How Early Do Pregnant Women Suffer From Heartburn

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pregnantIf you are pregnant or you know one who is, then you’re aware that heartburn is one of the biggest problems that come with pregnancy. Every time you finish a meal, it’s as if all the contents of your stomach rush back up.

You seem to be throwing up, but the sensation stops at your chest or your throat. And then there is a lingering pain which could last anywhere form a few seconds to several minutes. This scenario isn’t all that uncommon among pregnant women. This is because pregnancy causes changes in your hormone levels and also puts added pressure to your stomach.

Firstly, it is important that you understand how heartburn occurs. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and GERD. Many people think that it is actually a disease, but it is not. Heartburn is the burning feeling in the chest and neck when stomach acid makes its way back up the esophagus. This doesn’t usually happen, because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) serves as a lid to prevent the contents of your stomach from leaking out.

The LES, however, can work at a suboptimal level for various reasons. Two of the biggest factors that contribute to this are overeating and too much pressure in the stomach. This explains why you suffer from heartburn usually after eating a meal. When you overeat, your stomach becomes too crowded with food, and more acid is required to digest them. This increases the likelihood of suffering from a heartburn episode.

pregnantDuring pregnancy, added pressure is placed upon the stomach because of the growing baby inside your belly. This can force stomach acid back up, which is why heartburn is one of the most common symptoms that come with pregnancy.

Research shows that one-third of pregnant women suffering during the first half of pregnancy. This increases to two-thirds in the second half. Another reason why heartburn is so common during pregnancy is that there is an increase in the production of progesterone. This is the hormone responsible for relaxing the muscles of your uterus.

Experts believe that progesterone also relaxes the LES, which makes it less capable of performing its function. Ultimately, this results to gastric acids seeping back up the gullet. In general, heartburn episodes become more frequent as your pregnancy progresses. There are also cases where in pregnant women suffer from heartburn as early as the first few weeks.

The good news is that heartburn isn’t usually a sign of something serious. Although you may have to deal with it several times over the course of your pregnancy, there will be no ill effects to you and your baby. There are also several ways to keep your bouts with heartburn to a minimum. The main things you have to watch out for are your daily diet, lying down, and bending over.

You should also keep in mind that heartburn triggers are different from person to person. Yes, you can seek the advice of someone who also suffers from heartburn, but his tips may not necessarily work well for you. The best thing to do is to determine your own triggers and do the necessary adjustments.

Acid RefluxWhat you eat has a lot to do with reflux. Certain foods have been shown to weaken the LES. Among these are alcohol, citrus foods, and chocolates.

Experts also recommend steering clear of fatty foods as they stay longer inside the stomach because they require more acid in order to be digested. It is also recommended to drink water after eating a meal, not before or during.

Eating small, frequent meals is also better than eating large ones when you suffer from heartburn. This gives your stomach sufficient time to digest your food properly. This also prevents acid from building up inside your stomach, as food is an effective neutralizer of stomach acid. You can also talk to your doctor about taking over-the-counter medication for heartburn.

The most common treatment is antacids. Be careful, however, as not all antacids can be taken safely by pregnant women. Those that contain aluminum must be avoided at all costs. Taking high doses of aluminum can be toxic, putting you and your baby’s health at risk.

Heartburn is a common problem that comes with pregnancy, but lifestyle fixes and over-the-counter medications are usually enough to make you feel better and reduce the frequency of the episodes. Remember to talk with your doctor to ensure that the things you do and the medications you take are safe for you and your baby.

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