Medicines And Other Treatments
Your childs healthcare provider may also recommend other options.
Medicines. Your child’s provider may prescribe medicines to help with reflux. There are medicines that help reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes. This reduces the heartburn linked to reflux. These medicines may include:
- H2-blockers. These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes by blocking the hormone histamine. Histamine helps to make acid.
- Proton pump inhibitors. These help keep your stomach from making acid. They do this by stopping the stomach’s acid pump from working.
The provider may prescribe another type of medicine that helps the stomach empty faster. If food doesnt stay in the stomach as long as normal, reflex may be less likely to occur.
Calorie supplements. Some babies with reflux cant gain weight because they vomit often. If this is the case, your child’s healthcare provider may suggest:
- Adding rice cereal to baby formula
- Giving your baby more calories by adding a prescribed supplement
- Changing formula to milk- or soy-free formula if your baby may have an allergy
How Is Acid Reflux Disease Diagnosed
Its time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications dont bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to the diagnosis of acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms.
If these steps dont help or if you have frequent or severe symptoms, your doctor may order tests to confirm a diagnosis and check for other problems. You may need one or more tests such as these:
- Barium swallow can check for ulcers or a narrowing of the esophagus. You first swallow a solution to help structures show up on an X-ray.
- Esophageal manometry can check the function and movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.
- pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus.
- Endoscopycan check for problems in your esophagus or stomach. This test involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera down your throat. First, the doctor will spray the back of your throat with anesthetic and give you a sedative to make you more comfortable.
- A biopsymay be taken during endoscopy to check samples of tissue under a microscope for infection or abnormalities.
Treatment Options For Heartburn
FDA identifies three classes of OTC medications for treating occasional heartburn. These include:
- Antacids. These medications help neutralize stomach acid. They can provide quick relief of heartburn symptoms. Common antacids are:
Although these medications can be helpful, they may have side effects, according to the NIDDK . Antacids can cause constipation or diarrhea. PPIs may cause headache, diarrhea, or upset stomach. Talk with your doctor about any medications youre already taking to see if youre at risk for any drug interactions.
If OTC medications do not relieve your symptoms, your doctor may be able to prescribe stronger versions of these medications.
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What Does Heartburn Feel Like When Pregnant
Suffering heartburn in pregnancy is common, and is the result of a whole host of changes your body is going through. Just one of these is the increase of the hormone progesterone, which causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, sending gastric acid up the esophagus and causing the tell-tale burning sensation.3 If you havent had heartburn before, be reassured that it is common.3 To help reduce the risk of heartburn and ease symptoms, eat small meals, avoid fatty or greasy foods, and wait at least three hours after eating before lying down.3 Always talk to your doctor about the right treatment for you before using TUMS.
Most Common Symptoms Of Gerd
Lets start by running through the most common symptoms of GERD. Well then focus in on some of the more severe GERD symptoms.
Once you know these GERD Symptoms well youll be able to take the actions you need to relieve yourself quickly, as well as having the peace of mind of knowing when your symptoms are bad enough for you to need medical assistance.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of GERD:
- A sour, acidic taste in the mouth
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What Are The Treatment Options
If you have heartburn, your provider may prescribe over-the-counter antacids, which may come in a chewable tablet. They might also recommend prescription drugs such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors, which reduce how much acid your stomach makes.
Providers may also recommend lifestyle changes, like losing weight and quitting smoking, which can increase stomach acid production. Other changes often include reducing stress, exercising more, avoiding food around bedtime, raising the head of the bed about 6 inches, and eating more high-protein, low-fat meals.
How Do Antacids Work To Treat Heartburn
Antacids reduce the amount of stomach acid, relieving your heartburn. These medications can also be used to soothe stomach upset, indigestion and other pains in your stomach. Some antacids contain simethicone, which reduces gas. Antacids that you can get without a prescription include:
Make sure you always follow the instructions on the package or talk to your doctor about the right way to use an antacid. If you use tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.
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Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
What Is The Least Acidic Beer
If some beers can worsen the symptoms of heartburn, GERD, and acid reflux, are there any that are better to drink if you have one of these conditions?
Barley malt lagers are the least acidic beer. Malted barley contains phosphates, which are acidic buffers. Making a mash of barley malt mixed with water will cause the phosphate buffers to achieve a natural pH of around 5.2-5.4. Barley malts include pale malt, Pilsner malt, Vienna malt, Munich malt, mild ale malt.
Compare this with 100% base malt grist mashed with distilled water whose pH is between 5.6 and 5.8.
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Smoking + Alcohol = Heart On Fire
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can set you up for terrible reflux. The nicotine and alcohol both work to weaken your LES, making it that much easier for stomach contents and acid to splash up into your esophagus. Alcohol is also going to irritate your stomach in general. The solution? Quit smoking, and drink less Doing both will improve your health overall, in addition to relieving acid reflux.
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 .
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How To Tell If You Have Heartburn Acid Reflux Or Gerd
Are heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease all the same thing? Burning, nausea, indigestion, acid backwash that burns the throat, upset stomach, general digestive discomfort, the ability to breathe fire Kind of like being in a Pepto-Bismol commercial, but with the disposition of an irritable dragon.
Despite the commonality of making you miserable, these three conditions are not the same. Knowing the difference will help you properly treat symptoms and ideally, avoid them before they start.
Symptoms Location And Timing
Your symptoms, the site and character of your discomfort, and symptom timing are important factors your doctor will consider in differentiating acid reflux versus an ulcer. Burning pain behind the breastbone and possibly into the throat that occurs after meals points toward acid reflux. This discomfort often worsens when you lie down or bend over. Ulcer pain is commonly described as gnawing or boring discomfort located toward the bottom of the rib cage. Ulcer pain usually occurs on an empty stomach and is relieved by eating. Unintentional weight loss may point toward an ulcer, whereas difficulty swallowing or a chronic cough makes acid reflux more likely.
- Your symptoms, the site and character of your discomfort, and symptom timing are important factors your doctor will consider in differentiating acid reflux versus an ulcer.
- Ulcer pain is commonly described as gnawing or boring discomfort located toward the bottom of the rib cage.
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Heartburn Bloating And Belching
Bloating, belching and heartburn after eating can be caused by consuming particularly fatty or oily foods. When it comes to drinks, carbonated or alcoholic beverages can lead to excess gas and bloating. Equally, wearing tight or restrictive clothing around your waistline may exacerbate the problem further, so it may be a good idea to wear loose clothing while eating.5 You should not try to relieve gas by belching, as this can make heartburn worse as it causes more acid to rise in your throat.6 Find out more about the causes of heartburn so you can identify your personal triggers.
How What And When
Watch how you eat: Dont inhale giant mouthfuls of food. Take smaller bites and eat slowly, allowing your stomach time to digest and without giving it an excuse to pump out excess acid.
Watch what you eat: Youre probably aware that specific foods trigger heartburn, usually foods high in acid or spicy foods. Avoid these as best you can to ward off
Watch when you eat: Dont eat within 3-4 hours before bed. Lying down puts more pressure on your LES and increases the likelihood of acid sneaking through.
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Diet And Lifestyle Changes
In many cases, diet and lifestyle changes can help to ease GERD. Talk with your childs healthcare provider about changes you can make. Here are some tips to better manage GERD symptoms.
- After feedings, hold your baby in an upright position for 30 minutes.
- If bottle-feeding, keep the nipple filled with milk. This way your baby wont swallow too much air while eating. Try different nipples. Find one that lets your baby’s mouth make a good seal with the nipple during feeding.
- Adding rice cereal to feeding may be helpful for some babies.
- Burp your baby a few times during bottle-feeding or breastfeeding. Your child may reflux more often when burping with a full stomach.
- Watch your child’s food intake. Limit fried and fatty foods, peppermint, chocolate, drinks with caffeine such as sodas and tea, citrus fruit and juices, and tomato products.
- Offer your child smaller portions at mealtimes. Add small snacks between meals if your child is hungry. Dont let your child overeat. Let your child tell you when he or she is hungry or full.
- If your child is overweight, contact your childs provider to set weight-loss goals.
- Serve the evening meal early, at least 3 hours before bedtime.
Other things to try:
Causes And Risk Factors
The food pipe becomes narrower just before it reaches the stomach. This narrow part is normally kept shut by the muscles in the food pipe and diaphragm. But this doesnt work properly in GERD. It is often not clear why.
In some people it is caused by a hiatal hernia . The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the chest and abdominal cavities from each other. The food pipe passes through a small hole in the diaphragm and enters the stomach just below it. In people who have a hiatal hernia, the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the hole in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. As a result, the diaphragm can no longer help to close the entrance to the stomach.
There is some debate about whether being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol can affect the sphincter or the risk of reflux and heartburn. Many of those affected say that their symptoms are triggered or made worse by stress or by certain foods or drinks. The symptoms may also get worse after physical activities or through certain positions, such as bending forward or lying down.
Sometimes reflux symptoms and heartburn are caused by a problem with the food pipe. For instance, the food pipe might not move rising stomach juices back down into the stomach fast enough, or it might react very sensitively. The symptoms can also be made worse by medications such as birth control pills and certain drugs against high blood pressure.
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What Can You Do If You Have Heartburn
If you experience occasional heartburn from acid reflux, try these:
- Donât lay down after eating for two to three hours
- Raise the head of your bed so gravity helps keep your stomach contents in your stomach
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals instead of two to three large meals
- Donât smoke
- Avoid tight clothing that can put pressure on your stomach
- Keep a food diary to pinpoint trigger foods to avoid
- Lose extra weight
- Use over the counter antacids if needed*
If youâre taking antacids more than two times per week, or your symptoms are getting worse, you may have GERD. Your doctor can talk to you about your history and symptoms, rule out other conditions, and determine if you have acid reflux or GERD.
Together you can come up with a plan to treat your symptoms and avoid the complications that can come from untreated GERD.
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Common Symptoms Of Heartburn
If you’ve got a burning feeling in your chest just behind your breastbone that starts after you eat, it might be heartburn. The symptoms could last from a few minutes to several hours.
- Chest pain, especially after you bend over, lie down, or eat
- Burning at the back of your throat
- Fluid at the back of your throat that tastes hot, sour, acidic, or salty
- Long-term cough, sore throat, or hoarseness
Telling your doctor about these symptoms is usually all they need to make a diagnosis of heartburn. But they may ask you to take special tests to find out how severe the problem is or to keep an eye on your treatment.
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What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux , also called reflux, is when food and acid from the stomach go back up into the esophagus. This causes an uncomfortable feeling in the chest, often called heartburn.
With GER, reflux happens after nearly every meal and causes noticeable discomfort. After eating, people with GER feel a burning sensation in the chest, neck, and throat.
While its more common in adults, kids, teens, and even babies can have gastroesophageal reflux.
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Differentiating Heartburn From Other Diseases
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