Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Fried food
- Carbonated beverages
“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”
What Are The Symptoms Of Gerd
Heartburn, which involves a painful burning sensation in the chest, is the most common symptom of GERD, but not all cases of GERD involve heartburn.
Another common symptom of GERD is regurgitation, which means a small amount of stomach acid and sometimes bits of food come up into the mouth or back of the throat.
When leaks of stomach acid rise to the mouth and throat, it can cause coughing and a feeling of choking. It may cause a sore throat, including a hoarse voice. Some patients experience difficulty swallowing, known as dysphagia, or the feeling of something blocking their throat.
On top of the discomfort from heartburn, GERD can cause radiating chest pain that can affect the neck, back, jaw, or arms and last for minutes to hours. This symptom is frequently associated with nighttime awakenings for people with GERD.
How To Reduce Stomach Acid With Exercise
Stress and anxiety are other prime reasons that may lead to increased acidity. Due to high levels of stress, you resort to unhealthy eating habits that directly affect your digestive health. Hence, you must work upon lowering your stress. While you may not be able to avoid stress, some ways can help you out inefficiently reducing it. Physical activity is one such medium to relieve stress.
What to do?
- Try going out for a walk and connect with nature
- Or you can try meditation and breathing exercises
- Indulge in some fun physical activities like aerobics
Benefits of Exercise
Physical exercise acts as a stress booster. It not only helps you in keeping fit but also prevents various health disorders.
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How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.
The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center
GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.
What Else Should I Know
Early diagnosis and treatment can help reduce or even stop uncomfortable GERD symptoms. Untreated GERD can cause permanent damage to the esophagus.
You’ll probably find that one of the simplest ways to make living with GERD easier is to avoid the things that trigger your symptoms. Some people will have to limit certain foods others may have to give them up entirely. It all depends on your symptoms.
It can be hard to give up sodas or favorite foods at first. But after a while, lots of people discover that they feel so much better that they don’t miss the problem foods as much as they thought they would.
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Acidic Tummy: Things To Remember
Acid reflux disease is a common condition and is on the rise in the western world, alongside diseases such as obesity and diabetes. This is largely due to the western diet which has poor nutritious quality and sedentary lifestyles. But there are things you can do to reduce the risk of acid reflux disrupting your life. Just remember:
- Acid reflux is not caused by too much stomach acid.
- Acid reflux happens when stomach acid travels back into your oesophagus.
- If it happens more than twice a week, its gastroesophageal disease .
- Extra weight on your waist is linked to acid reflux.
- Your lifestyle can help prevent or encourage acid reflux.
- There could be a link between the condition and gut dysbiosis.
- Ask your doctor about heartburn, its a proper medical problem.
- Surgery is a last resort in many cases of GERD.
- A fibre-rich diet, gentle exercise, quitting smoking, and weight loss can help.
Improve Sleeping Habits And Pattern
Certain sleeping patterns and habits are believed to play a pivotal role in easing the symptoms of acid reflux at night. These include:
- Elevate the head of your bedding
According to researchers, elevating the head of the bed can help reduce the episodes and symptoms of acid reflux at night.
- Avoid meals within 2 to 3 hours of going to sleep
Multiple studies have found that having a meal close to sleeping time is linked to a higher risk of acid reflux symptoms at night.
- Sleep on your left side
When an individual sleeps on his/her right side, the lower esophageal sphincter gets covered in stomach acid. This can increase the likelihood of stomach acid leaking through the sphincter and causing reflux. While it may not be entirely practical, however, sleeping on the left side can reduce the risk of acid reflux to a great extent.
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Surgery For Severe Gerd
If you need regular high doses of PPIs to control your symptoms, have damage to your esophagus even with medication, and a hiatal hernia, you may need surgery for GERD. But you should try all the other treatments you can first.
Fundoplication: This is a procedure that raises the pressure in your lower esophagus. The doctor will wind the top of your stomach around the LES. This tightens the muscle and raises pressure in your lower esophagus to stop reflux. Theyâll do this either through a laparoscope or through open surgery.
Transoral incisionless fundoplication : A newer from of this surgery uses an endoscope to wrap the stomach around the LES with plastic fasteners. Itâs less invasive than standard fundoplication.
Stretta procedure: Your doctor puts a small tube down the esophagus that uses low-radiofrequency heat to reshape your LES.
LINX surgery: Your doctor wraps a band of magnetic titanium beads around the place where your stomach and esophagus meet. The magnetic attraction of the beads keeps it loose enough to let food pass through into the stomach, but tight enough to stop reflux.
Acid Reflux At Night Home Remedies
Even if you follow all of the above preventative measures, you may still suffer from reflux from time to time. Fortunately, there are ways to relieve it once it starts. If youre looking for acid reflux immediate relief, you might have some luck with the following remedies. These are all easy things you can try at home without visiting a doctor.
Over-the-counter antacids often help quite well with acid reflux. These alkaline medicines neutralize stomach acid, ridding you of the burning feeling. They come in the form of chewable tablets and liquids. Some favorite brands include Alka-Seltzer, Rolaids, and Tums. If you dont have any antacids on hand, you can try baking soda instead. Dissolve a teaspoon into a cup of water.
Ginger is a traditional stomach settler that has been around for centuries. Ginger comes in many forms, but for a simple tea, soak the fresh ginger root in hot water. Avoid ginger ale, though, as the carbonation may make reflux worse.
According to research by Harvard University, licorice helps to lubricate and coat the esophageal lining. This helps act as a barrier to stomach acid, reducing the burning feeling. You can buy pills containing licorice extract, licorice teas, and licorice candy.
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What Is Gerd Or Acid Reflux
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD or acid reflux is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates into the esophagus. The liquid can inflame and damage the lining although visible signs of inflammation occur in a minority of patients. The regurgitated liquid usually contains acid and pepsin that are produced by the stomach. The refluxed liquid also may contain bile that has backed-up into the stomach from the duodenum. The first part of the small intestine attached to the stomach. Acid is believed to be the most injurious component of the refluxed liquid. Pepsin and bile also may injure the esophagus, but their role in the production of esophageal inflammation and damage is not as clear as the role of acid.
GERD is a chronic condition. Once it begins, it usually is life-long. If there is an injury to the lining of the esophagus , this also is a chronic condition. Moreover, after the esophagus has healed with treatment and treatment is stopped, the injury will return in most patients within a few months. Once treatment for GERD is begun it will need to be continued indefinitely although. However, some patients with intermittent symptoms and no esophagitis can be treated only during symptomatic periods.
- slow or prolonged emptying of the stomach.
Lower esophageal sphincter
Emptying of the stomach
How To Reduce Stomach Acid With Peppermint Essential Oil
Increased secretion of gastric acid in your body may cause severe digestive troubles. The acid reflux may lead to vomiting stomach acid along with the food. The trouble may get chronic, and you might become too conscious about eating food. If you are facing severe stomach acid troubles, then you may resort to essential oils. Among them, peppermint essential oil is excellent for those who are always in fear of throwing up stomach acid.
How to use?
- Add a drop of peppermint essential oil to your herbal tea
- Make a drink using a drop of peppermint essential oil, one teaspoon of manuka honey and half a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water
- You can even massage peppermint oil on your stomach to get relief from indigestion and nausea
Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Essential oil with its cooling menthol soothesthe digestive distress and alleviates problems like bloating and stomach cramps. It is an effective remedy for reducing stomach acid symptoms.
You must use only high-quality peppermint essential oil suitable for ingestion. Also, you must not consume it in excess as taking in more of peppermint essential oil can cause heartburn.
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You Dont Need Medication To Reduce Stomach Acid
Contrary to popular belief, you dont need medication to reduce stomach acid. This is great for those who want to stay away from pharmaceutical products or cant take them for whatever reason. The methods above are all suitable for those will low immune systems and pregnant women.
Its time to pull out the ginger and oatmeal and start changing the way you eat your meals. Youll soon find that stomach acid is no longer a problem.
Reduce Intake Of Alcohol
Excessive intake of alcoholic beverages can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux by increasing the amount of acid in the stomach and by relaxing the opening of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. Consumption of alcohol can also adversely affect the ability of the esophagus to get rid of the acid. Limiting the intake of alcohol can significantly ease the symptoms of acid reflux.
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What Are The Risk Factors For Acid Reflux
The following characteristics are associated with an increased likelihood of developing acid reflux. By themselves, none are guarantees that you will develop the condition.
However, if more than a few of them apply to you, you should consider yourself more susceptible than the average person. If you notice youre already experiencing symptoms of acid reflux, consider how the following lifestyle habits might be contributing to them.
- Eating a diet high in fatty or acidic foods, or consuming beverages including coffee, tea, alcohol, and soda
- Lying down immediately after eating, or snacking close to bedtime
To learn more about risk factors associated with acid reflux, go here.
Gerd And Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Research has also identified a link between GERD and obstructive sleep apnea , a sleep disorder that involves blockage of the airway that incites pauses in breathing during sleep. Debate exists among experts about whether GERD causes OSA, OSA causes GERD, or if they simply share similar risk factors.
It is possible that GERD affects the airway and ability to breathe normally, causing more apneas during the night. At the same time, people with OSA wake up frequently at night and may then detect GERD symptoms. Lack of sleep from OSA may make the esophagus more susceptible to reflux.
In addition, factors like alcohol consumption, smoking, and obesity can increase risk for both GERD and OSA, so the correlation between the conditions may be a result of these factors.
While the exact relationship between GERD and OSA is subject to further research, it is clear that the conditions can occur together and create significant complications for a persons sleep, comfort, and overall health.
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What Are The Signs & Symptoms Of Gerd
Often, people who have GERD notice that they regularly have the pain of heartburn in the chest or stomach. This can last up to a couple of hours. Many notice their heartburn is worse after eating.
Regurgitation when food and liquid containing stomach acid comes back up into the throat or mouth is also a sign of GERD. But, like heartburn, occasional regurgitation is common for everyone.
Other symptoms of GERD include:
- a sore, raw throat or hoarse voice
- a frequent sour taste of acid, especially when lying down
- a feeling of burping acid into the mouth
- trouble swallowing
- bad breath
Why Is Gerd Worse After Going To Bed
There are several explanations for why GERD is commonly worse at night after going to bed:
- When lying down, gravity no longer helps keep stomach acid down, making it easier for reflux to occur.
- Saliva can help neutralize stomach acid, but production of saliva is reduced during deeper stages of sleep.
A combination of these effects can facilitate the leakage of stomach acid into the esophagus and allow the acid to remain in place for longer, potentially causing more severe GERD symptoms, including those that can disturb sleep. The problem may be even greater if a person goes to bed soon after eating and/or eats foods that trigger GERD.
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Tips For Controlling Your Acid Reflux Symptoms
After binging on spicy pizza or greasy onion rings, anyone can suffer from occasional indigestion resulting in acid reflux. Thats the uncomfortable sometimes painful condition when your stomach acid, and even food, creep back up into your esophagus. But if you get hit with heartburn a couple times a week or more, you may be experiencing a chronic form of acid reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease .
If you live in or near the Fairfax or South Riding, Virginia, communities, youre in luck. Dr. Chethana Rao at Prima Medicine is an expert on acid reflux. She can help you solve your acid reflux issues with fast-acting medications, long-term treatments, or both.
Meanwhile, there are some simple ways you may be able to ease your own symptoms. Here are 7 lifestyle changes that may reduce or eliminate your acid reflux symptoms.
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
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Opt For Green Juices Or Smoothies Before A Meal
If you dont fancy a glass of vinegar before a meal, why not a green juice or smoothie? This is another way to get an alkaline liquid into your body to balance out the stomach acid. You can use any type of green vegetable that you want, but the dark leafy greens tend to be the best. We also tried this amazing green Superfood that we recommend.
At the same time, you get all the antioxidants and other nutrients from the leafy greens. Drinking the greens rather than eating them is one of the best ways to get the nutrients and not stomach acid . They absorb quicker since theres no need to digest them as much. Even the juices are good for you since dark leafy greens dont have that many natural sugars!
Green juices will also help to curb inflammation in the body. Those nutrients have anti-inflammatory powers. Youll find that your digestive system isnt as swollen, making it easier to digest everything that you eat. Your stomach doesnt need to hold food back while your intestines can cope, so the stomach acid doesnt stick around for as long.
You want to avoid green juices right after a meal. Your body is already starting to digest food, and you will disrupt the process. Drinking it just before is best. This way you also get the same benefit for your weight loss as you would be drinking apple cider vinegar and water.