Other Ways To Relieve Heartburn
In addition to removing foods from your diet that may cause heartburn, there are other ways to tame heartburn.
- Maintain a healthy body weight. Obesity is associated with GERD. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy body weight may decrease GERD symptoms like heartburn (
There are many other ways to improve and manage symptoms of GERD.
If you have heartburn, its best to develop a treatment plan with a healthcare professional.
There are many other methods you can use to manage GERD symptoms. A healthcare professional can help come up with a treatment plan that works best for you.
B Drugs That Irritate The Esophageal Lining:
- Antibiotics: such as clindamycin and tetracycline.
- NSAIDs suchas aspirin and ibuprofen.
- Potassium supplements.
Taking one of these drugs can directly cause sudden, persistent heartburn for days.
Drug-induced heartburn often resolves shortly after you stop the offending drug. However, some drugs may cause significant damage to the esophagus . So, call your doctor if the pain is significantly severe.
Dietary And Lifestyle Changes
It is helpful for some individuals who have constant heartburn to avoid certain foods that may trigger their symptoms.
Foods that are associated with heartburn include:
- Fried and fatty foods
- Foods high in citric acids, such as oranges or lemons
It may be helpful to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than infrequent large meals.
If you suffer from acid reflux, it may be helpful to elevate your upper body at night while sleeping.
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Acid Reflux Medication And Infections
Lower levels of stomach acid caused by PPI medications also have been shown to increase the risk of many different bacterial infections of the digestion tract, including C.Diificile, Streptococcus, and Helicobacter Pylori. Gut infections can cause leaky gut, disrupt the levels of good bacteria producing IBS symptoms and the many other health problems associated with an imbalance in gut bacteria.
Acid Reflux Medication And Dementia
The commonly prescribed PPI reflux medication also impairs cognitive function. A 2016 study found that regular PPI users had a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the drugs. A different study published in 2015 that assessed cognitive function in PPI users versus controls found significant impairment in visual memory and attention, this is a concern with the ever increasing levels of dementia in developed countries.
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Why Heartburn And Gas May Occur At The Same Time
Gas and heartburn are not always connected directly. However, it is possible for the two to exist together and make each other worse. It is also possible for a person to manage them in a similar way.
One common cause of heartburn and gas is eating too much too quickly. Eating large amounts of food in one sitting can trigger heartburn, while eating quickly may cause a person to swallow more air, resulting in gas.
Drinking fizzy alcoholic drinks, such as beer, can also cause both conditions to co-occur.
Relieving gas through belching can cause heartburn to worsen. The release of air when someone passes gas either during or immediately after a meal can cause more acid to rise in the throat. If this occurs, a person may experience heartburn.
People can treat heartburn directly with a couple of different types of medication that are available on prescription or over the counter .
Medications for heartburn include:
- Antacids, which offer quick relief for heartburn.
- H2 blockers, such as famotidine , which block the amount of acid that a persons stomach produces.
- Proton pump inhibitors, which are longer-lasting medications that act in a similar way to H2 blockers. Examples include omeprazole and lansoprazole .
There are fewer medications to treat gas. Antacids do not typically prevent or treat gas. Instead, a person can try the following drugs:
Some people may also have success using home remedies for heartburn. Some potential remedies to try include:
When To See A Healthcare Provider
You should see a healthcare provider to determine the underlying cause and for proper treatment if:
- You have constant heartburn that won’t subside
- Your symptoms of heartburn are becoming more severe or frequent
- You have taken an over-the-counter PPI for the recommended two weeks and your symptoms return
- You experience vomiting or difficulty swallowing with your heartburn
- You have hoarseness or wheezing
- You experience unexpected weight loss
Untreated acid disorders can lead to complications, including Barrett’s esophagus , esophageal cancer, or scarring or narrowing of the esophagus.
You should seek care immediately if you vomit blood or material that looks like coffee grounds . You should also seek care immediately if you notice blood in your stools or have black or tar-like stools .
If your vomiting is large, green, yellow, or forceful, you should seek care urgently by going to an emergency room.
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How Is Heartburn Diagnosed
In most cases, your doctor will be able to diagnose heartburn by asking questions about your symptoms and what triggers those symptoms.
If you have heartburn more than 2 times a week, it could be a symptom of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease or other gastrointestinal diseases. These are usually diagnosed by endoscopy, which uses a tube with a camera passed through the mouth into the stomach.
Proton Pump Inhibitors And Fatigue
Proton pumps arent limited to the stomach they are present in just about every cell in your body. All of your cells, with the exception of red blood cells, have mitochondria that allow your body to metabolize carbohydrates and fat to produce energy. They do this by pumping protons across the membrane to generate a source of electric potential that can be harnessed to form ATP, the bodys main storage form of energy.
The PPI medication that is prescribed to inhibit the stomach from releasing stomach acid can also affect our energy producing systems, it may inhibit stomach acid but can leave us feeling flat in the process.
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If I Have Heartburn Should I See My Health Care Professional
That depends. If a person has heartburn more than three times a week for at least two weeks, he or she should see a health care professional. On the other hand, if a person only has occasional bouts of heartburn, he or she may find that taking nonprescription antacids and making some simple changes in lifestyle can resolve the heartburn. If these measures do not help, then a visit to a health care professional is warranted.
If a person has any of these symptoms, with or without heartburn, call a doctor or go to a hospital emergency department right away:
- Throwing up blood or passing blood in bowel movements
- Severe pain, dizziness, or lightheadedness
- Difficulty swallowing
With proper understanding of the condition and treatment, relief can be attained.
When I have chest pain, how can I tell whether it is my heart or just heartburn?
Sometimes a person can’t tell the difference. Just like chest pain from the heart, heartburn sometimes spreads from the chest to the jaw, shoulders, arms, or back. If a person has chest pain for any reason, seek medical care immediately.
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Can Exercise Be A Cause Of Heartburn
Exercise can trigger heartburn. Sometimes thatâs due to increased pressure on the abdomen, which can increase the risk of acid reflux. In one study looking at different types of exercise, weightlifters had the most heartburn and acid reflux. Runners had milder symptoms and less reflux than weightlifters. Cyclists had the least reflux.
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Tests And Surgery For Heartburn And Acid Reflux
If medicines do not help or your symptoms are severe, a GP may refer you to a specialist for:
- tests to find out what’s causing your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy
- an operation on your stomach to stop acid reflux called a laparoscopic fundoplication
Page last reviewed: 09 September 2020 Next review due: 09 September 2023
What Causes Heartburn In Women
Heartburn happens when the acids in stomach break up into the esophagus, a muscular tube which assists to provide a path to food from mouth to stomach. As per the American College of Gastroenterology, almost 60 million people in the United States suffer from heartburn. This condition is also named as acid reflux. Note that the symptoms of acid reflux may vary from person to person but it often includes some burning sensation in the chest area. Anyone ranging from children to older people including men and woman can experience heartburn but the chances are more in women.
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What You Should Know About Gerd
When the one-way valve that connects your esophagus to your stomach malfunctions and does not close properly, it allows acid and stomach juices to come back up into your esophagus. You know, its that acidic sour liquid you get in your mouth from time to time when you try to sleep.
You have probably tried all types of OTC antacids, but it only helps for a while. GERD is not a temporary type of indigestion or heartburn, nor is it the result of your diet. It is a disease called gastroesophageal reflux disease. When it happens chronically, or more than 2 times per week, it may have lasting complications.
Dont live with and ignore the common symptoms like bad breath, sore throat, regurgitation, cough, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and indigestion.
What Causes Heartburn
To know why heartburn happens, it can help to understand how your esophagus and stomach work. When you eat, the food passes down a long tube that connects your mouth and stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. At the bottom of the esophagus is a valve, called the esophageal sphincter. This valve opens to let food through and then closes to keep your stomach contents down. Inside your stomach is a very strong acidic mixture that starts the process of breaking down your food . Your stomach is designed to hold this mixture. However, your esophagus isnt able to hold this mixture without getting hurt.
Sometimes, the valve that separates your stomach and esophagus doesnt close properly, and some of the acidic mixture from your stomach goes back up the esophagus. This is called reflux. When you have reflux, youll often feel the burning sensation thats heartburn. There are a few medical conditions that can cause reflux and make you feel heartburn, including:
- Hiatal hernia .
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease .
- Certain medications, especially anti-inflammatory drugs and aspirin.
Heartburn can also be caused by your eating habits including the foods you eat, how large your meals are and how close to bedtime you eat and certain lifestyle habits.
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What Is Indigestion
You might call it an upset stomach, a stomachache, or even a bellyachebut the medical term is dyspepsia. Whichever term you use, indigestion is an uncomfortable, sometimes painful, feeling you get in your stomach, usually during or after eating.1
In most cases, indigestion is caused by eating too much, too fast, or by eating foods that your body doesn’t respond well totypically foods high in fat. Chewing with your mouth open also can lead to indigestion. Swallowing too much air while eating can cause belching and bloating, which is another variation of indigestion.4
Other indigestion triggers include stress, smoking, or drinking caffeinated, carbonated, or alcoholic drinks.4
How Is Gerd Treated
Treatment for GERD depends on how severe symptoms are. For some people, treatment may just include lifestyle changes, such as changing what they eat or drink. Others will need to take medicines. In very rare cases, when GERD is particularly severe, a doctor will recommend surgery.
These lifestyle changes can help ease the symptoms of GERD or even prevent the condition:
- quitting smoking
- losing weight if you are overweight
- eating small meals
- avoiding carbonated beverages
- avoiding foods that trigger reflux
It also can help to not lie down for 3 hours after a meal and to not eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. Doctors sometimes also recommend raising the head of the bed about 6 to 8 inches. Before you start a major bedroom makeover, though, talk to your doctor and your parents about the best sleeping position for you.
If symptoms continue, doctors might prescribe medicine, such as:
- H2 blockers, which can help block the production of stomach acid
- proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes
- prokinetics, which help the esophageal sphincter work better and the stomach empty faster. This can prevent reflux episodes.
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What Can Cause Constant Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is an illness caused due to the frequent occurrence of the backwash of acids released by the stomach into the esophagus tube. Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter acts as a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus. However, when there is a small opening or non-functionality of the wall, the acids released by the stomach enter into the esophagus tube irritating.
While the occurrence is common for human beings if the symptoms are repetitive and occur more than twice in a week than you are suffering from acid reflux, also known as gastro esophageal reflux disease.
Food And Lifestyle Habits Can Cause Stomach Acid To Flow Back Up
Heartburn occurs when the contents of your stomach flow up into your esophagus.
A ring of muscle at the end of your esophagus where it joins your stomach known as the lower esophageal sphincter normally prevents your stomach contents from flowing back up into your esophagus by tightening after you swallow food.
But sometimes this muscle doesn’t tighten completely, and the entrance to your stomach doesn’t fully close. When this happens, stomach acid can enter your esophagus and cause heartburn.
There is a wide range of potentially problematic foods and other factors that can contribute to heartburn.
Foods that can trigger heartburn for many people include:
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods, including ketchup and sauces
- Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
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What Are Gerd Symptoms
Obviously, heartburn is the main symptom, and its generally worse at night. Not sure if you have GERD? Ask yourself the following questions:
- Does my heartburn make it difficult to sleep?
- Do I have swallowing problems?
- Do I sometimes spit up food or sour liquid?
- Do I feel a lump in my throat?
- Have I had a chronic cough or laryngitis with my heartburn?
- Do I have chest pain?
Wed like to take a minute to elaborate on one of those symptoms: chest pain. You should always seek immediate medical care if you have chest pain, especially if its accompanied by jaw pain, shortness of breath or arm pain. These could be signs of a heart attack.
Causes Of Heartburn In Women
Chest pain or angina that happens due to lack of blood flow from heart usually cause heartburn. The chances are more when you are involved in some moderate or strenuous activity. In case if you have crossed the age group of 50 and are feeling heartburn for the very first time, this condition can increase suspicion of angina. The suspicions may also rise in younger patients when they are already suffering from diabetes, hypertension or have a long family history of heart diseases.
Gallstones are not always the prime cause of heartburn but the stone obstructing your bite can cause discomfort. It usually happens on the upper right side or middle of the abdomen. Pain associated with this condition may be dull, cramping, and sharp or may even strike hard right after you finish your meals.
Earlier, this condition was rare but within past few years, several cases of esophageal cancer have been reported in the United States. In case if you are suffering heartburn, there are chances that it happens due to esophageal cancer however, chances are rare. In order to examine this condition, your doctors may follow upper endoscopy. People who drink or smoke heavily are often at risk of esophageal cancer.
Costochondritis or Pleuritis:
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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 it’s more common in adults, kids, teens, and even babies can have gastroesophageal reflux.
When Should I Call My Doctor About My Heartburn
Even though heartburn is common, it can sometimes lead to more serious health problems. Severe, chronic heartburn has been linked to inflammation and narrowing of the esophagus, respiratory problems, chronic cough, GERD, and Barretts esophagus, which may lead to esophageal cancer.
You should contact your doctor if:
- Your heartburn wont go away.
- Your heartburn symptoms become more severe or frequent.
- Its hard or hurts to swallow.
- Your heartburn causes you to vomit.
- You have had substantial, unexpected weight loss.
- You take over-the-counter antacids for more than two weeks and you still have heartburn symptoms.
- You have heartburn symptoms even after taking prescription medicines.
- You have serious hoarseness or wheezing.
- Your discomfort interferes with your lifestyle or daily activities.
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What Triggers Indigestion
Depending on what’s causing your indigestion, you may experience abdominal pain, bloating , belching and gas, nausea, vomiting, and acidic taste in your mouth, “growling” stomach, and even diarrhea. Symptoms usually get worse when you’re stressed but normally go away in a few hours.
Indigestion can be linked to more serious chronic conditions, including ulcers, pancreas abnormalities, or acid reflux disease. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms are severe or last for more than two weeks.