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Exercise-Caused Heartburn: Preventing Acid Reflux During a Workout

running stomach acid

Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out. When a cause cannot be found by a doctor for indigestion, the individual may have functional dyspepsia.

Learn which foods are beneficial here. If an individual has severe or frequent symptoms of acid reflux, they should visit their doctor to rule out other conditions. However, people with occasional or mild reflux can keep the condition in check with simple lifestyle changes usually, home remedies, and OTC medications.

In addition, certain sports drinks, unlike water, can trigger a reflux episode. If you’re feeling nauseous, experiencing painful cramping or gas or enduring a sour stomach every right time you run, it may be time to talk to a doctor. He or she can rule out other more serious medical issues as well as prescribing medications to treat symptoms if absolutely necessary. As a runner who’s struggled on and off with stomach cramping, digestive issues and acid reflux, I admit fixing all of your gastrointestinal woes can be a moving target. One day, you may wake up with ‘sour stomach,’ while the next might involve an urgent race to find a port-a-potty along your run route.

What’s the Difference Between Acid GERD and Reflux?

A food journal can be helpful for tracking symptoms related to both. As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician. For more on relieving heartburn and treating a sensitive gut, buy The Sensitive Gut, a Special Health Report from Harvard Medical School.

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What is Heartburn?

When this pain comes and goes, a person may suspect a nagging problem with the heart. In this article, we explore possible causes of intermittent chest pain, how to tell when the problem is heart-related, and when to call a doctor. Causes include gas and menstrual cramps, and treatment shall depend on the cause.

Health Solutions

If you’re obese or overweight, a 10 percent weight loss has been shown to reduce heartburn and reflux, says David Levinthal, MD, PhD, the director of the neurogastroenterology and motility center at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. But what if, of occasionally manifesting after a culinary indulgence instead, you tend to only experience heartburn or acid reflux while running?

Ask your doctor or pharmacist if any of the medications you take could worsen acid reflux or inflame the esophagus. For example, tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline loosen the LES and tetracyclines such as doxycycline can cause esophageal inflammation. Chew sugarless gum after a meal. Chewing gum promotes salivation, which neutralizes acid, soothes the esophagus, and washes acid down to the stomach back. Avoid peppermint flavors, which may trigger heartburn.

Problem-solve your diet. Do some simple problem-solving, says Tara O’Brien, PharmD, a pharmacy manager at Pharmaca in Seattle, a national, integrative pharmacy combining Western medicine with self-care. “Specifically, do you eat relatively quickly before going for a run? And what types of food?” Cut out the offending foods — and hold the triple mochas before running.

And since the lining of the esophagus is more delicate than that of the stomach, a burning sensation is experienced in the chest area when this happens. Heartburn is a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD discussed below. Deborah A. Fisher, M.D., who specializes in gastroenterology at Duke University and the Duke Clinical Research Institute, tells SELF that figuring out a proper course of treatment for reflux can be a matter of trial and error and patience. Knowing your triggers, she says, is an essential part of getting relief.

This is a type of indigestion without any metabolic or structural disease to explain the symptoms. It may be caused by an impairment of the stomach that prevents it from accepting and digesting food in a normal way. Heartburn and dyspepsia are confused for one another often, but they are two separate conditions despite regularly occurring at the same time. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, described as a burning feeling behind the breastbone that usually occurs after eating.

Even though Chapman competes in Masters National Physique competitions, the 41-year-old often struggles with exercise-induced GERD during training. A self-described natural athlete, Chapman switched to bodybuilding after competing internationally in karate for 14 years when GERD made martial arts maneuvers nearly unbearable. According to Runner’s World, pre-race nervousness alone may predispose people to reflux once the gun goes off. Carbonated beverages, chewing gum, coffee, tea and spicy foods are other common culprits. Less common but still frequently encountered precipitators of reflux and associated problems such as bloating include broccoli, bell peppers, sports drinks and onions.

Not everyone experiences worsening acid reflux with high-impact exercise. Try low-impact exercises first and see how you feel. If you don’t experience heartburn or other symptoms, you can try a higher-impact workout.

Because of the acidic nature of the sugar substitutes in these drinks, you are more likely to suffer heartburn after consuming them. Water is less likely to induce acid reflux and you can always find a natural alternative to replace electrolytes and potassium and avoid muscle cramps. Walking is a much advised option too. A brisk walk after a meal can massively aid digestion and reduce the symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux from presenting later in the evening. During reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle, which serves as a barrier between the stomach and the esophagus, opens, allowing stomach acid to travel up into the cause and esophagus heartburn.

But for those who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux or GERD, gastric acids reach the mouth throughout the day. This process is especially damaging when you’re asleep, since you are swallowing less often and your mouth is producing less saliva. Drinking coffee and eating citrus fruits, fatty foods, onions, alcohol and chocolate often makes the condition worse because these increase the acid in the stomach and can stimulate stomach contractions, pushing the stomach contents upwards.

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