Causes, Treatment, And Symptoms

Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). Long-term use of antacids, however, can result in side effects, including diarrhea , altered calcium metabolism (a change in the way the body breaks down and uses calcium ), and buildup of magnesium in the body. Too much magnesium can be serious for patients with kidney disease If antacids are needed for more than 2 weeks, a doctor should be consulted. Taking PPIs for up to 2 weeks may not only relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, but can also repair the damage done to the esophageal lining. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends waiting three hours after eating. Once you go to bed, try elevating your head with pillows to avoid nighttime heartburn.

Cigarette smoking weakens the LES. Stopping smoking is important to reduce GERD symptoms. Doctors do have other diagnostic tests besides GI endoscopy, including echography to study the upper abdomen and a barium enema and other X-ray exams that outline the digestive tract. Doctors can study the stomach right here juices, stools, and blood to learn about GI functions. But none of these tests offers a direct view of the mucous lining of the digestive tract. Yet, when the signs of acid reflux were investigated with a small camera, coffee consumption was linked with greater acid damage in the esophagus ( 32 ).

It acts as a valve and is supposed to prevent the acidic contents of the stomach from going up into the esophagus. It naturally opens when you swallow, belch or vomit. Otherwise, it should stay closed. Have heartburn? Eat these 13 foods to avoid acid reflux. Additionally, an antibiotic treatment may significantly reduce acid reflux, possibly by decreasing the numbers of gas-producing bacteria ( 18 , 19 ). Proton pump inhibitors ( Prilosec , Prevacid , Protonix , Aciphex , Nexium ) also reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes.

While citrus juice probably doesn’t cause acid reflux, it can make your heartburn temporarily worse. Pregnancy can also cause acid reflux due to extra pressure being placed on the internal organs. Yet, the study showed that high doses of spearmint may worsen acid reflux symptoms, presumably by irritating the inside of the esophagus ( 47 ). Wearing clothes that are too tight can increase acid reflux episodes. This is especially the case with tight bottoms and belts: Both place unnecessary pressure on the abdomen, thereby contributing to your heartburn risk. For the sake of acid reflux, loosen up your clothing.

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