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Heartburn Begins With a BiteTake a bite of warm, gooey pepperoni pizza, and your digestive system kicks into action. Daniel Mausner, MD, section head of gastroenterology, Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Center, N.Y. Changing hormonal levels: Women can also experience heartburns during pregnancy due to changing hormonal levels. Enlarged uterus: Also, an enlarged uterus can cause heartburn in pregnant women because the uterus in most cases crowds the abdomen, thereby pushing some of the stomach acids upward. Gallstones: Lastly, although rare, gallstones can also cause severe heartburn in women during pregnancy.
Eat slowly: You can also be able to prevent heartburns by eating slowly because you give your stomach time to digest thereby avoiding build up. Avoiding spicy and fried foods: Spicy and fried foods are known to increase the risks of getting heartburns because they cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax increasing the chances of stomach acid rising. Avoiding drinking while eating: This is also an important heartburn prevention tip because avoiding drinks while eating ensures that the acid levels in the stomach are kept low. Avoid lying down after eating: To keep acid levels in the stomach low, you should avoid lying down immediately after eating because this adds pressure to the digestive tract especially for pregnant women thereby increasing the chances of getting heartburns. Drinking a lot of water: One of the best and most common cure for heartburn is drinking a lot of water. It is however important to adhere to the prevention tips mentioned above to avoid unnecessary discomfort.
Vasudevan, MD, assistant professor of family medicine, University of Texas Medical School, Houston. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances.
Acid indigestion causes a burning sensation or irritation in the esophagus which is caused by stomach components i.e.
As the levels of hormones in the body change, they can sometimes affect digestive tract muscles. It is however important to note especially for pregnant women that some over the counter heartburn medicines are not safe during pregnancy.
Even for pregnant women, it is advisable to take a lot of water to cure heartburn because water neutralises all the digestive acid that may be present in the digestive tract. In many people, a faulty valve-like structure lets these acids run amok, triggering a burning sensation in the chest. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. This normally happens during the second and the third trimesters according to numerous studies.

It is however important to note that loose fitting clothes will reduce the chances of pregnant women getting heartburns because the clothes do not apply pressure to the stomach. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. Suffering from heartburn during pregnancy is therefore a common thing thus pregnant women should be well aware of the causes, prevention and treatment measures of heartburn in order to avoid unnecessary panic. Pregnancy hormones are capable of causing the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle valve between the esophagus and stomach) to relax, and cause the stomach acids to enter into the esophagus, which in turn causes heartburn. It is therefore highly unlikely that stomach acids or digestive juices will find their way upwards. It is therefore advisable for pregnant women to consult a doctor first before taking any heart burn medication. Heartburn: An Inside LookTo understand what causes heartburn, let's trace the path of that pepperoni pizza.
A valve-like ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter opens to let the food in. Then it's supposed to close again to prevent stomach acids from sliding up into the esophagus.
Heartburn: Faulty ValveIn some people, the sphincter between the stomach and esophagus doesn't work as well as it should. This allows acid to seep into the esophagus (called acid reflux), where it can cause pain and irritation.
Not everyone with acid reflux suffers from heartburn, and some people with "heartburn" symptoms don't actually have acid reflux but may have some other condition causing this pain.
GERD (Acid Reflux) SymptomsThe hallmark of acid reflux is heartburn -- a painful burning sensation in the middle of the chest. Other symptoms of severe acid reflux include a sour-tasting fluid in the back of the throat, difficulty swallowing, or feeling that food is stuck in the chest or throat. Heartburn: Who’s at Risk?Anyone can develop heartburn, but certain lifestyle factors affect how well the sphincter works, as well as the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
People who are overweight, eat large meals, wear tight-fitting clothes, or smoke tend to be more vulnerable. If you have severe heartburn or heartburn two or more times a week, you may have a condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and you should see your doctor.
Known as Barrett's esophagus (shown here), these changes raise the risk of esophageal cancer. Nighttime Heartburn: It’s DangerousWaking with a sore throat, cough, or a bitter taste in your mouth?
And as we sleep we swallow less acid-neutralizing saliva than when awake.  Managing Heartburn at HomeYou may be able to manage mild heartburn with a few changes to your daily routine.

Your symptoms may improve if you avoid tomatoes, onions, garlic, chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, and citrus fruits, including oranges and grapefruit.
If you find spicy foods are a trigger, try milder versions rather than giving up your favorite foods altogether. Change Your Exercise RoutineExercise can increase abdominal pressure, increasing the risk of acid reflux. Some types of exercise increase the risk more than others by reversing the natural flow of digestion. Abdominal crunches can be a problem, because the motion may thrust stomach acids into the esophagus.
Raise the Head of Your BedIf you experience nighttime heartburn, try placing blocks under the legs of your bed to raise the head about 6 inches, or sleep with your upper body on a wedge pillow. This bends your body in a way that can aggravate heartburn.) Reflux also occurs less frequently when lying on your left side rather than your right. Wear Loose-Fitting ClothesAnother way to ease heartburn is to take pressure off the abdomen. Heartburn During PregnancyMore than half of all pregnant women report symptoms of severe heartburn, especially during their second and third trimesters. Changing hormone levels and increased abdominal pressures during pregnancy increase the risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
Mild symptoms should be treated with lifestyle changes, including eating several small meals a day instead of three large ones, avoiding fried and spicy foods, and not lying down after eating. However, if diet and lifestyle don't alleviate symptoms, pregnant women should consult their doctor before taking any medications. Heartburn Remedies: AntacidsFor occasional heartburn, take something that works immediately, like a liquid antacid. It's important to follow the directions carefully, because the overuse of antacids can cause serious side effects. Heartburn Remedies: H2 BlockersAlso available over-the-counter, H2 blockers work differently than antacids. Rather than zapping acids after they appear, these medications lower the production of stomach acid. Acid Blockers: Proton Pump InhibitorsProton pump inhibitors, available over-the-counter and by prescription, are a class of drugs that block the production of stomach acid. Which Heartburn Medication to Take?The heartburn treatment that's best for you depends on many things.

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