Symptoms Of Indigestion And Heartburn
Symptoms of indigestion and heartburn include:
- a burning sensation or pain in the chest
- feeling full, heavy or bloated
- burping or belching
- feeling or being sick
- bringing up food
Symptoms usually come on soon after eating or drinking, but there can sometimes be a delay between eating and developing indigestion.
You can get symptoms at any point during your pregnancy, but they are more common from 27 weeks onwards.
Indigestion And Heartburn In Pregnancy
Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach.
You can help ease indigestion and heartburn by making changes to your diet and lifestyle, and there are medicines that are safe to take in pregnancy.
A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
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Home Remedies: Minimize Heartburn
Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest, just behind your breastbone. Technically called gastroesophageal reflux disease , heartburn occurs when stomach contents back up into your esophagus. Sour taste and the sensation of food coming back into your mouth may accompany the sensation. Heartburn usually happens after you’ve eaten a meal, and it may occur at night. The pain usually worsens when you’re lying down or bending over.
Why does food back up into your esophagus? Normally, a strong band of muscle closes off the bottom of the esophagus and opens to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again. If the muscle relaxes abnormally or becomes weakened, stomach contents can wash back up , irritating the esophagus.
Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm. Most people manage the discomfort on their own. More frequent heartburn that interferes with your daily routine may be a symptom of something more serious that requires assistance from your health care provider.
To avoid or minimize the effects of heartburn, you should:
But Be Careful With Juice
Especially citrus juice! While studies show that it does not weaken the function of the lower esophageal sphincter, it is very likely that its compounds irritate the food pipe, thus worsening heartburn symptoms. This shows that acidic lemon and grapefruit juices as well as pH-neutral orange alternatives arent responsible for acid reflux but might still negatively affect its symptoms.
Are there any useful alternatives? One of them is definitely Donat water which contains sodium bicarbonate. It neutralizes stomach acid, i.e. it decreases its acidity, which alleviates its effect on esophagus walls which causes uncomfortable burning sensation. Due to its unique combination of magnesium and sulphates, it also relaxes the digestive tract and accelerates digestion and thereby contributes to the general health and prevents heartburn.
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Lose Weight And Eat Smaller Meals
Obesity puts pressure on the abdomen, resulting in stomach contents being forced up the esophagus. Large, heavy meals also increase pressure on the abdomen and lead to acid reflux. Eating smaller meals and dropping a few pounds is one of the home remedies for heartburn that work, reports the NIDDK. These are the 12 foods that can make your heartburn worse.
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Back Sleeping: Avoid Whenever Possible
Sleeping on the back increases how often acid reflux happens at night.
When you sleep flat on your back and acid escapes from your stomach, it can flow freely into your esophagus and remain there.
Studies show that symptoms are often more frequent in this position and tend to last longer because the acid cannot flow back to the stomach.
Your symptoms may also be more severe if you have stomach fatwhich pushes down on your stomach forcing contents to escape. Back sleeping should be the #1 position to avoid at night if you suffer from nighttime acid reflux.
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What Exactly Is Heartburn
Heartburn, also described by experts as acid indigestion, is a medical condition characterized by a painful or burning sensation originating from the middle of the chest or the above part of the stomach. From there, the pain can spread upwards, usually toward ones throat and even jaw and arms. While the feeling sometimes goes away almost immediately, severe or persistent heartburn can easily stick around for several hours.
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What To Do If Heartburn Is Severe Or Frequent
For mild, occasional heartburn, over-the-counter medications such as antacids and histamine blockers can help relieve symptoms. Always read the product label before taking an antacid or histamine blocker and never take a larger dose or take doses more frequently than directed.
If you’re experiencing heartburn frequently, consult your doctor before taking heartburn medications regularly since these drugs can interfere with many other medications and affect underlying health conditions you may have.
If you have severe heartburn, as well as if it persists or worsens after taking steps to relieve it, consult your doctor. In some cases, heartburn can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease , or possibly a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
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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.
What Lifestyle Changes Help Heartburn
The best way to avoid heartburn discomfort is to prevent it. These lifestyle changes can make a big difference:
- Avoid trigger foods:Foods that promote heartburn include fried and fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods and carbonated beverages.
- Lose weight: Being overweight increases the likelihood that youll experience heartburn.
- Avoid eating late at night: Try to eat three hours before going to bed. At a minimum, you should wait at least one hour after eating.
- Elevate the bed: Physically lift the head of your bed about six to eight inches so youre sleeping on an incline. If thats not possible, use a wedge pillow for lift.
- Avoid alcohol and tobacco: These substances increase the chances of heartburn attacks.
- Wear looser clothing: Tight clothing can put pressure on your digestive system.
- Reduce stress.Techniques such as mindfulness, cognitive behavioral therapy or hypnotherapy can help reduce stress and anxiety.
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Know Your Medication Side Effects
Certain medications may contribute to GERD. Some common ones include:
- anticholinergics, which treat, among other conditions, overactive bladder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder
- tricyclic antidepressants
- nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as ibuprofen
If these or other medications are causing acid reflux or other symptoms, tell your doctor. Alternative treatments may be available.
Avoid Foods That Cause Heartburn
While heartburn triggers vary from person to person, there are several foods and drinks that are known causes of heartburn, including:
- spicy foods: hot chili peppers
- acidic foods: citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate
- acidic drinks, such as caffeine, alcohol, coffee, wine and carbonated beverages.
Pay attention to the foods and beverages that trigger heartburn for you and eliminate them from your diet.
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Treatment For Heartburn And Acid Reflux From A Gp
If you have acid reflux, a GP may prescribe a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor that reduces how much acid your stomach makes.
You’ll usually need to take this type of medicine for 4 or 8 weeks, depending on how serious your acid reflux is.
Go back to the GP if your symptoms return after stopping your medicine. You may need a long-term prescription.
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
- an increase in some types of hormones, such as progesterone and oestrogen
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
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Follow A Low Carb Diet
Growing evidence suggests that low carb diets may relieve acid reflux symptoms.
In fact, some researchers suspect that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen, which could contribute to acid reflux (
Excessive alcohol intake can worsen acid reflux symptoms. If you experience heartburn, limiting your alcohol intake might help ease some of your discomfort.
When To Seek Additional Help
Often sleep disturbances can be alleviated or prevented with some simple changes. In cases where lifestyle changes dont help your nighttime symptoms though, its important to consult your doctor about further treatment options. For severe cases of acid reflux, treatment options can range from taking medication to even receiving special surgery.
If you find that youre struggling to sleep even beyond your acid reflux symptoms, its possible an undiagnosed sleep disorder is to blame. If you think disorders like obstructive sleep apnea or insomnia are contributing to your poor sleep quality, be sure to consult your doctor or a sleep expert. They can provide a diagnosis and help you find the treatment options that work best for you.
To find accredited sleep experts in your area, check out this tool provided by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.
Acid reflux symptoms can really ruin your night and make it impossible to get a good nights sleep. Thankfully though, there are easy and holistic lifestyle changes you can make to ensure reflux is a thing of the past. Give them a try and see how you feel!
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Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages
Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.
This is because studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of reflux .
One study found that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened certain acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, fullness, and burping .
The main reason is that the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .
Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily increases the frequency of burping, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.
Maintain A Moderate Weight
Obesity or overweight can influence the frequency of experiencing acid reflux. This is because extra weight, especially around the abdomen, can put pressure on the stomach and lead to acid spilling up into the esophagus.
Sometimes weight loss can help reduce symptoms. Speak to your doctor to see if they recommend this.
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How To Relieve Heartburn Naturally
Check out these simple steps you can take to ease your heartburn symptoms.
1. Rethink Your Drink
Ginger Mint Detox Smoothie
Unfortunately for coffee lovers, that morning cup of joe could be the culprit behind your heartburn.
Too much caffeine can cause your lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which creates the perfect window of opportunity for stomach acid to splash back up into the esophagus and cause those negative heartburn symptoms.
Although I dont recommend caffeine intake in general, if you need to get your coffee fix, its best to opt for a darker roast or a brew thats lower in acidity. is also a good alternative because the amount of acid is reduced during processing.
Or, try mixing up your morning by trading your cup of coffee for some herbal tea. Free of caffeine, tea generally has a calming effect on the stomach and is much less irritating than coffee.
If tea doesnt strike your fancy, why not wake up with a refreshing green smoothie like this one, or one of these smoothie bowls? Green smoothies can give your fiber intake a big bump, which will help keep your digestive system moving and prevent the recurrence of acid reflux and heartburn.
Green smoothies also help alkalize your blood, helping your red blood cells to easily transport oxygen throughout the body and allowing your cells to produce more energy. This means you wont even need to get your caffeine fix to feel energized.
2. Switch Your Sleep Routine
3. Help Your Body Digest
4. Chew Some Gum
Avoid Eating Before Bed
Night-time heartburn is heartburn that occurs at night, and 79% of weekly heartburn sufferers may experience it.1 When you are upright, gravity helps keep stomach acid in the stomach where it belongs, but when you lie down at night, it can become easier for stomach acid to push past your lower esophageal sphincter and leak into your esophagus.
For many people, night-time heartburn can be more disruptive than the symptoms they experience throughout the day. Night-time heartburn can make it hard to fall, and stay, asleep.
Suffering from night-time heartburn, even once a week, can cause fatigue, decrease productivity at work, and overall impact to your daily life. This type of heartburn also has been linked to increased snoring.
To manage your night-time heartburn, consider making changes to your diet and lifestyle, such as avoiding eating before bed or sleeping with your upper body slightly elevated.2
Antacids like TUMS work quickly to bring you heartburn relief. Keep a bottle beside your bed, so you can get back to sleep faster. Take medication at night in an upright position, before lying down to resume sleep. If your night-time heartburn doesnt improve, you may want to talk to your doctor about Nexium 24HR , a proton pump inhibitor that requires only one pill for all day and night relief.3
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Home Remedies For Heartburn
A lot of natural remedies have been touted for heartburn or acid reflux relief. These remedies are generally not well researched and should be used with caution. Remember that even natural substances can cause negative side effects and drug interactions.
Some nutritional and herbal treatments that may stop acid reflux naturally include:
Talk to your healthcare provider before trying any natural remedies for heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Quickly According To Experts
If youve been experiencing a burning feeling in your chest or throat at night, youre not alone. According to statistics reported by the National Institutes of Health , more than 60 million Americans deal with heartburn at least once a monthand research indicates that some adults suffer from heartburn symptoms on a daily basiswhich is why knowing how to get rid of heartburn is so important!
Heartburn is the sensation of burning in the middle of the chest when acid from the stomach gets into the food pipe, says ., board-certified gastroenterologist at Cedars-Sinai, co-founder of The Good LFE and author of The Microbiome Connection.
Also referred to as acid indigestion, this uncomfortable reaction may present itself as a bitter taste in the mouth, while symptoms typically occur after eating and/or usually at nighttime, states Vivek Cherian, M.D., a Chicago-based internal medicine physician. While not always the case, pain oftentimes can worsen when you bend over or lie down, he adds.
In fact, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart and is actually a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux or GERD, a more severe and long-lasting condition that could lead to complications over time, as defined by the NIH. While the classic symptom of GERD is heartburn, this symptom is only seen in about 50% of people with GERD, states Dr. Pimentel.
Lets dive into tips for how to get rid of heartburn fastand reasons you might get heartburn in the first place.
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Let Your Stomach Loose
Tight waistbands or belts that dig into your stomach place unnecessary pressure on your abdomen.10 Swallowing an antacid and undoing the button of your pants or taking your belt down a notch or two after eating will provide instant relief. Maintaining a healthy weight is, however, a better long-term solution.
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