Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). We also encourage you to read 17 symptoms of acid reflux for additional signs of acid reflux. The burning, pressure, or pain of heartburn can last as long as 2 hours and is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending over can also read this post here result in heartburn. Many people obtain relief by standing upright or by taking an antacid that clears acid out of the esophagus. People who have frequent acid reflux symptoms most often experience them at night. Nighttime GERD also produces the most pain. However, the level of pain does not always indicate the degree of damage to your esophagus.
Any woman who is experiencing severe reflux during pregnancy should speak to her doctor about treatment options. Let me stress this point – you can’t be sure you have GERD until you actually have the necessary diagnostic tests to determine the actual cause of your symptoms. Unfortunately, too many adults only speak with their family doctor, who is unable to properly diagnose GERD. Mark Fox , Carole Barr, Suzanne Nolan, Miranda Lomer, Angela Anggiansah, Terry Wong. The Effects of Dietary Fat and Calorie Density on Esophageal Acid Exposure and Reflux Symptoms. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Official Clinical Practice Journal of the AGA Institute. 28 Mar 2007.
A small number of people with GERD may need surgery because of severe reflux and poor response to medical treatment. However, surgery should not be considered until all other measures have been tried. Fundoplication is a surgical procedure that increases pressure in the lower esophagus. Endoscopic procedures that involve making the LES function better or using electrodes to promote scarring of the LES are newer options in treatment. The lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect it from the powerful acid, but the esophagus is not protected.
Pregnancy Many women experience acid reflux for the first time during pregnancy This is caused by increasing levels of hormones combined with pressure from the growing fetus Usually worst during the third trimester , the symptoms almost always go away after delivery. For chronic reflux and heartburn, the doctor may recommend medications to reduce acid in the stomach. These medicines include H2 blockers, which inhibit acid secretion in the stomach. H2 blockers include: cimetidine ( Tagamet ), famotidine ( Pepcid ), nizatidine ( Axid ), and ranitidine ( Zantac ).