Treating Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

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heartburnAcid reflux a.k.a. heartburn a.k.a. gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is quite a common condition affecting millions of people around the globe.

It is one of the most common conditions affecting the stomach lining and stomach acids. At the entrance to the stomach, there is a small muscle similar to a valve which is called the lower esophageal sphincter or LES.

This valve closes as soon as the food passes through to the stomach. But there are times when the LES doesn’t close properly or opens too often due to many causes. During such times, stomach acid can move up to the esophagus. This will cause a burning sensation in your chest area which is referred to as acid reflux or heartburn. There are various causes for acid reflux.

A stomach abnormality named hiatal hernia is one of the main reasons for acid reflux. The upper part of the stomach and LES would move into the diaphragm (a muscle that separates the chest and stomach), which is referred to as hiatal hernia. Usually, the diaphragm helps to keep stomach acid in the stomach. But when you are down with hiatal hernia, stomach acid can move to the esophagus and cause heartburn or acid reflux.

alcoholThe other common reasons for acid reflux include eating large meals and lying down as soon as you eat, snacking close to bedtime, smoking, alcohol, coffee tea and other caffeinated drinks, citrus fruits, aspirin and other strong medications.

Another important reason for acid reflux is being pregnant. More than half of the pregnant women in the world report acid reflux symptoms, especially during their second or third trimesters. Changing hormone levels is considered a major reason for heartburn conditions during pregnancy.

Changing hormone levels will affect how the muscles of the digestive track behave. Pregnancy hormones can cause the LES to relax more often than not. This would allow stomach acids to splash back to the esophagus. In addition, the enlarged uterus can push the stomach upwards which will eventually push stomach acids into the esophagus. Gallstones also are responsible for causing acid reflux during pregnancy.

This is why acid reflux has become such a problem for women who are pregnant. You need to reduce heartburn during pregnancy without hurting the baby in the process. There are some important lifestyle changes and treatments for acid reflux during pregnancy. You should not take any over-the-counter medicines during pregnancy as it could have a negative effect on your baby.

doctorThis is why it is best to consult your doctor if you are suffering from acid reflux conditions when you are pregnant. But you can always do some important changes to your lifestyle in order to get rid of acid reflux in a natural way.

This would be the best option as it will not have any untoward effect on your baby. Below mentioned are some of the most important changes that could be made to your daily lifestyle in order to eliminate acid reflux for good during pregnancy.

The first thing is to start eating several small meals a day without eating three large meals per day. Also, you should eat your meal quite slowly and chew every bite of it quite effectively. This will help to stimulate more saliva and protect the stomach lining from being damaged by stomach acids. Saliva helps to protect the stomach lining here.

Too spicy, fried and fatty foods should be avoided as much as possible since these food items will help the LES to relax and increase the chances of heartburn. Drink less water while eating. Drinking too much of water will help stomach acids to floor into the esophagus and cause heartburn as a result. You should not lie down after eating. Do not eat any snack before bedtime.

Your head should be placed a bit higher than the chest and stomach when sleeping at night. Keep a pillow under your head and shoulder area for this purpose. It will help to prevent stomach acids from creeping into the esophagus.Try to wear loose fitting clothes while you are pregnant since tight fitting clothing can cause too much of pressure on your abdomen area.

esophagusThis would increase the chances of stomach acids flowing to the esophagus. Treat your constipation condition before it worsens as this too can lead to acid reflux.

Try to stay clear of stressful situations as stress has been found to be one of the major reasons for acid reflux or heartburn. You can ask your doctor to recommend a few over-the-counter medicines to cure your acid reflux condition.

But do not take any over-the-counter medications on your own during pregnancy. These are some of the most effective treatments for acid reflux during pregnancy. It will help to stay clear of heartburn during pregnancy and protect your baby and yourself during such a period.

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