Heartburn is caused when stomach acid enters the esophagus. When functioning normally, the LES [Lower Esophageal Sphincter] opens like a one-way valve that allows food into the stomach, but does not let it out the same way. However, at times the LES relaxes and allows stomach juices to flow upward into the esophagus. This relaxation exposes the esophagus to harsh acid from the stomach.
Many people benefit from taking H2 blockers at bedtime in combination with a proton pump inhibitor. Medication. Common medications taken for other problems, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs, can increase the likelihood of heartburn. That includes medicines used to treat asthma, high blood pressure, heart problems, arthritis or other inflammation, osteoporosis (low bone density), anxiety, insomnia, depression, pain, Parkinson’s disease, muscle spasm, or cancer. Also, drugs used for hormone therapy can be a heartburn trigger.
However, anyone who has heartburn on a regular basis should consult a physician. Constant exposure to stomach acid can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause other medical problems. The diaphragm is a flat horizontal muscle that separates the lungs from the stomach and the rest of the digestive tract. The esophagus passes through an opening in the diaphragm.
If your symptoms don’t get better despite trying self-help measures and over-the-counter medicines, your GP may prescribe a PPI. These work by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach.
Heartburn is felt as a burning pain that spreads from the upper stomach, or from the certain area behind the breastbone, up into the throat. As well as acid reflux and heartburn, GERD is sometimes associated with problems swallowing. Other possible symptoms include a burning sensation in your throat, a bad taste in your mouth, and stomach noises. People who have GERD often feel very full.
It may accompany constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Find out the potential causes of pain in the abdomen and learn when you should see a doctor. these causes include bloating, gas, colitis, endometriosis, food poisoning, GERD, IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), ovarian cysts, abdominal adhesions, diverticulitis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, gallbladder disease, liver disease, and cancers. If symptoms of GERD do not respond to maximum doses of PPI, there are two options for management.
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
Research suggests that being obese or can be a trigger for heartburn and reflux disease overweight. In one study comparing people with and people without GERD, those who had heartburn problems were more overweight than those without GERD typically.
- Histamine H2 receptor antagonists (cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine) decrease acid production in the stomach.
- A PPI may take one to four days for full effect, but it can effectively block frequent heartburn for 24 hours with just one pill a day for 14 days.
- Saliva helps neutralize stomach acid.
- The advantage of the capsule over standard pH testing is that there is no discomfort from a catheter that passes through the throat and nose.
- A small tube is put into your child’s nostril, then down the throat and into the esophagus.
What Does GERD Feel Like?
However, patients with the symptoms or complications of GERD have reflux of more acid than individuals without the symptoms or complications of GERD. Moreover, normal individuals and patients with GERD can be distinguished moderately well from each other by the amount of time that the esophagus contains acid. 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, your GP is likely to request a gastroscopy. This will ensure there are no underlying problems with your oesophagus or stomach.
The doctor inserts a device into your esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the amount of acid in your esophagus. Proton pump inhibitors include omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), pantoprazole (Protonix), rabeprazole (Aciphex), and esomeprazole (Nexium), which are all available by prescription.
What to eat and avoid for heartburn
Lying down or bending over can bring on heartburn or make it worse. It is referred to as acid indigestion sometimes. Not everyone with GERD has heartburn. When stomach acids repeatedly back up into the esophagus, they can injure the esophagus’ sensitive lining. That injury can lead to uncomfortable inflammation called esophagitis.