Aaia __ gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd)

By James R. Stress heartburn Gray, MD, FRCP(C), Clinical Associate Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia, Chairperson, Medical Advisory Council for The Canadian Society of Intestinal Research

Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be an important factor in causing or aggravating asthma or cough symptoms, particularly in people who do not respond to standard asthma treatment. Foods that help heartburn If you are diagnosed with, and treated for, GERD you will experience better symptom control of your GERD and a possible reduction of your asthma symptoms. Heartburn cures milk Sometimes these two conditions co-exist and, left untreated, this combination can worsen the severity of each condition. How to get rid of heartburn during pregnancy Each illness requires separate treatments.

Natural remedies for heartburn during pregnancy This article focuses on GERD.

Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the upper portion of the digestive tract is not functioning properly. Heartburn medicine while pregnant The esophagus is a muscular tube linking the mouth to the stomach. Bad heartburn In normal digestion, a specialized ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and then quickly closes to prevent backflow into the esophagus. Gerd heartburn The LES can malfunction, allowing contents from the stomach, including food and digestive juices such as hydrochloric acid, to push up into the esophagus. Heartburn caused by stress In gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), this backflow is ongoing.

Acid reflux is responsible for the majority of the symptoms and/or damage to the esophagus. Common causes of heartburn More than 20% of Canadians experience recurring GERD symptoms. Does bread cause heartburn Research studies reveal that GERD has a significant negative impact on well-being and quality of life.

Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD. Where is heartburn felt It usually feels like a burning pain in the chest, beginning behind the breastbone and moving toward the neck and throat. Does drinking milk help with heartburn It often worsens after eating and while lying down, and can last as long as two hours at a time. Heartburn during pregnancy relief The pain results from the irritating effects of stomach acid on the esophagus wall, which does not have the same natural protection from acid as does the stomach.

A number of individuals also describe a sensation of food or liquid coming up into the throat or mouth (regurgitation), especially when bending over or lying down and this can leave a bitter or sour taste in the mouth. How to get rid of heartburn naturally While many Canadians experience occasional heartburn or regurgitation, these symptoms are frequent in persons with GERD.

GERD patients can also experience atypical symptoms, including persistent sore throat, hoarseness, chronic coughing, difficult or painful swallowing, asthma, unexplained chest pain, bad breath, a feeling of a lump in the throat, and an uncomfortable feeling of fullness after meals.

In some cases, the acid may travel all the way up the esophagus past the upper esophageal sphincter, or UES, and into the throat, damaging the structures in the throat. Constant heartburn Known as laryngopharyngeal reflux disease, or LPR, this has now become an important diagnosis for physicians to consider in patients with chronic throat clearing, coughing, and a feeling of a lump in the throat. Causes of constant heartburn Sometimes, the acid lingering in the throat is breathed into the lungs, irritating the delicate tissues there causing symptoms to mimic those common in lung diseases diagnoses.

Too much stomach acid reflux can result in inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis), which can lead to esophageal bleeding or ulcers. Heartburn reflux Chronic scarring may narrow the esophagus and interfere with a person’s ability to swallow, requiring surgery. Heartburn gas A few patients may develop a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus, which is severe damage to the cells lining the bottom of the esophagus. Heartburn remedy honey Doctors believe Barrett’s esophagus may increase the chance of developing esophageal cancer. How to treat heartburn naturally Please talk to your physician if your GERD symptoms change.

In most cases, if your symptoms are primarily heartburn or acid regurgitation, your doctor can accurately diagnose GERD. What causes heartburn during pregnancy However, at times testing may be required to confirm the diagnosis or to determine the degree of esophageal damage from GERD. Heartburn every day Testing also rules out other possible causes of your symptoms. Main causes of heartburn These tests may include an upper GI series, an upper GI endoscopy, and 24-hour pH monitoring. Heartburn sign of pregnancy Other less frequently performed tests include the Bernstein test and esophageal manometry.

Lifestyle and dietary changes Although clinical evidence suggests that lifestyle and dietary modifications are usually not sufficient to bring chronic GERD under control, your physician might make dietary recommendations to increase your comfort. Heartburn in pregnancy boy or girl Irritating foods vary from person to person, so try limiting foods that cause you discomfort. Painful heartburn Avoiding large portions at mealtime and eating smaller, more frequent meals may aid in symptom control. Constipation heartburn Many overweight individuals find symptom relief when they lose weight, as it seems that the excess pounds put pressure on the digestive tract, negatively affecting its function. How to stop heartburn while pregnant Smoking cessation is also important for reducing GERD symptoms as studies point to relaxation of the LES with smoking. Heartburn everyday GERD patients should avoid lying down right after eating and refrain from eating within two to three hours of bedtime. Keep getting heartburn Elevating the head of the bed about six inches may also help, but do not do this by propping up your upper body with pillows as this bends the body, potentially increasing abdominal pressure.

For neutralizing acid, over-the-counter medications such as Maalox ®, Tums ®, and bismuth (Pepto-Bismol ®) may subdue symptoms. Heartburn remedies for pregnancy Some find that these non-prescription antacids provide quick, temporary, or partial relief but they do not prevent heartburn. Heartburn during pregnancy remedies Consult your physician if you are using antacids for more than 3 weeks.

H 2RAs work by blocking the effect of histamine, which stimulates certain cells in the stomach to produce acid. Heartburn anxiety These include cimetidine, ranitidine (Zantac ®), famotidine (Pepcid ®), and nizatidine (Axid ®). Severe heartburn in pregnancy H 2RAs are all available by prescription and some are accessible in a lower dose non-prescription formulation.

PPIs work by blocking an enzyme necessary for acid secretion. Severe heartburn remedies These include omeprazole (Losec ®), lansoprazole (Prevacid ®), pantoprazole (Pantoloc ®), esomeprazole (Nexium ®), and rabeprazole (Pariet ™). How to ease heartburn In Canada, PPIs are available only by prescription. At home remedies for heartburn PPIs have emerged as the most effective therapy for relieving symptoms and improving quality of life, as well as healing and preventing damage to the esophagus in persons with GERD. How to get rid of heartburn while pregnant If you would prefer to drink the medicine, you may mix Nexium ® in water and consume it as a drink. Heartburn headache nausea Some PPIs have formulations for children as young as one year old. Heartburn remedy food To achieve full effectiveness, these medications should be taken once a day for at least eight weeks, but symptom relief is usually felt within a couple of days.

Treatments that reduce reflux by increasing LES pressure and downward esophageal contractions are metoclopramide and domperidone maleate. What can i take for heartburn while pregnant A plant-based prokinetic agent, Iberogast ®, helps regulate digestive motility and improve GERD symptoms.

All of the medications discussed above have specific treatment regiments, which you must follow closely for maximum effect. Severe heartburn Usually, a combination of these measures can successfully control the symptoms of acid reflux. Heartburn meds during pregnancy Some medications and supplements may aggravate your symptoms so be sure to check with your physician or pharmacist with any specific questions.

Medications along with lifestyle and dietary changes successfully manage most cases of GERD and serious complications are rare. Does heartburn cause chest pain GERD is a chronic condition that can range from mild to severe.

This article is adapted from the patient information published by the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research, www.badgut.org. Indigestion and heartburn Printed here by permission CSIR© all rights reserved.