costochondritis while you heal.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 11/12/2021.
Also Check: Do Probiotics Help Autoimmune Diseases
A Pharmacist Can Help With Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.
They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.
It’s best to take these with food or soon after eating, as this is when you’re most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if taken with food.
How Long Does The Chest Pain Associated With Acidreflux Last
Asked by Retha Sokol
How Long Does The Chest Pain Associated With Acidreflux Last?
I was taken to the ER on Tuesday of this week. They ran a few tests and determined that they thought it was Acid Reflux. However, after taking medication and eating small and bland foods, the pain in my chest is still persisting when I walk, lean over, or lay down. Would the pain associated with this last for three days?
Also Check: Does Lemon Juice Help Heartburn
What Makes You Worry That Chest Pain Is Serious Like A Heart Attack
When is chest pain serious? That dull burning feeling in your chest doesn’t seem to be going away, and even feels like it is getting worse. Is it a heart attack, or something else?
It’s a vexing question, one that millions of people and their doctors face each year. What’s the problem? Chest pain can stem from dozens of conditions besides heart attack, from pancreatitis to pneumonia or panic attack.
Millions of Americans with chest pain are seen in hospital emergency departments every year. Only 20% of them are diagnosed with a heart attack or an episode of unstable angina, a warning sign that a heart attack may happen soon. A few have another potentially life-threatening problem, such as pulmonary embolism or aortic dissection . Some are experiencing “regular” angina, which occurs when part of the heart isn’t getting as much oxygen-rich blood as it needs during periods of physical exertion or emotional stress. Most of them, though, had a condition unrelated to the heart or arteries.
The other tricky problem with heart attacks is that different people experience them in different ways. Some have classic chest pain. Others have jaw pain or back pain. Still others become breathless, or extremely fatigued, or nauseated.
Other Causes Of Chest Pain
Heart attack and heartburn arent the only causes of chest pain, but they are some of the most likely ones. Other potential symptoms include:
- Anxiety attack. Severe bouts of anxiety can cause panicked feelings that may make you feel as if youre dying. Other symptoms include shortness of breath and intense fear.
- Esophageal muscle spasm. Some people have an esophagus that tightens or spasms. If this occurs, a person can have pain and discomfort, such as chest pain.
- Gallbladder pain. The gallbladder is responsible for releasing bile that the body uses to digest fats. It can become blocked or diseased, causing symptoms like pain in the shoulders, arms, and neck as well as nausea and vomiting.
- Pleurisy. This condition is an inflammation of the tissues in the chest wall, often due to intense coughing or inflammation from an infection.
You May Like: How To Cure Leaky Gut Fast
You May Like: Do Probiotics Help With Depression
Heartburn And Heart Attack Pain Can Be Similar Learn The Difference
Youre relaxing at home after a delicious meal. You notice you dont feel quite right. You have an upset stomach. There is a burning sensation in your chest area.
Is it heartburn from indigestion? Could it be a heart attack?
Chest discomfort is the most common symptom of a heart attack, which can be life-threatening. But it can also be a sign of heartburn, which has nothing to do with the heart and is a common symptom of indigestion.
It can sometimes be difficult to tell one from the other. Learning the difference can help you protect your heart health and know when to seek medical attention.
If youre not sure if its heartburn or a heart attack, and your chest pain is persistent seek medical help right away, says Kiyon Chung, MD, a Scripps cardiologist. You will be checked immediately to rule out a heart attack. If your chest pain turns out to be a heart attack, doctors will work to lessen any heart damage.
If its indigestion, youll want to make sure it doesnt become a chronic problem. You may be able to find quick relief taking an over-the-counter antacid or other medication.
What is indigestion?
Heartburn is a symptom of indigestion or acid reflux. It happens when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the food pipe that connects the throat to the stomach. This backflow causes a burning feeling or pain in the chest. Another symptom is regurgitation, which is when food rises in the back of the throat.
What is a heart attack?
Symptoms of heart attack