The best course of action is to try to prevent the heartburn from occurring in the first place. So, eat smaller meals and avoid fatty foods, carbonated beverages, caffeine, acidic foods (like tomatoes) and spicy foods. “This will help decrease the amount of acid in your stomach,” explains Selk. Citrus fruits like oranges can also bring on the burn, but they offer valuable folic acid, so instead of cutting them out entirely, try a low-acid orange juice and drink it after you’ve had cereal or toast to help absorb the stomach acid. And during meals, skip beverages-it can decrease the effectiveness of gastric juices, says Martin.
Some antacids are combined with another type of medicine known as an alginate. This helps to relieve indigestion caused by acid reflux. Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks back up into your oesophagus (gullet) and irritates its protective lining (mucosa).
Reflux (heartburn) is very common antenatally. While it is considered a normal part of a healthy pregnancy, symptoms may be frequent and distressing to women. From the monograph, physician experts from ACG have compiled important health tips on managing heartburn symptoms, and importantly, identifying which heartburn medications are safe for use in pregnant women and those, which should be avoided. Studies have shown elevated levels of the hormone progesterone accompanied by increased intra-abdominal pressures from the enlarging uterus, may lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure in pregnant women contributing to heartburn symptoms, according to research highlighted in the newly updated “Pregnancy in Gastrointestinal Disorders” monograph by the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG).
The muscle at the border of the esophagus and stomach, called a sphincter, works as a barrier that is normally closed to prevent the contents of the stomach from washing up into the esophagus. It should open only when you swallow.
The best and safest way to prevent reflux from occurring is to change the things that cause reflux. Gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms usually can be prevented by simple lifestyle modifications in diet, activity, and habits.
Pregnancy Care Guidelines
“This slowed movement of food means, on top of heartburn, you can get constipation and indigestion.” And unfortunately, as the uterus continues to grow and press against the stomach, this triple whammy can intensify. Lillis, Charlotte.
night or before retiring to bed. Common heartburn triggers include greasy or spicy food, chocolate, peppermint, tomato sauces, caffeine, carbonated drinks, and citrus fruits. Heartburn symptoms are one of the most commonly reported complaints among pregnant women. Heartburn usually starts during the first trimester and tends to worsen during the second and third trimesters. Rather than eating 3 large meals a day, break it up into five or six smaller meals.
56.3 Practice summary: reflux
If lifestyle and dietary changes are not enough, you should consult your doctor before taking any medication to relieve heartburn symptoms. Physician experts have compiled important health tips on managing heartburn symptoms during pregnancy, and importantly, identifying which heartburn medications are safe for use in pregnant women and those, which should be avoided.
This can also result in food and acid being pushed back up into your esophagus. During normal digestion, food travels down the esophagus (the tube between your mouth and stomach), through a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), and into the stomach. The LES is part of the doorway between your esophagus and your stomach. It opens to allow food through and closes to stop stomach acids from coming back up. Ask your doctor about using over-the-counter medications such as Tums or Maalox, which are generally safe to use during pregnancy.
Although there are no studies in pregnant women, animal studies have shown no effects on the fetuses of animals. Nizatidine (Axid) should not be used because it has been shown to have adverse effects on animal fetuses, although at much greater doses than those used in humans. If lifestyle changes are not adequate, treatments with medications that are minimally absorbed into the body (and therefore not a potential threat to the fetus) could be started. Treatments include antacids (for example, Maalox, Mylanta), alginic acid/antacid combination (Gaviscon), and sucralfate (Carafate). The most reasonable first line of treatment is antacids alone, one hour after meals and at bedtime.
Sucralfate acts locally in your stomach and only a small amount absorbs into your blood stream. That means there’s a very low risk of exposure for your developing baby. Heartburn often starts late in your first trimester and may get worse throughout your pregnancy.