Don’t Be Ashamed To Ask For Help
Admitting that you’re struggling is hard, but there’s no shame in it.
If you feel like stress, sadness or negative feelings are starting to pile up, try confiding in a friend or family member. Talking to someone about your concerns can help you process your feelings more fully, and may help reduce some of the burden you’re feeling. It may also strengthen the bond between yourself and another person especially if he or she is experiencing the same struggles. All of these things can help improve your mood.
If you’re concerned about your mental health, you should seek help from a medical health or mental health professional. A good place to start is your primary care doctor.
What Do I Do If I Think I Have Gerd
With GERD when reflux and heartburn happen more than once in a while the tissue lining your esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. Eventually the tissue becomes damaged. If you have this chronic acid reflux and heartburn you can see its affecting your daily eating and sleeping habits.
When GERD makes your daily life uncomfortable in this way, call your healthcare provider. Although GERD isnt life-threatening in itself, its chronic inflammation of the esophagus can lead to something more serious. You may need stronger prescription medications or even surgery to ease your symptoms.
Take An Acid Neutralizer
When heartburn hits and you need relief, try an antacid like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox. These medications act quickly to neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can reduce your symptoms. Dont have any on hand? Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water and drink to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Just use caution with this home remedy since its high in sodium and shouldnt be used by people on a sodium-restricted diet.
We also like H-2 blockers, also known as Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. These include such brand names a Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Tagamet, and Zantac. These medications dont work as quickly as acid neutralizers, but they are still very fast. H2 blockers should be taken about 30 minutes before you eat or when you typically experience symptoms.
The benefit of H2 blockers is that they work longer than antacids, but they dont have the same medical risks associated with proton pump inhibitors. As is true with all medications we highly recommend that you discuss use with your doctor before you begin any drug treatment, prescription or over-the-counter.
And remember that while these quick fixes may help relieve your GERD symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Your goal should be to stop reflux from happening in the first place, which is why we recommend several long-term solutions to cure heartburn.
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More Foods To Soothe Heartburn
Other foods and herbs have long been treatments for reflux and upset stomach. But keep in mind that while they may provide relief for some, “they won’t work for everyone,” says gastroenterologist Jay Kuemmerle, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University. You might want to try:
- Fennel. This crunchy vegetable with a licorice flavor makes a great addition to salads. There’s some evidence that fennel can improve your digestion. It has a pH of 6.9, so it’s low in acid, too.
- Ginger. A long-standing natural treatment for upset stomach, ginger does seem to have benefits for reflux.
- Parsley. That sprig of parsley on your plate isn’t only for decoration. Parsley has been a traditional treatment for upset stomach for hundreds of years.
- Aloe vera. This is another old treatment for GI problems that seems to help with reflux. You can buy aloe vera as a plant or as a supplement — in capsules, juices, and other forms. It works as a thickener in recipes.Just make sure itâs free of anthraquinones , which can be irritating to the digestive system.
Foods Making Your Heartburn Worse
If you’ve ever experienced a painful burning feeling in your chest or throat after downing a giant burrito at Chipotle, you’re definitely not alone. About 60 million Americans experience heartburn, or acid reflux, at least once a month, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.
To fight back, most of us simply pop an antacid and go on with our day. But have you ever noticed that sometimes your symptoms come crawling back, even after you’ve had a TUMS? And then the meds work just fine at other times? If you’re nodding your head “yes,” it’s likely because of what you’ve eaten after self-medicating.
According to the National Institutes of Health, certain foods exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms by carrying additional acid into the stomach and up into the esophagus, making you feel even more miserable.
Not only is this super uncomfortable, over time reflux can damage the esophagus, so it’s important to know how to identify these sneaky culprits so you can nip your heartburn in the bud!
To help you out, we’ve identified some of the top offenders below.
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Adopt New Bedroom Habits
Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to heartburn? If so, try sleeping on your left side this position seems to help. Experts also recommend keeping your upper body elevated to make it harder for acids to flow up the esophagus. Raise the head of your bed or use a thick wedge-shaped body pillow when sleeping to keep heartburn at bay.7
* Onset of acid neutralization does not imply the onset of symptom relief.
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.
Lifting your head with extra pillows may not be enough. To get relief, try elevating your body from the waist up.
You can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow. Or, if you have an adjustable bed, you can set it at a suitable angle.
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Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly
When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.
Know The 8 Worst Foods For Acid Reflux Or Heartburn
Experts say you can uncover your specific triggers by paying close attention to how your body reacts to what youre eating. But you may well find one of the following eight foods pops up as a problem.
1. Fried, fatty foods. Talk about a triple whammy. First, foods that are high in fat and drenched in oil cause the lower esophageal sphincter the ring of muscle connecting the esophagus and stomach to relax, allowing acid to leak out and up into the esophagus. Also, they are digested slowly and sit in your stomach longer, giving gastric acid more time to work its way up into your esophagus, increasing your risk of heartburn. And high-fat food can cause weight gain. That extra poundage increases pressure on your abdomen, making it easier for fluid to travel upward, into the esophagus. Tip: Opt instead for lean cuts of meat, chicken and fish, cooked on the grill or in the oven.
2. Citrus fruits. Their vitamin C may be the draw, but these fruits high acid content makes them risky for reflux. Lemons and limes are the biggest culprits, but oranges, grapefruit, grapes and blueberries make the list, too. Tip: Offset their acidity by buffering them with more alkaline foods, such as low-fat yogurt.
5. Peppermint. A cup of refreshing, mint-infused tea can calm a turbulent tummy. But peppermint, in any form, can also cause gastric reflux and heartburn. Tip: Savor a cup of soothing chamomile tea or suck on licorice-flavored hard candy to soothe your stomach.
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Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Making changes to your diet is a great way to help ease heartburn. You can start by avoiding foods that are likely to worsen your symptoms and then add in other nutritious foods. There are no specific diets for acid reflux, but these top 10 heartburn foods might help:
High fiber foods keep you feeling full for longer. This can stop you from overeating, which might trigger heartburn. Fiber-rich diets have also been linked to lower acid reflux risk. Eating whole grains like oatmeal and whole grain rice can help.
Root vegetables like sweet potatoes are great sources of fiber and complex carbohydrates. Try roasting, grilling, or broiling sweet potatoes with other root vegetables like beets and carrots. Roasting brings out sweeter flavors and avoids frying, which can trigger heartburn. Make sure to leave out the garlic and onions, which can be irritating.
Ginger is well known for its soothing digestive effects. It can help with gas, nausea, and bloating, and its anti-inflammatory, which can help soothe an irritated digestive system. If you normally enjoy coffee, try switching to ginger tea. You can add a slice of fresh ginger to a mug of hot water.
Fruits are part of a healthy diet, but citrus fruits can trigger heartburn. Instead, focus on eating watery fruits like watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Extra water can help dilute stomach acid and ease your symptoms.
Natural Remedy: Use Baking Soda
You may find relief from infrequent heartburn with sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Simply mix ½ teaspoon with four ounces of water to help neutralize the acid. Note this contains sodium and should not be used if you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Check with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions drugs, are pregnant or have a chronic health condition before using baking soda to relieve heartburn.
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What Causes Heartburn And What Does It Feel Like Exactly
According to the American College of Gastroenterology, stomach acid is needed to break down the food you eat, something your stomach has no trouble handling. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is irritated by it.
To keep stomach acid in your stomach and out of your esophagus, a circular ring of muscle at the tube’s base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. When this valve is relaxed, food you’ve consumed is allowed to pass through to your stomach. When contracted, this valve prevents this food and acid from backing up into your esophagus.
If this valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid is allowed to travel back into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. Heartburn is the most well-known and obvious symptom.
It can feel differently depending on its severity, but heartburn symptoms include:
- A burning sensation in your chest, behind your breastbone
- Burning pain that rises up toward your throat
- Having a bitter or sour taste in your mouth
Acid reflux and heartburn are sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition, or even a medication you’re taking in some cases. But, more often than not, they’re triggered by things like your diet and lifestyle choices making the occasional bout of heartburn fairly common.
Common triggers of heartburn include:
Can Gerd Cause Asthma
We dont know the exact relationship between GERD and asthma. More than 75% of people with asthma have GERD. They are twice as likely to have GERD as people without asthma. GERD may make asthma symptoms worse, and asthma drugs may make GERD worse. But treating GERD often helps to relieve asthma symptoms.
The symptoms of GERD can injure the lining of the throat, airways and lungs, making breathing difficult and causing a persistent cough, which may suggest a link. Doctors mostly look at GERD as a cause of asthma if:
- Asthma begins in adulthood.
- Asthma symptoms get worse after a meal, exercise, at night and after lying down.
- Asthma doesnt get better with standard asthma treatments.
If you have asthma and GERD, your healthcare provider can help you find the best ways to handles both conditions the right medications and treatments that wont aggravate symptoms of either disease.
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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.
Heartburn Relief: Simple Remedies To Put Out The Fire
Posted January 27, 2022
- The terms heartburn and acid reflux are often used interchangeably, but heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux.
- Pay attention to the foods that trigger heartburn for you and eliminate them from your diet.
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid escapes into your esophagus. The muscular valve between your stomach and esophagus loosens or doesnt completely close, allowing stomach acid to escape into your esophagus.
You may be very familiar with the symptoms of heartburn, that burning sensation just below your breast bone that can rise into your chest. You may also have a bitter or sour taste in your mouth. The terms heartburn and acid reflux are often used interchangeably, but heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux.
If you experience occasional heartburn, keep reading for things you can do to identify the cause and ways to prevent the burn.
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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 .
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.
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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.
Who Is At Risk For Acid Reflux
People with certain conditions are more at-risk for developing acid reflux. These include obesity, hiatal hernia, pregnancy, connective tissue disorders, and delayed stomach emptying, says Berookim. On top of that, certain lifestyle factors can worsen acid reflux, including smoking, eating heavy meals , fatty or fried foods, tomatoes and citrus fruits, chocolate, peppermint, and drinking alcohol or coffee, he adds. These high-acid foods add acid to the stomach and increase the likelihood of irritation, says Maya Feller, New York-based registered dietitian.
Do you have acid reflux? Heres what to read next:
- Stop smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Discuss your weight with your doctor. Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Do not overeat. Eat small portions at meals and snacks.
- Avoid tight clothing and tight-fitting belts. Do not lie down or bend over within the first 15-30 minutes after eating.
- Do not chew gum or suck on hard candy. Swallowing air with chewing gum and sucking on hard candy can cause belching and reflux.
- Use bricks or wood blocks to raise the head of your bed 6-8 inches.
- Do not eat/drink: chocolate, tomatoes, tomato sauces, oranges, pineapple, grapefruit, mints, coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, and black pepper.
- Eat a low fat diet. Fatty and greasy foods cause your stomach to produce more acid.
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