11 stomach-soothing steps for heartburn

Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from it daily. Eating spicy foods and overeating are common triggers of the symptom. Indigestion is another name for heartburn.

Caffeinated drinks, coffee, alcohol and spicy foods can all stimulate excess acid production. Eating large meals, lying down straight after eating or snacking close to bedtime are also common triggers of reflux.

In some people, stomach contents regularly leak into their food pipe, or a relatively large amount leaks out. It is considered to be GERD if this causes frequent or severe heartburn or acid reflux that affects your quality of life, or if your food pipe has become inflamed. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs when stomach acid frequently flows back into the tube connecting your mouth and stomach (esophagus).

Some people find acid reflux is worse when they are stressed. The woman said she is having to take medication every day to stop symptoms of acid reflux.

How do you cure heartburn?

This narrow part is normally kept shut by the muscles in the food pipe and diaphragm. But this doesn’t work properly in GERD. It is often not clear why.

But there are ways you can feel better or avoid getting it. A single bout of indigestion is typically not a cause for concern. However, anyone who experiences persistent symptoms – such as stomach burning that lasts for a long time or comes back throughout the day – should see a doctor. Some over-the-counter and prescription medications can ease symptoms of acid reflux and indigestion.

If you have had moderate to severe symptoms and this procedure reveals injury to the esophagus, usually no other tests are needed to confirm GERD. Although treatment isn’t always pleasant and might take some time to work, a lot of people find that they feel better afterwards and that their GERD is no longer such a problem. GERD can usually be diagnosed based on typical symptoms.

Metoclopramide, a prokinetic medicine, speeds up the passage of food through the stomach. It is not commonly used but can help in some cases, particularly if you have marked bloating or belching symptoms. A persistent cough, particularly at night, sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe (trachea).

How Can I Prevent Indigestion?

In people who have a hiatal hernia, the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the hole in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. As a result, the diaphragm can no longer help to close the entrance to the stomach. If the stomach is stretched a lot – for instance after a large meal – the sphincter (circular muscle) at the entrance to the stomach might temporarily loosen. Gas or stomach contents might leak up into the food pipe as a result.

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- October 24, 2015

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