Q: I am suffering the most difficult days in my life with heartburn. I want to find the things which cause heartburn.
In 22 years I had never experienced heartburn, until I got pregnant. The thing is though, I would get it when I was hungry, not AFTER I ate. The only time I ever have it is when I am pregnant...I am NOT pregnant now, but have had it everyday for a couple of weeks. What causes it? Stress? Hormone changes?
A:Heartburn (indigestion) is usually caused by acid build-up in the stomach, which irritates the esophagus as it rises. There are many OTC medications to treat heartburn, but it is better to talk to an MD first as many things can cause excessive acid build-up: GERD, ulcers, gallbladder problems, etc. Acid coming up into your esophagus (swallowing tube) from your stomach. This acid irritates the lining of your esophagus which causes a burning sensation in the chest area thus the term heartburn. This frequently occurs in people with a hiatal hernia, but also for various other reasons.....anything that increases pressure in the abdomen like a growing fetus or things that increases reflux like alcohol , peppermint, chocolate, caffeine etc. Treat with antacids or various over the counter drugs, or prescription drugs. Surgery available in extreme cases. No food or drink including water within two hours of going to bed. Sometimes elevating head of the bed on blocks can help if a difficult cases. Avoid tight fitting clothes. Best of all talk to your doctor..
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