Is Anxiety Heartburn Dangerous
Heartburn, in general, is not dangerous per se. However, there are some risks. For example, both stress and heartburn can lead to ulcers, and ulcers can be dangerous. GERD has a very low chance of causing long term disease. The problem is not just the danger, however. The problem is that the symptoms of heartburn often lead to further anxiety.
This is especially problematic if you have panic attacks. Some of the symptoms of heartburn include:
- Stomach discomfort.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Chronic cough.
The first three symptoms are known to be triggers for panic attacks. The last symptom can cause hyperventilation if the coughs are too frequent or too hard, and hyperventilation can lead to panic attacks.
How Is Heartburn & Reflux Diagnosed
Your doctor will ask you to describe your reflux symptoms and the length of time you have had them;and review the need for prescribing you acid-suppressant medication. Should you require such medication long term or the treatment is not working, your GP is likely to request a gastroscopy. This will ensure there are no underlying problems with your oesophagus or stomach. Up to half of all patients with symptoms that suggest they have reflux turn out to have only mild inflammation or an oesophagus that looks quite normal.
Gastroscopy: This involves passing a thin, flexible tube through the mouth and down into your oesophagus, stomach and start of small intestine9. The endoscopist will be looking for signs of inflammation. It is usually carried out as an outpatient and takes less than 15 minutes. You can choose to have a local anaesthetic throat spray and/or sedative. The endoscopist can guide you in this decision. The procedure is not painful, but it may be uncomfortable at times.
Barium Meal: An alternative to a gastroscopy is a Barium Meal10. This involves drinking some barium liquid which will show up your oesophagus, stomach and first part of the small intestine on x-ray. It gives less information than a gastroscopy but is good at showing whether you have a hiatus hernia or whether your oesophagus is narrowed for any reason.
Use Carom Seeds To Relieve Heartburn
Carom seeds or ajwain as they are known in India is an age-old remedy for heartburn and other gastric problems. It is one of the finest Ayurvedic remedies for heartburn and gas. Carom seeds have anti-acidic properties and thus act as natural antacids. Thymol present in carom seeds act against acidity and gives you relief from heartburn. It also soothes the mucous membrane of your stomach.
Ways to Use Carom Seeds for Heartburn
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Take A Proactive Approach
That’s why, if you have had heartburn or acid reflux consistently for longer than three years, you should have an endoscopy, says Brown. An endoscopy is a simple procedure where a specially designed scope is used to examine the esophagus and take tissue samples, when necessary.
“The tissue samples or biopsies are examined to look for any abnormal cell growth,” Brown explains. “The hope is that we’ll be able to catch any abnormal cells before they become cancerous.
Patients who are diagnosed with Barrett’s typically undergo repeat endoscopies one year and three years later. If precancerous cells are seen at that point, treatment may involve surgical removal of the esophagus to prevent eventual progression to cancer.
But a technique available at Rush, the HALO Ablation System, enables doctors to use radiofrequency ablation to remove Barrett’s tissue completely, without invasive surgery and with relatively few complications.
“HALO ablation has shown to be an effective alternative to surgery in select patients,” says Brown. “However, the good news is that most patients with Barrett’s will never progress to the point that they require this level of intervention.”
How Is Heartburn Diagnosed
Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:
- Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patient’s symptoms .
- Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
- Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.
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What Is Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is when someone has reflux more than twice a week. It’s a more serious condition than GER. Doctors usually treat it with medicine.
GERD can be a problem if it’s not treated because, over time, the reflux of stomach acid damages the tissue lining the esophagus, causing inflammation and pain. In adults, long-lasting, untreated GERD can lead to permanent damage of the esophagus.
What Medications Do I Take To Manage The Symptoms Of Gerd
Many over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve GERD. Most of OTC drugs come in prescription strength too. Your provider will give you a prescription for these stronger drugs if youre not getting relief from the OTC formulas.
The most common GERD medications:
- Antacids include Tums®, Rolaids®, Mylanta®, Riopan® and Maalox®.
- H-2 receptor blockers include Tagamet®, Pepcid AC®, Axid AR® and Zantac®.
- Proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Zegerid®, Nexium®, Protonix®, AcipHex® and Dexilant®.
- Baclofen is a prescription drug used to reduce the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter which allows acid backwash.
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Severe Heartburn And Vomiting
What are the actions to take if there is severe heartburn and vomiting? There is nothing more serious than a severe heartburn, which gradually turns into vomiting. In this case, you can not sit idly by, it’s time to act. It is recommended that you immediately go to the doctor and take the appropriate tests. But before that you need everything, and take some measures yourself. So, the first thing to do is to exclude all foods that can cause the same irritation of the stomach.
It is advisable to start eating a fraction, no matter how difficult, but it’s just necessary to get used to it. Moreover, immediately after eating, you can not go to bed, the stomach starts to work in an emergency and heavier mode. You can not overstretch the stomach, that is, wear tight belts. After eating, do not undertake difficult physical work. All this in some way can alleviate the situation. In general, it is necessary to consult an experienced doctor.
Usually, the treatment is medicated and involves the taking of various inhibitors. Again, in this case much depends on the nature of heartburn. Independently a person can only prevent it, but not cure. Severe heartburn should be eliminated immediately.
Can Indigestion Be Prevented Or Avoided
There are ways to prevent indigestion. To start, you need to know your body and how it reacts to different food and drinks. Spicy and acidic foods and carbonated drinks can trigger indigestion. Try to avoid those things when possible. Eat smaller meals throughout the day, and dont eat too late at night. Dont lie down too soon after eating. Limit the use of alcohol. If you use tobacco, try to quit. Stress and lack of sleep also can worsen symptoms.
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What Treatments Are Available For Heartburn & Acid Reflux
Most treatments revolve around lifestyle changes as your symptoms are likely to lessen if you take measures to reduce the amount of reflux that you have. For example, stopping smoking and drinking less alcohol can all make a big difference to the discomfort you experience. Some foods are more likely than others to trigger reflux symptoms so you may find it helpful to look at how you eat as well as what you eat.;Avoid late night, high fat meals so you dont go to bed with a full stomach. Propping up your head when you sleep may also alleviate symptoms. Eat little but more often if necessary. Try to avoid bending forward or wearing tight clothes as this can put extra pressure on your tummy.
There are also a variety of medicines you can buy at your local pharmacy to help lessen your reflux symptoms.
Antacids: alkaline liquids or tablets that reduce the amount of stomach acid. They work immediately and last for four hours. They are best taken after meals and before going to bed.
Acid-supressing medications: capsules or tablets which reduce the amount of acid produced by the cells in your stomach.
These are split into 2 groups:
- Histamine H2-receptor antagonists . These include Ranitidine, Cimetidine, Famotidine and Nizatidine. These can be taken prior to bedtime.
- Proton pump inhibitors . These include Omeprazole, Pantoprazoleand Esomeprazole. These are best taken 30 minutes prior to breakfast or evening meal.
What Is The Treatment For Heartburn
The health care professional will recommend treating heartburn in a stepwise fashion. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.
I take nonprescription antacids for heartburn, but they don’t seem to help.
Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments.
What kind of lifestyle changes and remedies can I make to reduce heartburn?
Try any or all of the following:
Will these changes stop the heartburn?
They may. If they don’t, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.
How do antacids work?
What if lifestyle changes and antacids don’t work?
If a person still has symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, a health care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 blockers, or acid blockers. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach.
What are acid blockers?
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Tips To Keep Heartburn On The Backburner
To prevent occasional bouts of heartburn, try taking the following five steps:
1. Avoid eating within three hours of the time you go to bed.
2. Take any acid suppressant medication, such as a proton pump inhibitor, first thing in the morning.;”Because of the way proton pump inhibitor-type medications activate, it’s not helpful to take these medications at night on an empty stomach,” says Brown.
3. Sleep on a slight incline, with your head elevated, and/or sleep on your left side.;If you have chronic heartburn, falling asleep in the wrong position enables acid to sneak into the esophagus. Keeping your head raised slightly keeps that from happening.;Studies have also found that while sleeping on the right side actually aggravates heartburn, flipping over to your left side is likely to calm it, although the reason why is unknown.
4. Avoid foods that may cause acid reflux, such as peppermint, coffee and chocolate.;”Interestingly, spicy foods haven’t been shown to cause heartburn,” says Brown. “And there’s some evidence that spicy foods may actually protect the body from ulcers.”;
5. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, quit. Not only does smoking relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to move up into the esophagus where it doesn’t belong, but it also can slow the production of saliva, which protects against acid in the esophagus.;
How Can I Prevent Heartburn
Follow these tips to prevent heartburn:
- Avoid foods or activities that may cause your symptoms.
- You can also take an over-the-counter medication, such as a chewable antacid tablet, before you eat to prevent heartburn before symptoms start.
- Ginger snacks or ginger tea are also helpful home remedies that you can buy in many stores.
- Lead a healthy lifestyle and avoid alcohol and tobacco.
- Try to avoid snacking late at night. Instead, stop eating at least four hours before bedtime.
- Rather than two or three large meals, eat smaller meals more frequently to ease the impact on your digestive system.
Last medically reviewed on March 16, 2016
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What Are The Complications Associated With Heartburn
Occasional heartburn isnt typically a cause for concern. However, if you get this symptom frequently, you may have a serious health problem that requires treatment.
If you dont get treatment for serious heartburn, you can develop additional health problems, such as an inflammation of the esophagus, which is called esophagitis, or Barretts esophagus. Barretts esophagus causes changes in the lining of the esophagus that can increase your risk of esophageal cancer.
Long-term heartburn can also affect your quality of life. See your doctor to determine a course of treatment if you find it difficult to carry on your daily life or are severely limited in your activities due to heartburn.
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.
It’s 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.
That’s because proton pump inhibitors can’t 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 .
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Keep The Lines Of Communication Open
Brown says it’s important to talk to your primary care doctor if you’ve been experiencing recurring acid reflux or are treating yourself for heartburn with over-the-counter medications or a prescription from another doctor. You’ll also want to visit your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Trouble swallowing
- Blood in your stool or vomit, which indicates bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
“These are important symptoms to watch out for, because you can have Barrett’s esophagus without experiencing heartburn,” says Brown.
What Foods And Drinks Cause Heartburn
- Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Coffee and orange or other acidic juices are some of the beverages that can worse or trigger heartburn.
- Fatty foods, fried foods, and some acidic foods as well as spicy foods can cause heartburn.
- Additional foods that make heartburn worse.
Every person reacts somewhat differently to specific food groups. To track what foods worsen your symptoms, keep a food journal. In this journal, you should keep track of what you eat, the time you ate, any activity that worsened or made the heartburn better, and indicate which days you have heartburn symptoms. Over time, you will be able to correlate the offending foods with heartburn events. Print this and take this with you to your next doctor’s appointment to discuss possible causes of heartburn you may be experiencing.
Pregnancy tends to aggravate heartburn because the lower esophageal sphincter is weakened during pregnancy. This weakened resolves after delivery of the baby. Pregnancy also distorts the organs in the abdomen and the increased abdominal pressure from the growing fetus causes heartburn. These changes promote the reflux of acid and heartburn.
Approximately 17% to 45% of women who become pregnant will suffer from heartburn.
Management of heartburn during pregnancy consists of many of the same home remedies and lifestyle changes for a person with heartburn who is not pregnant .
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Severe Heartburn And Eructation
What does severe heartburn and eructation say? In general, these two phenomena, and even in combination, speak of the presence of the disease. So, in most cases it can be dyspepsia. But this is just a guess, in fact there are incredibly many options. Therefore, to think that everything will go by itself is definitely not worth it. Whether it is a little about what disease there can be a speech. So the first thing is to look at the appointment to the doctor and then draw the appropriate conclusions. Most likely, we will have to give up eating some foods and eat on a special diet. But this issue should be dealt with exclusively by the attending physician.
You can try some drugs. So, one of the best means are Gaviscon and Gastal. Only now independent use of them is fraught with consequences for the body. Therefore, the first thing to do is to consult a doctor. If after compliance with diet and special diet, no improvement occurs, it is necessary to move on to more effective treatment. In this case everything depends on the person and his problem. This question is decided by the attending physician, he determines why severe heartburn has appeared and prescribes complex treatment.