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Acid reflux treatment in pregnancy can be a little tricky. Balancing cures, diet and exercise with what's good for both avoiding reflux and sticking to doctor's orders for the baby's sake can be tough.
Let's face it, sleeping can be difficult enough during pregnancy and the third trimester's the worst. Unfortunately, this is generally when acid reflux tends to rear its ugly head.
That's right. That awful burning feeling in the back of the throat, discomfort that feels like fire and a general sick feeling that makes sleeping almost impossible.
To deal with reflux in pregnancy, it's a good idea to understand first why it is so common. There are a lot of reasons acid reflux and pregnancy go hand-in-hand along with the typical heartburn many experience right out of the gate.
Sleeping can be hard enough without acid reflux, but it's an unfortunate side effect that can hamper the last few weeks.
So, what's a mom-to-be to do?
The first thing is to relax. While acid reflux is a nightmare, keep in mind that unless it's a medical condition that was present before the pregnancy, it will likely go away as soon as the baby is born. There is a light at the end of the tunnel.
When trying to treat reflux in pregnancy, remember pregnant women cannot or should not take a lot of the medications that are suggested for acid reflux under normal conditions. Thus, some pre-emptive strikes to avoid the condition are in order.
Here are some things that can help a pregnant woman avoid horrible bouts of acid reflux and things to do to relieve the symptoms if they start:
How to avoid an attack:
* Stay away from foods that can cause reflux. This means just say no to chocolate! Sorry. It also means steering clear of acidic foods such as juices and fruits, tomatoes, vinegar and fried and fatty foods.
* Since you're pregnant and should already be staying clear of caffeine this hopefully won't be an issue, but if you've been having a few sodas or coffees a day, cut that out of your diet right away.
*Limit food intake. Don't overeat.
*Don't eat right before bed.
*Drink tons of water. This is not only good for helping stave off an acid reflux attack, it's also good for you and the baby.
*Elevate yourself when you sleep. Acid reflux involves a "backflow" of stomach contents into the esophagus, stop it before it starts by careful placement of pillows.
Even the best-laid plans don't always work for a woman nearing term. If acid reflux strikes, check with your doctor about what you can take. Some find that pregnancy-friendly Tums help, others find getting up, walking around for a little bit followed up by some water does the trick.
Don't get discouraged and just do your best to relax and let the symptoms pass. Remember, acid reflux in pregnancy tends to go away completely after the baby's birth. Think of it as a little bump in the road on the way to something fantastic and you'll do fine!
We really do care about your health and happiness and are thrilled you are interested in our articles, but please always check with your doctor before trying something new!
Acid Reflux Disease or Gastric Cancer?
We all hope that our reflux problems are no more than a minor problem associated with too much food or alcahol, but there is always the underlying danger of stomach cancer.
The biggest diagnostic problem that we encounter, is caused by symptoms that ofter arrive late due to the large capacity of the stomach.
If you tend to feel bloated after eating only a small amount of food, an upper gastrointestional endoscopy is an option for ruling out cancer that may be lurking.
If you do encounter any of the above symptoms, do not panic, as they are also typical of a diverse range of gastrointestional conditions and not necessarily present due to cancer.
The most obvious early warning of gastric or stomach cancer is the presence of blood in vomit or stools, however it is not always this simple as these symptoms are not always present. To further complicate matters, bleeding may be caused by ulcers or Gastritis rather than cancer.
If any internal bleeding is evident, a colonoscopy should follow. Unfortunately, negative results are not always conclusive, and an upper endoscopic exploration is suggested to ensure that no cancer is present
Diet is of course a factor in gastric or stomach cancer. The highest incidence of stomach cancer is in people who have a diet high in foods which are preserved by drying, salting, pickling or smoking.
Avoid pickled vegetables, smoked meat and excessively salty food. Processed meat products are another cause, with the hot dog being of obvious concern. Charcoal broiled foods are known to produce nitrosamines which have also been linked to cancer.
People who have had gastric atrophy which weakens the stomach muscles are also at increased risk. Note that it also results in shrinkage of the peptic glands which in turn leads to a smaller amount of digestive juices.
I probably do not need to tell you that smoking is another link, as well as dust and workplace fumes.
H. pylori, a spiral-shaped bacterium known to cause stomach inflamation and ulcers has also been shown in some studies to be a risk factor in stomach cancer.
If cancer is diagnosed, a CT or ultrasound will be used to stage the cancer by indicating its spread throughout the body. Stages range from a primary tumor to tumors that invade the stomach wall muscle or adjacent structures.
Author Antony Wilton researches and reports on Acid Reflux Disease and other Gastric Disorders at his popular site http://www.acidrefluxheartburn.com.
The body has an armory of ways to prevent acid reflux disease but if any of these are prevented from occurring the body has very few mechanisms left to alleviate the suffering that is associated with the chronic disease. Most reflux occurs during the daytime, but during the day the top halves of our body are upright meaning that the reflux automatically flows back down to the stomach and any problems are prevented.
Other symptoms of stomach cancer include burning heartburn or indigestion. This is common terminology for acid reflux or GERD. Nausea and vomiting may also be evident, as well as loss of appetite. Fatigue, weakness and abdominal pain are other indicators, and the passing of blood in vomit or urine should not go unchecked.
While we are awake we regularly swallow and this action services to carry an reflux back down to where it belongs. We swallow whether there is reflux present or not. The mouth constantly creates saliva that contains chemicals that neutralize the effects of reflux and acid on our bodies. These three methods are the most effective defense we have against acid reflux disease but sometimes they don't work properly or simply aren't doing enough to prevent the onslaught of acid reflux.
Biopsies can be used to search for the existence of cancer. They can not be used to look for evidence of acid reflux disease but alternative causes of symptoms may be found.
Esophageal acid testing is probably the most accurate way to test for acid reflux disease but is the most obtrusive as well. A tube is placed through the nose and into the esophagus where it remains for 24 hours. This tube has a sensor on the end and measures the amount of reflux generated over 24 hours.
An endoscopy is another way of diagnosing acid reflux disease. A tube is swallowed so that doctors can see exactly what is going on inside your body. However, a esophagus of a patient suffering from the disease ordinarily looks quite normal so this method of diagnosis will only directly work for those patients whose esophagus has been damaged by their acid reflux disease. However, if an ulcer or other ailment that can cause similar problems is spotted then it may be possible to discount acid reflux disease.
Heartburn is by far the most common symptom of acid reflux disease and if a doctor suspects your heartburn is cause by acid reflux disease he or she will prescribe you with a medicine that stops the production of acid in your stomach. If it stops then it is assumed that you do indeed have acid reflux disease. This approach of diagnosis can be unreliable.
Heartburn and acid reflux are typically treated with over the counter products or drugs that reduce stomach acid or block the excretion of stomach acid. It would appear that if our stomach acid needed to be diluted by antacids, our body would be smart enough not produce such a corrosive liquid in our stomach.
That fact is that we need a highly acidic condition in our stomach to properly digest protein. Using drugs to suppress this stomach acid is not the correct way to deal with acid reflux or heartburn. If you do go this route, you will be facing many disease as you get older.
There are many reasons you might have acid reflux. One reason is a weakness in the Lower Esophageal Sphincter valve, LES. LES is a valve between your stomach and your esophagus. When your LES valve is weak, it can allow acidified, partially digested food to flow back up into your esophagus. The acid in the food will burn the lining of your esophagus causing the so called “heartburn...”
Here are some natural steps that you can use to strengthen your Lower Esophageal Sphincter valve:
These foods can weaken the LES valve – coffee, peppermint, spearmint, sugar, chocolate, onions, and alcohol. Once you have strengthened your LES, you can return to eating these foods in moderate amounts.
Eliminate those foods that are known to create allergic reactions such as cow’s milk, wheat, white flour, diary products, and other foods.
Acid reflux can occur due to a variety of reasons. Most often a doctor can not diagnosis the exact cause without further monitoring of the condition. Sometimes it is caused by a medical reason. Some babies experience it because they are so small and their bodies can not function properly to keep acid from backing up. In adults acid reflux occurs mostly due to diet. A person should monitor their eating habits and record each time they have acid reflux. They should look for an association between their diet or activities they may do and their acid reflux. There are many things a person can do, though, to ease the symptoms before a cause is determined or even after the causes is found.
Avoid overeating and having a large amount of food in your stomach. Excess food in your stomach can increase your stomach gas pressure and force your LES valve to open.
Avoid using certain drugs, although this might be impossible. If you take drugs perhaps you can start looking for and start using some natural remedies so that you can lessen the use of drugs. Here are some of the drugs at cause LES problems – NSAID’s, bronchodilators, channel blockers, beta-blockers, antianxiety drugs, and nitroglycerine. These drugs relax the muscles around the LES valve causing them to open during normal stomach gas pressures.
Watch how you do certain physical activities, such as waist bending, staining during bowel movements, coughing, and lifting heavy objects. This increases the pressure in the stomach, causing the LES valve to open.
After a meal do not lie down. This causes food to flow back towards the LES valve putting pressure on it. So it is a good reason to eat your last meal around three hours before bedtime.
There you have it, some natural remedies and activities that strengthen or weaken your LES valve. Just applying some or all these will result in reducing the frequency of your acid reflux and heartburn.
Rudy Silva is a Natural Nutritionist. For more tips and information on Acid Reflux and Heartburn go now to his site: http://www.acidreflux-relief.info
Acid reflux affects people everyday. It is caused by acid in the stomach backing up into the esophagus. It makes people feel a burning, uncomfortable sensation. There are many names for acid reflux. Gastro esophageal Reflux disorder is used to describe a chronic form of acid reflux and heartburn is another name often used to describe acid reflux. It is all the same basic thing, no matter what it is called.
Once a person figures out what causes their acid reflux, keeping it under control should not be difficult. However, for those who are not sure of why they are experiencing acid reflux here are some suggestions on trying to tame flare ups.
- Avoid spicy foods. These types of foods tend to be most often associated with acid reflux.
- Lie down after meals. It is best if the person is lying flat. This uses gravity to try to keep the acid down in the stomach.
- Wear loose clothing. Tight fitting clothes can sometimes trigger acid reflux.
- Eat smaller meals. Putting less food in the stomach causes it to create less acid, which in turn keeps acids levels where they do not back up into the esophagus.
- Look at medication. If a person is taking certain medications their acid reflux may be caused by them. Most over the counter medications will list acid reflux as a possible side effect if they are known to cause it. For prescription medications a person can ask their doctor or pharmacist.
- Stop or cut down on smoking. Smoking has been linked to stimulate acid production. More acid means more chance of acid reflux.
- Elevate the head when sleeping. Elevating the head also uses gravity to keep the stomach acid down.
If doing any of these activities reduces or eliminates acid reflux then a person has found their trigger.
Acid reflux is a part of daily life for many people. The key to eliminating it is to find the reasons behind it and stop doing them. A trip to the doctor never hurts to rule out medical problems as well.
About the author: Stephen Kreutzer is a freelance publisher based in Cupertino, California. He publishes articles and reports in various ezines and provides acid reflux information on Acid Reflux Aid.
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