How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Before Bed
Sixty million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology. For them, heartburn is an occasional annoyance. But for the 15 million Americans who suffer heartburn every day, it is a more serious problem, impacting their quality of life, disrupting their sleep, and causing a number of medical complications. Frequent long-term heartburn is usually referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease .
Heartburn can be reduced or eliminated for many people, but for some, its a symptom of an underlying condition that requires management. In this article, we explain what heartburn is, before taking a look at some of the ways heartburn can be managed.
Ways To Prevent Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Most of us are all too familiar with the painful, burning sensation in the center of the chest thats associated with heartburn.
In fact, up to 28% of adults in North America experience gastroesophageal reflux disease , a common condition that causes heartburn. GERD occurs when acid is pushed up from the stomach back into the esophagus, which leads to the heartburn sensation .
Although people often use medications to treat acid reflux and heartburn, many lifestyle modifications can also help you reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Here are 14 natural ways to reduce your acid reflux and heartburn, all backed by scientific research.
How To Treat Nighttime Heartburn Symptoms
For nighttime heartburn relief, elevate your head and chest upright in bed, lie on your left side, or try standing up. Raising your upper body can naturally help the stomach acid move down the digestive system and reduce heartburn symptoms.
If occasional heartburn symptoms persist, they can be treated with over the counter medications, such as PEPCID®. PEPCID® is a Histamine-2 blocker, with the active ingredient famotidine, which can help relieve heartburn by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. It works fast and will help to control acid all night*. If you do not have OTC heartburn medications readily available, learn more about easy ways to manage with at-home heartburn remedies.
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How To Treat Nighttime Acid Reflux
If youre having trouble getting to sleep at night because of your acid reflux, youre not alone more than 50 million Americans reportedly suffer from more than 80 different sleep disorders. Fortunately, when you alleviate reflux during the night, it can lessen the severity of your daytime symptoms and minimize the chance that you experience associated health problems in the future. Your esophagus has a chance to heal with several hours free of acid and youre more likely to get the quality sleep that you need. With that being said, here are some of the available options for treating nighttime acid reflux.
Home Remedies For Heartburn
Tags: Digestive Health & Disorders ,
That unpleasant feeling of your last meal coming back into your throat. That uncomfortable, even painful, burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn has returned.
Heartburn, the feeling you get when the contents of your stomach back up into the esophagus toward the mouth, is common to experience from time to time. Heartburn is caused by acidic stomach content moving into the esophagus, or gullet. This results in irritation and damage to the lining of the esophagus.
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Do Not Eat Too Quickly
If you eat too fast, you might end up eating quicker than the food that can be processed inside your stomach.
This will cause heartburn because the stomach will be trying to produce a lot more acid than usual in order to keep up with your pace. Once the food is digested, the extra acid will rise up your throat and give you that heart-burning sensation.
Why Do You Get Reflux More At Night
You may experience more reflux at night than during the day. The reason for this is gravity. When you sit or stand, gravity helps move the food through your esophagus and into the stomach. When youâre laying down, you lose the effect of gravity on the food traveling through your digestive system. Laying down also prevents gravity from keeping bile and acids from traveling up into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Because of this, many people find their heartburn is worse at night.
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When Should I See A Doctor
Occasional heartburn is common and can often be self-treated with OTC medications and lifestyle changes. If your nighttime heartburn symptoms worsen, or two or more times a week, it may be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease . While GERD is not life threatening, you should talk to a doctor if your symptoms persist for more than a couple weeks. Some individuals are able to manage the discomfort of GERD on their own, but in some cases, stronger medications or surgery may be needed to ease symptoms.
*Based on 9-hour acid control studies during the day and 12-hour acid control studies during the night. acid control does not imply symptom relief.
What Are The Worst Foods For Heartburn
One of the first nighttime heartburn tips is to avoid foods that can make heartburn worse.
1. Limit coffee
Coffee and caffeine can lower sphincter pressure, causing it to relax and acid to backflow. Try drinking less coffee, especially in the evening or towards the end of the day.
2. Eat less acidic food
Avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and chocolate. If you enjoy these foods, the key is moderation. Try eating less of these foods at night.
3. Avoid fried, fatty foods
Fried foods can be triggers for some people. Avoid fried fast food and cook grilled or roasted meals at home.
4. Limit alcohol
Alcohol can stimulate extra stomach acid and relax the esophageal sphincter, contributing to acid backflow. If you find you get heartburn after drinking alcohol, try drinking less.
5. Avoid spicy foods
Spicy foods are common heartburn triggers as they can irritate your esophagus and sphincter. Swap your spices for fresh herbs or eat a bland diet.
6. Avoid carbonated drinks
Sodas and sparkling drinks make you belch, which can lead to acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.
7. Avoid peppermint tea
Both peppermint and spearmint can relax your esophagus valve and worsen heartburn.
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Adjust Your Sleep Position
Elevating your head and chest higher than your feet as you sleep can help prevent and ease acid reflux and heartburn. You can do this using a foam wedge placed under the mattress or by raising bedposts using wood blocks. Beware of piling pillows, as this usually isn’t effective and may even make your symptoms worse. Additionally, sleeping on your left side is thought to aid digestion and may work to limit stomach acid reflux.
Try Sleeping On Your Left Side
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the upper portion of the digestive tract is not functioning properly, causing stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus. The esophagus is a muscular tube linking the mouth to the stomach. In normal digestion, a specialized ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and then quickly closes to prevent backflow into the esophagus. The LES can malfunction, allowing contents from the stomach, including food and digestive juices, such as hydrochloric acid, to push up into the esophagus. In GERD, this backflow is ongoing.
When you are standing, or sitting upright, gravity helps prevent stomach contents from rising up into the esophagus. However, reflux can become much worse while you are sleeping or lying in bed without the aid of gravity, it is much easier for stomach contents to spill through the malfunctioning LES and flow into the esophagus. This leads to an increase in symptoms, such as a burning in the chest, the feeling of food or liquid rising into the mouth, a sour or bitter taste, a sore throat, and coughing, which can make getting a good nights sleep a difficult task.
First published in the Inside Tract® newsletter issue 201 2017
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What Is The Best Sleeping Position For Acid Reflux Sleeping With Gerd
Do you experience burning in your throat, regurgitation, choking, coughing, or heartburn during sleep? All of these may disturb your sleep throughout the night. But what could be the cause? Short answer: Stomach acid, when it escapes out of your stomach to the esophagus and sometimes even up into your lungs, throat, and sinuses.
People with acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease , usually experience these symptoms at night. If youre one of them, know that youre not alone. Its more common than you may expect. GERD affects up to 13% of the global population at least once a week. And, 25% of people with GERD experience poor sleep, which could be from nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux , a type of GERD, with the other being upright or daytime GERD.
Supine or nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux usually occurs when acid moves back up to a persons esophagus while lying down and mostly happens at night before or during sleep. This condition may cause sleep issues and prevent a person from getting a good nights rest.
Lets take a look into the sleep positions that may reduce your GERD symptoms and help you get a better nights sleep, as well as the sleep positions to avoid because they may aggravate your symptoms at night.
Backpain Relief Program #1
The #1 program we suggest is called My Back Pain Coach: its probably the most complete and comprehensive program to follow to get rid of any forms of back pain in the shortest possible time.
The program is made by 8 movements only, and its suggested for both lower and upper back pain.
Moreover, it does not take more than 16-20 minutes per day. This because each movement takes no more than 2 minutes.
What makes this program so good is the release of several biochemicals in your body, after performing the exercises.
Such biochemicals, along with oxygen and nutrients, are the actual healers of your back pain.
You can follow the program completely online, but you also can benefit from one-on-one sessions to better target exercises to your specific needs.
If you want to learn more about this program and all related additions, we suggest to check the official website and watch the video or , click on the button read transcript on the bottom-right corner of the video player will appear.
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Opt For Cooked Onions Instead Of Raw
Raw onions are a common trigger for acid reflux and heartburn.
One older study in people with acid reflux showed that eating a meal containing raw onion significantly increased heartburn, acid reflux, and burping, compared with consuming an identical meal that didnt contain onions .
More frequent burping might suggest that more gas is being produced. This could be due to the high amounts of fermentable fiber in onions .
Raw onions are also more difficult to digest and might irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing worsened heartburn .
Whatever the reason, if you think eating raw onion makes your symptoms worse, you should avoid it and opt for cooked onions instead.
Some people experience worsened heartburn and other reflux symptoms after eating raw onions.
Heartburn With Back Pain Relief
In order for you to reduce as much as possible all reflux-related symptoms, things to do are pretty much the same.
In fact, we now understand that upper and/or mid-back pain is just another possible symptom of the underlying disease.
Thats why you must not consider them as a separate symptom, because they are part of the same big series of symptoms you can control by working well on the right aspects.
Watch The Video To Learn How To Get Rid Of Heartburn & Reflux In 48 Hours Or Less!
Important: Keep watching it until the button appears!!!
So, you must work on the three pillars:
- lifestyle habits
- natural remedies, that are scientifically proven to work
To make things complete, we strongly invite you to read and check the last paragraph What To Do Next: youll find a collection of very detailed programs that show you how to combine everything and pick the best and most complete solution for your case.
For what concerns more specifically back pain, we want to suggest a few carefully selected and proven additional programs.
You can integrate them into your current program, even though they are not specifically designed for people who suffer from acid reflux and heartburn with back pain.
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Big Meals And Eating Certain Foods
The occasional episode of acid reflux may also just be the result of a little more acid production than usual perhaps brought on by a particularly large meal or your sensitivity to certain foods.
And if you lie down before all your food is digested, you run the risk of having some of that excess acid leak through the sphincter.
Regardless of the cause of your acid reflux, lying down whether its at night or during the day is bound to worsen symptoms and prolong the time it will take your body to digest your food completely.
Sleep With Your Head And Shoulder On An Incline
Lying down flat presses the stomach’s contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure and keeps stomach contents where they belongin the stomach. You can elevate your head in a couple of ways. You can place bricks, blocks or anything that’s sturdy securely under the legs at the head of your bed. You can also use a wedge-shaped pillow to elevate your head.
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What Causes Heartburn
Heartburn, which is also called acid reflux, occurs when acids from the stomach reflux or flow from the stomach into the esophagus . Above your stomach, there is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter . Its job is to keep acid in the stomach, where it is used to digest food.
When acid leaks past the LES into the esophagus, it causes the pain we call heartburn. The lining of the stomach is protected from the effects of acid, but the esophagus is not. Repeated heartburn can cause more serious problems, such as esophageal stricture and bleeding. It may also increase the likelihood of certain cancers.
Heartburn has many causes. For most people, it is the result of eating the wrong foods at the wrong time. For others, it is a consequence of an underlying condition, such as obesity, pregnancy, or a hiatal hernia. Heartburn is more prevalent in older people and can be caused by coughing or even physical exertion such as sitting up.
What Makes It Worse
Most spicy, greasy, fatty foods known for causing heartburn are also likely to cause problems for pregnant women. Food doesnt digest as well or move as quickly during pregnancy. So, eating large meals or overeating in general can also increase the risk for heartburn. Eating right before bedtime can cause problems, too. Smoking makes heartburn worse and is another reason to quit, especially while pregnant.
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Benefits Of Sleeping At An Incline
According to an article published in the journal Missouri medicine, head of bed elevation is proven to manage GERD. It limits how often stomach acid escapes to the esophagus, allows your body to get stomach acid back to your stomach quicker, and reduces the symptoms of GERD. Likewise, a 2012 study suggests that elevating the head while lying down may reduce nighttime acid reflux and help manage heartburn and poor sleep from nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux.
As long as your entire torso is raised , sleeping at an incline gives gravity a power boost to return stomach acid to your stomach and keep it there.
Speak with your doctor if you think you have GERD or any other sleep disorder so they can prescribe interventions appropriate for your case.
Acid Reflux Heartburn Or Gerd
Sometimes other words are used to refer to heartburn, like acid reflux or GERD. But they do not all mean the same thing. To treat heartburn, its helpful to understand the difference.
Heartburn is a symptom. It means the feeling of burning pain in the middle of your chest. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases , the pain typically starts behind your breastbone and moves up toward your throat.
Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid travels too high up in your digestive system. Usually, gravity and your digestive system work together to keep stomach acid down in your stomach where it belongs. But sometimes it can rise up into your esophagus and cause irritation, heartburn, or other symptoms.
You might have heard of GERD its a shorter name for gastroesophageal reflux disease. While this condition can have many different causes and symptoms, it often involves heartburn. GERD can sometimes lead to serious complications, so if you have heartburn frequently, talk with a doctor.
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C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:
- If you smoke, stop immediately
- Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
- Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily
For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.