1) Immediate pain: starts right after consumption of acidic food. It is caused by acidic substances from food irritating esophagus.
2) After meal pain: starts after heavy meal when there is too much food in the stomach and stomach acid refluxes back to the esophagus.
3) Alcohol/spicy or bitter food related delayed pain: starts several hours after alcohol/spicy food consumption. My guess is that alcohol causes some kind of delayed action when stomach starts actively producing acid several hours after consumption.
4) Chocolate/caffeine consumption heartburn pain. Starts when you consume some chocolate or caffeine late in the evening and lay down later. Heartburn happens because chocolate and caffeine relax the valve between stomach and esophagus and let acid get into esophagus.
Learn about chronic heartburn and chronic heartburn causes.
Sorry for the delay in writing – I was on short vacation. I hope you find my blog interesting and useful. Even though it is not very personalized I try to put as much useful information here as possible.
There were a couple of occasions recently when I was drinking beer or wine. Usually when I drink it over some certain amount I’m guaranteed to have night time heartburn. Usually my limit is 1 glass. Anything more than that = pain (usually minor but still pain).
So I tried to come up with some idea on how to reduce this pain even when you overindulge. I though that when you drink much you usually have alcohol staying in your system for some time. I read that alcohol usually stays from 1 hour to 10-12 hours. So the goal is to get rid of this alcohol as soon as possible. Doing this has two benefits. First it will reduce the night time heartburn (or hopefully it won’t show up at all). And second it will reduce the hangover.
So here are couple advices.
- Eat food while you drink. Food, especially high protein food such as meat, cheese and peanuts, will help slow the absorption of alcohol into your body.
- Drink water 1 hour before going to sleep (after being done with drinking). Alcohol pushes out water from the body. At the same time water pushes alcohol from the body too. This will also reduce morning dehydration and hangover (if you were drinking way too much)
- Incliner Sleep Wedge is an innovative sleep solution. It was scientifically designed just to help acid reflux sufferers. It relieves acid reflux by elevating your head, shoulders and upper body as doctors recommend. It helps you to sleep in a natural position for controlling heartburn, respiratory problems and digestion ailments. An alternative to sleep wedge pillow is Mattress Genie
- Over the course of living with heartburn and acid reflux I found only one herbal treatment which is very effective. It is Slippery Elm. I mostly use it in the form of the powder and make a tea out of it. Tea isn’t very tasty but it covers stomach and esophagus with gel like liquid which protects them from acid. Usually one cup of tea is good enough to have zero heartburn through the night and in the morning.
When it comes at night (hopefully it won’t) don’t suffer in the bed. Stand by and sip some water. This will dilute acid in your stomach and also help your stomach to clear up. Also wait for some time 10-20 minutes before going to sleep again. Water and acid will leave stomach sooner when you’re standing or sitting.
I hope these advises will help you to win a fight over the heartburn!
Constant heartburn usually requires more attention than occasional heartburn. Constant and frequent heartburn could be a symptom of more severe condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Symptoms of constant heartburn:
- Pain or discomfort that starts in the middle of the chest and can then move up through the throat
- Chronic cough
- Burning in the throat – or hot, sour, acidic or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Feeling of food “sticking” in the middle of the chest or throat.
- Sore throat
- Chronic hoarseness
Here is a list of quick advices to deal with constant heartburn:
- go to your doctor and get some medications (usually PPI – proton pump inhibitor)
- cut back on acidic foods
- avoid caffeine and alcohol
- don’t lie down right after eating (1-2 hours should be enough if you lie down for short period of time). It is better to lie down on a wedge pillow.
- don’t eat just before going to bed (allow at least 3-4 hours)
- avoid clothing that’s too tight around the waist
Learn more about chronic heartburn and chronic heartburn causes.
Chest pain due to heartburn is often confused with heart attack chest pain.
Below are typical symptoms of heart attack:
Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.
Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. The pain may be mild to intense. It may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. It may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders.
Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.
Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin.
Paleness or pallor.
Increased or irregular heart rate.
Feeling of impending doom.
So if you have symptoms similar to ones listed above seek emergency help immediately.
Below are typical symptoms of heartburn:
A burning feeling in the chest just behind the breastbone that occurs after eating and lasts a few minutes to several hours.
Chest pain, especially after bending over, lying down or eating.
Burning in the throat — or hot, sour, acidic or salty-tasting fluid at the back of the throat.
Feeling of food “sticking” in the middle of the chest or throat.
Heartburn may cause chronic cough, sore throat, or chronic hoarseness
So use these two lists to distinguish between these different types of pains. Who knows maybe this can save you a life sometime.
Acid reflux is a newer term for something that has been ailing people for many years. Some people still refer to this condition as chronic or severe heartburn but the medical community has named it appropriately. There are three main acid reflux symptoms. The first and most common symptom is frequent heartburn. Heartburn occurs when there is an excess of stomach acid present. Heartburn is named such because it actually causes a burning sensation due to the stomach acid burning the upper digestive tract and the esophagus. While heartburn is one of the main acid reflux symptoms, it does not always indicate acid reflux disease. Everyone can become afflicted with heartburn from time to time as a result of eating spicy food or foods that do not agree with them but when it becomes a constant problem, acid reflux may be diagnosed.
With acid reflux disease there are some cases in which the burning actually extends all the way into the throat and nasal passage. This brings us to our next common symptom and that is regurgitation of acid. This symptom most often occurs during the night while the afflicted sleeps but can happen at anytime. It is marked by the sudden rush of stomach acid into the throat and even out through the nose. It is very painful and burns quite badly when it happens. If you are experiencing this symptom, there is no way you will be unaware of it.
The third of the main acid reflux symptoms is overall stomach discomfort and bloating after eating. While anyone can develop stomach upset after a large meal, people suffering with acid reflux will generally experience this more often than not. Burping, nausea and upper abdominal bloating and discomfort that occur frequently could be a symptom of acid reflux. If you have any of these symptoms more often than once or twice a week then you may want to see your doctor about the possibility of acid reflux disease.