Nightime Heartburn: The Risks of GERD and Barrett’s Esophagus


Posted On Feb 15 2010 by

Many people find that their acid reflux comes on, or gets worse, at night. This is mostly to do with gravity. Most people lie flat in their beds during the night. When you lie down, your stomach acid no longer sits in the bottom of the stomach.

For many people, spicy and fried foods are the worst. But tomatoes, citrus fruits, mint and chocolate can also cause acid reflux. Day or night, chronic reflux can gradually damage the esophagus. It may lead to inflammation and scar tissue that narrows the esophagus. In some people, chronic heartburn can lead to Barrett’s esophagus, changes in the cells that increase the risk of esophageal cancer.

The stomach makes acid, which aids digestion by breaking down food and drink. Whilst the stomach can resist acid, if it refluxes in sufficient quantities into the oesophagus it will cause pain (heartburn) and sometimes the lining of the oesophagus can become inflamed ie oesophagitis. If the inflammation is severe, ulcers can form. Antacids work by neutralizing acid and coating the stomach.

If you’re relatively young and you describe what sounds like typical heartburn, your doctor will be fairly certain you have GERD and might suggest prescription-strength H2 blockers or PPIs. The stomach acid that leaks into the oesophagus in people with GORD can damage the lining of the oesophagus (oesophagitis), which can cause ulcers to form. You’ll usually be given enough medication to last a month.

What are the Causes of Acid Reflux?

It should open only when you swallow. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can be thought of as chronic symptoms of heartburn. The term refers to the frequent backing up (reflux) of stomach contents (food, acid) into the esophagus — the tube that connects the throat to the stomach. GERD also refers to the array of medical complications, some serious, that can arise from this reflux. That burning sensation right in the middle of your chest, behind the breastbone, actually has nothing to do with your heart.

  • The procedure is also helpful in detecting whether respiratory symptoms, including wheezing and coughing, are triggered by reflux.
  • Your esophagus isn’t made to handle the acid in your stomach.
  • When you’re lying down, you don’t have gravity to pull acid back down into your stomach the way you do when you’re sitting or standing up, Huber explains.
  • Elevate your head in bed.

With GERD, the episodes of acid reflux can also be more severe than usual, and last longer. You may experience more severe symptoms than you would with mild acid reflux. Surgery is an option when medicine and lifestyle changes do not work.

What causes acid reflux during pregnancy?

This causes symptoms of GORD, which can include heartburn and acid reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD, for short) is what happens when liquids and food in your stomach go “the wrong way,” or back up into your throat.

Those made of calcium carbonate or magnesium are good options. However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor. Sleep on your left side.

choking on acid reflux while pregnant

Last Updated on: September 26th, 2019 at 7:26 pm, by


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