What Are Heartburn And Reflux
The muscle at the bottom of our esophagus known as the lower esophageal sphincter normally relaxes to let food and drink down into our stomach and then closes. When that muscle relaxes too much, stomach acid, food or drinks can back up into the esophagus, a process called reflux.
Reflux sometimes causes heartburn, which is a burning sensation felt behind the breastbone when stomach acid moves into the esophagus. Chronic heartburn and reflux can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease;or another GI condition, but everyone experiences these symptoms from time to time. Occasional heartburn and reflux are not harmful, and the best treatment is usually to avoid things that trigger symptoms.
Vinegar To Cure Heartburn
Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.
- Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
- Now have this water.
- You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
- Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.
Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.
Bring Lifestyle Changes To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Wrong eating habits and certain other habits make it difficult for your body to digest food properly. There are some other lifestyle habits that lead to heartburn and you need to change them. Here is a list of such lifestyle changes that you must adopt if you want to get rid of heartburn.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Gastroesophageal Reflux
Common signs of reflux include:
- heartburn . It can last up to 2 hours and tends to be worse after meals and when lying down
- frequent spitting up or vomiting, especially after meals
- the feeling of stomach acid coming up into the back of the throat
- acidic or bad breath
- frequent cavities, especially in the back teeth, despite good brushing;
Signs of GER in babies and young children include:
- choking or wheezing
- wet burps or wet hiccups
- spitting up that continues beyond a child’s first birthday
- irritability or inconsolable crying after eating
- refusing to eat or eating only small amounts
- failure to gain weight
Some of these symptoms may get worse if a baby lies down or is placed in a car seat after a meal.
Soothe Your Stomach With Aloe Juice
Aloe is a plant used to soothe burns, and people often think of using it to help something like sunburn, but it can do more than that. It may be able to help with heartburn too because it reduces inflammation. This means when your tummy starts getting irritated and inflamed, or your esophagus is getting eaten away at, a nice glass of aloe vera juice may be just the thing to help calm it down.
You will need-1/2 cup aloe vera juice
DirectionsDrink a ½ cup of aloe juice, cool or room temperature, before meals. Keep in mind that aloe can act as a laxative, so unless youre looking to fit in a few extra bathroom Sudoku puzzles, look for a brand that has the laxative component removed.
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Is Gerd Dangerous Or Life
GERD isnt life-threatening or dangerous in itself. But long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:
- Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
- Barrett’s esophagus: Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barretts esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
- Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barretts esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
- Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.
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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Dont Sleep On Your Right Side
Several studies show that sleeping on your right side may worsen reflux symptoms at night .
The reason is not entirely clear, but is possibly explained by anatomy.
The esophagus enters the right side of the stomach. As a result, the lower esophageal sphincter sits above the level of stomach acid when you sleep on your left side .
When you lay on your right side, stomach acid covers the lower esophageal sphincter. This increases the risk of acid leaking through it and causing reflux.
Obviously, this recommendation may not be practical, since most people change their position while they sleep.
Yet resting on your left side might make you more comfortable as you fall asleep.
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Excess acid collects in the stomach, not because of excess acid production but because the stomach isnt emptying as well as it should.; Couple this with poor closure of the valve between the stomach and the esophagus and you end up with stomach acid splashing up into the esophagus.; Its this combination of neurological problems that leads to heartburn or GERD .
Both of these problems are controlled by the autonomic nervous system .; The ANS is a primitive part of the;brain that controls all bodily organ function.; It controls peristalsis that pushes food through the intestinal tract.; It coordinates the muscles and valves of the bladder so we can empty the bladder efficiently.; It even controls blood pressure regulation, sweating, pupil dilation and constriction, saliva production and erections.
A growing body of;scientific evidence suggests that carbohydrates are having a toxic effect on the ANS and is the cause of such common problems as heartburn, constipation, frequent urination, chronic fatigue and lightheadedness.
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The Safest Most Effective Natural Cures For Acid Reflux In Children
Seeking professional medical care is an important first step for treatment as a doctor can help you determine the severity of your childs condition and offer some suggestions for an effective route of care. However, in addition to doctor prescribed treatment, you may want to consider natural options. Many times children respond well to home remedies such as apple cider vinegar, dietary changes, coconut oil, and even peppermint or lemon.
What Are The Symptoms Of Heartburn And Reflux
Babies with reflux may be especially irritable and cry a lot during and after mealtimes. Older children may complain of:
- Burning sensation in the chest
- Alcohol and cigarette smoke
Reflux also happens more when youre lying down, so your child should try not to eat or drink two hours before bed. If your child is overweight, the doctor might recommend a weight-loss plan to help alleviate heartburn and reflux.Treatment isnt always necessary with infants. Babies with reflux might cry because theyre scared of spitting up or are bothered by regurgitated liquid coming out of their nose, but that doesnt necessarily mean they need medication. Reflux medications come with side effects including headaches, constipation and increased risk of pneumonia and intestinal infections and its generally safest to wait for babies to outgrow the problem. However, some simple changes in feeding routines can reduce reflux symptoms in infants:
Some infants with reflux will not be able to gain weight due to frequent vomiting. If thats the case, your childs doctor may recommend:
- Adding rice cereal to baby formula
- Increasing calories by adding a prescribed supplement to formula or breast milk
- Nasogastric tube feedings: Formula or breast milk is given through a tube that is placed in the nose, guided through the esophagus and into the stomach. Tube feedings can be given in addition to or in place of regular feedings.
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What Causes Heartburn In Infants And Children
Heartburn in infants and young children is usually a sign of gastroesophageal reflux . That’s a condition that occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus — the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. There is a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter that normally keeps acids in the stomach. But if the LES relaxes too much, the harsh stomach acids can rise up and irritate the delicate lining of the esophagus. That leads to heartburn and other symptoms.
GERD, a more serious form of GER, affects just over 1% of infants. The baby’s spit-up is stronger, often repetitive, and babies may also experience the discomfort of heartburn. This can be seen with fussiness during feeding.
In very young children, the cause of heartburn is usually an immature digestive tract. In older children, risks include being overweight, exposure to secondhand smoke, and eating certain types of foods . Children with neurological conditions, such as cerebral palsy, are also at greater risk.
Does Milk Help Heartburn
Milk is another old-school remedy for heartburn. Like calcium-based over-the-counter antacids, milk counteracts the acidity of your stomach, says Zumpano. Stick with skim or low-fat milkthe fat content in whole milk could actually contribute to heartburn. Along the same lines, low-fat yogurt may also ease your heartburn .
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Overview Of Acid Reflux In Children
Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when the fluids inside your childs stomach flow back into their esophagus the tube that connects their throat to their stomach. Under normal circumstances, the contents in the stomach are supposed to stay inside the organ, thanks to a valve at its opening called a sphincter. However, certain circumstances may cause that valve to remain open when a child is not eating. As a result, when the fluids travel back up the esophagus, your child may experience hiccups, burping, heartburn, gagging, coughing fits, and/or vomiting after meals.
In addition to being uncomfortable, if your child experiences chronic acid reflux, long-term effects could develop into recurring stomach pain, sore throat, bad breath, ear infections, and tooth decay. Therefore, its crucial to recognize the foods that trigger the reflux so that you can teach your child to avoid them.
Elevate Your Upper Body
Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.
If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
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Elevate The Head Of Your Bed
Some people experience reflux symptoms during the night .
This may disrupt their sleep quality and make it difficult for them to fall asleep.
One study showed that patients who raised the head of their bed had significantly fewer reflux episodes and symptoms, compared to those who slept without any elevation .
Additionally, an analysis of controlled studies concluded that elevating the head of the bed is an effective strategy to reduce acid reflux symptoms and heartburn at night (
Elevating the head of your bed may reduce your reflux symptoms at night.
Melon For Heartburn Relief
Melon has a pH of 6.1 and therefore it can be counted as one of the good foods for heartburn. Some people, however, may not respond well to melon and need to avoid it. So you can have some melon pieces every day or make a smoothie with melon and other ingredients that are also good to cure heartburn. Here is one recipe for a melon smoothie that also uses almond milk, cantaloupe, watermelon, ginger and banana. Almonds are also said to be a great remedy for heartburn as they neutralize stomach acid. While you can always snack on almonds, adding a few of them in this smoothie will not only make it tasty but will increase its efficacy in combating heartburn.
Make Melon Smoothie to Prevent Heartburn
- Fresh ginger root- 1 inch piece
- Place all the above ingredients in your blender and blend them together.
- Have this every morning if you have a consistent problem of heartburn.
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What Lifestyle Changes Can Help Treat My Child’s Reflux Or Gerd
Sometimes reflux and GERD in children can be treated with lifestyle changes:
- Losing weight, if needed
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing around the abdomen
- Staying upright for 3 hours after meals and not reclining and slouching when sitting
- Sleeping at a slight angle. Raise the head of your child’s bed 6 to 8 inches by safely putting blocks under the bedposts.
When Does Acid Reflux Become Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
If your child is experiencing acid reflux for more than twice a week continuously for a few weeks, then it could be GERD . A pediatricians consultation is imperative in such circumstances.
Some of the primary symptoms of acid reflux may also indicate other minor ailments. So you may not rush your child to the doctor if he or she vomits a little, complains of a stomach ache or refuses to eat once in a while. But if these symptoms are consistent and frequent, it is a cause for concern and warrants a trip to the doctor.
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Ginger Can Help Heartburn
If your mother gave you flat ginger ale when you had an upset stomach as a kid, it may have seemed like a treat but there was a good reason behind it. Ginger has long been known to help calm stomach troubles, including stomach bloating and acid reflux. Carbonation and added sugar aggravate the stomach though, so youre better off drinking ginger tea.
Q: Can Kids Get Heartburn What Should I Do If My Child Has Heartburn
A: Yes, kids can get heartburn too. To understand why, its helpful to understand what heartburn really is, and what it isnt.
Heartburn is a burning sensation that occurs in either the lower part of the chest, behind the sternum, or in the upper area of the stomach. Despite its name, the burning feeling does not come from the heart, but rather the esophagus the long tube that connects the mouth to the stomach. A tight band of muscles known as the lower esophageal sphincter , lay at the base of the esophagus. When these muscles relax, they allow food entry into the stomach. When the LES becomes weak and relaxes, it causes stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus resulting in irritation. We then perceive this sensation as heartburn.
There are a number of triggers for heartburn, but the most common cause is food. Acidic beverages such as coffee or orange juice have been known to relax the LES, resulting in the release of stomach acid. Foods high in oils and fats, anything deep fried, acidic foods such as lemons and oranges, as well as spicy foods are known triggers. However, tomatoes, garlic, onions and peppermint are the most commonly recognized foods that spark the infamous burning sensation.
Extra pressure placed on the stomach also commonly triggers heartburn. This may include eating too much food, obesity or constipation.
· Antacids, which neutralize existing stomach acid
· Medication that lessens the production of stomach acid
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