Lets Breakdown This Myth
There is much confusion around this myth because to get the answer, we must uncover 3 distinct parts. The first area to address is,Does drinking fluid/water impact stomach acid? The next concept to explore is, Should we drink or not drink fluid/water with a meal to optimize digestion?And then the final part is, Does any of this matter?
While researching this topic, I hit some roadblocks, realizing that there are many theoretical discussions based on human physiology, but little to no actual studies. Therefore, allow me to explain the theory behind this myth, and then well jump right into some of the research findings.
Can Eating While Lying Down Cause Heartburn
Gravity plays an important role in controlling reflux. Lying down after a large meal can overwhelm a less than perfect LES. Food comes back into the esophagus and heartburn occurs. If you experience heartburn, think whether it occurs after meals, when you lie in bed at night, or if you take a nap after a meal.
How Can You Ease Your Symptoms
Although it is usually harmless to you and your baby, heartburn can be painful and uncomfortable for you.1 There are two simple things worth trying straight away:4
- Adopting a healthy diet rich, fatty or spicy foods can trigger heartburn, as can eating large meals. Instead avoid eating foods that can trigger your heartburn, switch to eating smaller meals several times a day and dont eat in the 34 hours before you go to bed
- Sitting and sleeping in a more upright position putting a wooden block under the head of your bed to raise it up can help if you get heartburn at night.
Ask your doctor or pharmacist about Gaviscon. Many Gaviscon products are suitable for use during pregnancy to give you effective relief of heartburn and indigestion symptoms.
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Gastroesophageal Reflux And Heartburn
Several endoscopic techniques are alternatives to surgical fundoplication for patients whose reflux is not satisfactorily managed by medical therapy.8 These include methods that provide thermal energy to the lower esophageal sphincter and others that serve to tighten the gastroesophageal valve area.
Heartburn in immunocompromised patients often indicates an esophageal infection with an opportunistic organism, such asCandida albicans, cytomegalovirus, or herpesvirus. Because most patients with the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome and esophagitis have candidiasis, an empirical course of antifungal therapy may be justified. Patients who do not respond to this approach, however, should almost always have endoscopy and biopsy so that more specific therapy can be instituted.
Richard E. Sampliner MD, in, 2010
What Are The Causes Of Heartburn Every Day
Occasional heartburn happens to many people, but if it becomes an everyday occurrence it may indicate an underlying health disorder or unhealthy dietary habits. Heartburn results from stomach acid backup that gets into the esophagus and throat, causing a burning sensation in the chest or bitter taste in the back of the throat. People who have chronic heartburn should consult a doctor to find out what may be causing it.
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Medical Treatments For Gerd
Medications are available with and without a prescription for acid reflux and GERD.
Antacids: First-line treatments for acid reflux are usually antacids. These medicines act quickly to reduce the effect of stomach acid, which can relieve symptoms. Examples of these medicines are Tums and Rolaids.
If these medicines dont relieve acid reflux or a person has GERD, other treatments can include:
H2 blockers: H2 blockers are designed to reduce the amount of acid a persons stomach produces. Sometimes taking these medicines with antacids can help. Examples of these medicines include cimetidine and famotidine .
Proton pump inhibitors: These medications work longer than H2 blockers to reduce acid in the stomach. They can also help heal the stomach lining. Examples include:
Prokinetics: These are medications like metoclopramide . There is controversy as to whether these medications benefit people with GERD. Many new prokinetics have been removed from the market due to serious side effects .
If medications dont reduce a persons acid reflux symptoms, a doctor may recommend surgery to avoid further damage to the esophagus and stomach. One surgical approach is known as Nissen fundoplication. This involves wrapping a portion of your stomach around the esophagus to strengthen the LES.
- difficulty breathing
How Can Heartburn During Pregnancy Be Prevented
You can take steps to reduce heartburn symptoms without hurting your baby.
- Limit caffeine.
- Dont smoke and avoid alcohol. Besides causing heartburn, smoking and drinking during pregnancy can cause health problems for the baby.
Other tips to avoid heartburn during pregnancy:
- Sit up straight when you eat.
- Dont eat late at night.
- Dont lie down right after eating.
- Keep the head of your bed higher than the foot of the bed. Or try placing pillows under your shoulders. Doing so helps prevent stomach acids from rising into your chest.
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Doctors Dont Recommend Alkaline Water
Heartburn is caused by a flow of stomach acid backward into the esophagus, and drinking an alkaline solution may neutralize that fluid for a few minutes, according to Dr. Dellon. But it wont solve the underlying problem of why that acids there in the first place.
Its no different than taking a Tums or drinking a lot of milkwhich some people with reflux like to do because milk is also slightly alkaline, he says.
Drinking regular water may provide some relief, as well: It will raise the pH of your stomach, dilute the acid, and clear out the esophagusso theres lots of good reasons to drink water in general, and to stay hydrated, Dr. Dellon adds.
Patricia Raymond, MD, a physician in Norfolk, Virginia, and fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology, says her patients ask her about the alkaline diet and alkaline water as alternative treatments for reflux, but she doesnt recommend either.
I do support complementary medicine when we know that it can actually help, she explains. But the medical opinion is really lacking on alkaline water. Were not excited about it as a potential treatment.
Is There A Link Between Acid Reflux And Dizziness
Dizziness and acid reflux are rarely associated with each other. However, personal accounts show that acid reflux, specifically GERD can also lead to dizziness in patients. This dizziness is often characterized as lightheadedness, weakness, and a temporarily blurry vision. Dizziness and Acid Reflux: Is There a Link?
Posted by Dr. Chris
Acid reflux is a common condition and up to 40% of Americans experience symptoms with as many as 10% suffering with daily symptoms. The exact prevalence is unknown because in silent acid reflux there are no obvious symptoms. In addition many people suffer with acute reflux that is not reported and quickly remedied with over-the-counter antacids.
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Does Heartburn & Acid Reflux Need To Be Monitored And If So How
Many people find their symptoms improve greatly if they change their lifestyle. Others may need to take medicines from time to time or long-term, depending on the results of an endoscopy. There are some people for whom drug treatment is not suitable for one reason or another. In such cases, your GP may then refer you to your local hospitals Gastroenterology Department for their advice. The specialist may choose to measure the amount of acid you are refluxing over a 24-hour period. This is called pH monitoring. The test is often useful when considering if anti-reflux surgery would be appropriate.
Proper Hydration For Good Health
Our bodies are between 55 and 60% water. When you dont drink enough to keep well hydrated, you can experience headaches, dry mouth, sleepiness, and lack of alertness. Not getting enough to drink can also impede proper digestion, which can lead to constipation and poor nutrition. But, water has to be consumed at the right times to help with GERD symptoms.
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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, and your symptoms continue or return, your GP may request an endoscopy. 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.
Cytosponge: This is a new test that is available in some areas of the UK to identify Barretts oesophagus in people who have persistent heartburn and reflux symptoms. For the Cytosponge test you swallow a small capsule with a sponge inside, which is attached to a piece of thread. Approximately 7 min after swallowing it, the capsule dissolves in the stomach, and the sponge inside is released and then a nurse removes the sponge by pulling on the thread. On the way out the sponge collects cells from the oesophagus lining so that the laboratory can check if there are any changes in the cells.
Delaying Treatment For Gerd May Lead To Complications
If GERD goes untreated, it can lead to more serious complications. One such issue is esophagitis, which is inflammation in the esophagus. Hagan says that if esophagitis is not treated, you may develop a stricture, which is a narrowing of the esophagus that can lead to esophageal pain and affect proper swallowing.
Another complication of GERD is a condition called Barretts esophagus . Over time, the stomach acid causes cells in the lining of the esophagus to look more like the stomach lining, says Hagan. These changes, which happen on a cellular level, may in rare cases lead to a form of esophageal cancer. According to the Mayo Clinic, BE is more common in:
- White males
- People older than age 50
- People who are overweight
Esophageal cancer is relatively rare, making up just 1 percent of all cancer diagnoses in the U.S., according to the American Cancer Society. However, over the past few decades, the incidence rate of esophageal adenocarcinoma has been on the rise in North America and Western Europe, according to a report published in 2019 in the Journal of Gastroenterology.
Furthermore, a study published in January 2021 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, found that this form of cancer is on the rise in younger adults: Between 1975 and 2015, the incidence rate of esophageal adenocarcinoma increased by an average of 2.9 percent per year.
Additional reporting by Ashley Welch.
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You May Be Drinking Your Water Too Fast
- Many people are guilty of drinking their water too fast. However, if youre someone who already suffers from other stomach and digestive issues and conditions, this problem may be a more significant one for you. Drinking water in big gulps is a sure way to swallow a lot of air along with your water, which in turn can lead to indigestion, heartburn, and reflux in some situations. This is further exacerbated in anyone who suffers from IBS, but it can happen to anybody. Sip your water slowly to avoid this problem.
How Does Covid Cause Heartburn
According to Dr. David Putrino, PhD, Director of Rehabilitation Innovation at Mount Sinai, gastrointestinal symptoms such as constipation, nausea, general digestive issues, stomach, pains, cramps, and acid reflux have become more common in long COVID.
Even a symptom like heartburn can be one of most challenging pieces. While its relatable, if every single day youre having it, it can negatively impact your life, says Dr. Putrino.
Unfortunately, its unclear exactly why COVID causes heartburn.
One possibility is that the virus seems to be able to affect nerve cells. It could possibly disrupt the nerves that normally help your esophageal sphincters close and prevent contents from your stomach from going back up into your esophagus, says Dr. Lee. Another possibility is people may be taking antibiotics when they start having COVID-19 symptoms, even though antibiotics do not help against the virus. Antibiotics can then change the normal bacteria in your gut, which can, in turn, lead to more GERD.
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What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy
People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:
- Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
- Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.
Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.
How Does A Smoothie Help With Acid Reflux
If youre going for the obvious answer of smoothies are soothing, youre sort of right. Yes, these nutrient-packed drinks definitely help soothe aching throats- a common issue in those who suffer from acid reflux. However, if the answer was that simple, then you wouldnt need a special anti-reflux energizing & healing morning smoothie recipe. Any combination of fruits, veggies, and liquids would do, theoretically.
However, as well see in a moment, thats not really the case. Some ingredients can actually make reflux worse. If you really want to prevent and soothe it, you need to choose the right ingredients. Thats where the GERD diet comes in super handy.
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Heartburn Trigger Foods: Control Acid Reflux
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Heartburn is a painful condition that affects around 20-percent of the population every week. The symptoms of heartburn are a tight, painful feeling through your chest which is usually caused by acid reflux, when stomach acid is released into the esophagus. The stomach acid eats away at the lining of the esophagus and can cause lasting damage.
If you experience frequent heartburn, you may have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease . Lifestyle and overall health are important factors in heartburn symptoms. Losing excess weight, quitting smoking, and sleeping in an elevated position can decrease the likelihood of acid reflux.
The type of food you eat and the quantity can exacerbate acid reflux, causing heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn, try eating smaller portions in 4-6 meals a day. Overloading your stomach can cause acid to leak into your esophagus. Keep a food diary to identify which foods may trigger your heartburn. You dont need to cut these foods totally out of your diet, but moderation can help keep your heartburn at bay.
Here are 15 of the biggest heartburn trigger foods that you can avoid for relief from acid reflux.
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So Why Is This Post Called How To Eat Chocolate With Acid Reflux
I gave up chocolate altogether, right? For several years, I did give up chocolate almost completely. Rich chocolate desserts were no longer appealing, and I really didnt want another bad flare-up. I learned to enjoy lots of non-chocolate desserts, and many days, I honestly didnt miss it.
However, avoiding chocolate altogether is still difficult because lets face it: chocolate is an amazing food. Its been over five years since my last bad flare-up and I have a much better understanding of when and how chocolate triggers reflux for me. Consequently, Ive felt comfortable re-introducing it on a more regular basis. No, I dont eat chocolate every day. And Im pretty careful about what chocolate I eat, and when I eat it. But so far, reintroduction has been successful.
I know Ive given a lengthy introduction before getting to my tips for how to eat chocolate with acid reflux. I think its important to understand where Im coming from and that its taken me years of living with reflux to develop these strategies. Im not just sharing a few quick tips I found from online articles. Im sharing my tried-and-true tactics Ive learned through many years of living with reflux.
Before I get into the tips for eating chocolate with acid reflux, I want to address one more point.
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What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn
- Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
- Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
- Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
- If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.
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.
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