What Causes Heartburn And What Does It Feel Like Exactly
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:
- Overeating or eating too quickly
- Lying down too soon after eating
- Consuming certain foods, including caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, peppermint, citrus, tomato-based products, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- Being overweight
- Stress and anxiety
Heartburn Relief: Simple Remedies To Put Out The Fire
- 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 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 up 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, there are simple things you can do to identify the cause, and ways to prevent the burn.
Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.
Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.
“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.
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The Best Drinks For Heartburn
Chronic acid reflux is likely to inspire any number of lifestyle changes, and choice of beverages may be one of them. Many “go-to” drinks like coffee and sodas are likely to aggravate heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux, which in its chronic form is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If you’re used to reaching for soft drinks, caffeinated beverages or certain fruit juices when you’re thirsty, consider switching to alternatives that may actually relieve symptoms rather than trigger them.
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Melon For Heartburn Relief
Melon has a pH of 6.1 and therefore it can be counted as one of the good foods for heartburn. Some people, however, may not respond well to melon and need to avoid it. So you can have some melon pieces every day or make a smoothie with melon and other ingredients that are also good to cure heartburn. Here is one recipe for a melon smoothie that also uses almond milk, cantaloupe, watermelon, ginger and banana. Almonds are also said to be a great remedy for heartburn as they neutralize stomach acid. While you can always snack on almonds, adding a few of them in this smoothie will not only make it tasty but will increase its efficacy in combating heartburn.
Make Melon Smoothie to Prevent Heartburn
- Fresh ginger root- 1 inch piece
- Place all the above ingredients in your blender and blend them together.
- Have this every morning if you have a consistent problem of heartburn.
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Buying Information For Heartburn Medicine
Because there isnt anything blocking the path between your esophagus and stomach, its easy for acid to push back upwards if you overload your system with the wrong food. For some people, heartburn happens as a one-time thing that needs immediate response. For others, its a chronic problem that requires maintenance medication.
Figuring out what your situation calls for and then choosing a medication based on that will help you land the right choice. Consider these three factors to determine which option would be the best heartburn medicine for you.
- Quick Acting or Delayed Release. Heartburn medication comes in two major forms quick acting or delayed release. If for example, you consumed more coffee than your system can deal with, youre likely to develop an acute form of heartburn. This will require a fast-acting immediate release medication for timely resolution of your current situation.
If youve already developed a condition that causes heartburn, such as acid reflux, its possible that you already know when to expect the next episode. By anticipating the problem, you can take in delayed release medication that will only provide results a few hours later. This in turn, will allow you to enjoy your meal without having to fear about the upcoming heartburn.
Soothe Indigestion And Bloating With Over
Sarah is a freelance writer with a focus on health and wellness. She has written for publications like Womens Health, Healthline, and Parents. She taught creative writing for five years, and has a bachelors degree in English from Southern Connecticut State University.
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When heartburn or acid indigestion strikes, you need something that settles your stomach ASAP. Its no fun to walk around feeling like you have your own personal fire-breathing dragon raging in your esophagus, and its even less fun to battle the burn while trying to work, exercise, drive through rush hour traffic, or sleep.
If youre prone to bouts of GI distress, its smart to have a reliable over-the-counter antacid on hand that can provide quick relief. Why? Because these medications can decrease the amount of stomach acid you produce, says University of Missouri Health Care gastroenterologist Yezaz Ghouri, MD.
The stomach normally produces hydrochloric acid to help digest food and kill bacteria or other organisms that may have been ingested along with the food, Dr. Ghouri explains. When there is an overproduction of the acid, it can lead to stomach discomfort.
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How Is Heartburn Treated
In most cases, heartburn can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications and changes to lifestyle habits that cause the feeling. Occasional heartburn is common and is typically not serious. However, if you have frequent and severe heartburn, reach out to your healthcare provider. This could be a sign of a chronic condition like GERD. GERD can lead to other serious conditions like esophagitis, Barretts esophagus and even cancer. Sometimes, your doctor may want to do an endoscopy to check for underlying medication conditions. An endoscopy is the examination of your digestive tract with a lighted flexible instrument.
Over-the-counter medications for heartburn typically include antacids and acid blockers.
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Best Alcohol For Heartburn
While liquor may be a known contributing component to heartburn, it unexpectedly influences individuals. this suggests that you simply may need the choice to understand cocktails with some restraint with GERD. Another person with GERD may encounter demolishing manifestations of acid reflux within the wake of drinking a limited quantity of liquor.
There are some broad tips that everyone with GERD can follow to bring down their shots at feeling any liquor-related reflux side effects. These incorporate the accompanying:
Limit yourself to just one beverage. One beverage serving is like a 12-ounce normal beer, 8-9 ounces of beer, a 5-ounce glass of wine, or one 1.5-ounce pour of refined alcohol.
Avoid drinking liquor 2-3 hours before bed. Lying level following drinking can expand the danger that youll encounter acid reflux around nighttime. this is often because liquor can relax the lower piece of the throat, making it simpler for your stomach acid to copy.
Keep an eating regimen diary of the relative multitude of food varieties and beverages you devour, noticing once you experience more serious GERD indications. On the off chance that you simply detect an example between drinking a selected cocktail and your side effects, you would possibly have the choice to reduce that refreshment to limit your GERD indications.
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Watch What You Eat Drink And Do
Making some changes to your lifestyle can go a long way toward easing the pain of heartburn.
Say goodbye to cigarettes. Smoking causes your body to make less saliva, a liquid that helps stamp out stomach acid. That can lead to burning in your esophagus. Tobacco may also cause your stomach to make more acid and relax the muscles at the lower end of your esophagus that can shut down the opening between the stomach and the esophagus. Chewing gum and sucking on lozenges can help you make more saliva.
Donât lie down after you eat. If you need an afternoon siesta, snooze upright in a chair. Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed, and donât make the last meal of the day your biggest one.
Raise the head of your bed. If the top of your bed is higher than the bottom, itâs harder for the acid to travel up. You can do this with a block of wood under the bed or a foam wedge under the mattress.
Be careful what medications you use. Aspirin, ibuprofen, and other medications, such as some sedatives and blood pressure drugs, can trigger heartburn. Ask your doctor if any of your medications might be causing your symptoms. There may be something else you can take.
Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing, including belts, can cause stomach contents to push upward.
Zegerid Otc Capsules 42
Its combination of effectiveness, affordability, and accessibility has made Zegrid OTC Capsules one of the best heartburn medicine options available today. Using omeprazole as its main active ingredient, this medication works to eliminate both acute ongoing heartburn cases and chronic acid reflux situations.
What many users truly appreciate about this product is the fact that it offers 24-hour relief against heartburn. This is particularly ideal because a person may experience heartburn again later in the day if they have an episode earlier in the morning.
If you have acid reflux, this product may also be a good choice. Offering 24-hour results and relief, you can take one tablet in the morning to prevent frequent heartburn. This works much better for those with chronic acid reflux problems because it eliminates the need to take one pill before each meal.
While its not the cheapest option on the market, Zegrid is the best heartburn medication because a single dose can provide relief and prevention for a whole day. This is what makes it both the best acid reflux medicine and an ideal solution for acute heartburn all in one.
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When To Seek Care For Heartburn
Dont ignore heartburn. Stomach acid can damage your esophagus and increase your risk of cancer. Sometimes natural remedies and over-the-counter medications are not enough to reduce your symptoms of heartburn, and prescription medications may be necessary.
Schedule a virtual visit with a general practice doctor if lifestyle changes and medicines are not helping, if you have heartburn three to four times per week, or if you have other symptoms such as food getting stuck in your throat, vomiting or unintentional weight loss.
If you have more severe symptoms, such as chest pain, dark-colored vomit, black stools, persistent vomiting, or feel like you are choking, seek care in the Emergency Room right away.
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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Vinegar To Cure Heartburn
Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.
- Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
- Now have this water.
- You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
- Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.
Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.
Path To Improved Health
To find out which medicine is right for you, talk to your family doctor. He or she can tell you about the benefits and risks. Antacids and acid reducers rarely cause side effects. If they do, the side effects usually are minor and go away on their own. These may include headaches, nausea, constipation, or diarrhea.
Talk to your doctor before taking antacids if you have kidney disease. You should avoid any antacid that contains calcium carbonate or aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate unless your doctor recommends it.
Talk to your doctor before taking a proton pump inhibitor if:
- You are elderly or have immune system problems. PPIs can increase your risk for pneumonia.
- You are a postmenopausal woman. PPIs reduce calcium absorption and increase your risk for osteoporosis.
- You have been treated for a Clostridium difficile infection in the past. PPIs may increase the risk that your infection returns.
If you are over the age of 55 and require long-term PPI treatment, your doctor may refer you for an EGD . This procedure examines the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine. If you have significant reflux, your doctor also may test you for the bacteria H. pylori prior to trying you on PPIs.
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Home Remedies For Heartburn Chamomile Tea
Chamomile can reduce the inflammation in the stomach. In addition, it can relieve stress and help you sleep well. Chamomile also soothes gastrointestinal irritation and reduces gastric acidity, thereby helping you get relief from the heartburn. In order to make this remedy, you had better prepare these ingredients:
- A teaspoon of dried chamomile flower petals
- A strainer
- Pour the tea into a glass
- Add honey or lemon if you want
- Do this 2 or 3 times during a day and repeat daily till your heartburn is taken away.
Dont Eat Within Three Hours Of Going To Bed
People with acid reflux are generally advised to avoid eating within the three hours before they go to sleep.
Although this recommendation makes sense, there is limited evidence to back it up.
One study in GERD patients showed that having a late evening meal had no effects on acid reflux, compared to having a meal before 7 p.m. .
However, an observational study found that eating close to bedtime was associated with significantly greater reflux symptoms when people were going to sleep .
More studies are needed before solid conclusions can be made about the effect of late evening meals on GERD. It may also depend on the individual.
Observational studies suggest that eating close to bedtime may worsen acid reflux symptoms at night. Yet, the evidence is inconclusive and more studies are needed.
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