Heartburn is the common symptoms among many of us. It is generally due to underlying acid peptic diseases like gastritis, gastro oesophageal reflux diseases, barret oesophagus and so on. Heartburn is commonly seen at early morning or late night. Sometimes, the symptom of heartburn is so terribling that it makes us awake at the middle of the night.
What causes heartburn?
There are wide range of disease condition responsible for heartburn. Most of them are acid peptic disease affecting our stomach. Beside that there are other causes also. The major disease conditions responsible for heartburn are:
- Gastro esophageal reflux diseases (GERD)
- Barret oesophagus
- Peptic ulcer
- Hiatal hernia
- H pylori infection
- Stress and anxiety induced gastritis
- Gall stone and cholecystitis
- Heart attack and other heart related conditions
What other symptoms you usually have with heartburn?
You may have the following symptoms along with the heartburn:
- Sour water reflux
- Loss of appetite
- Gradual loss of weight
- Black colored stool
When to see the doctor if you have heartburn?
When you have heartburn and its terribly worsening gradually with the symptoms like waking up early morning or at the night, you need to see the doctor. Also when your heartburn don’t get relieved by a glass of water or is persistant for the long time, you need to worry for its cause. If you have blackish colored stool, gradual loss of weight, vomiting and nausea, then you need to see the doctor immediately.
How do you know what is the cause?
Detailed history and examination by doctor along with few investigations is required for the diagnosis of the particular cause of heartburn. Your doctor can do urea breath tests for knowing if there is presence of H pylori in the intestine or not. Further, upper endoscopy may be required where your doctor looks upon the causes in stomach with a thin pipe inserted via your mouth.
Remedy for heartburn at middle of the night
Sleep with head elevated: Sleeping with the head elevated can decrease the heartburn at night as there is less chance of regurgitation of acids while sleeping.
Avoid the triggering foods at night: Heartburn at night worsens if you take certain triggering foods at night. Alcohol, spicy and oily foods, caffeinated drinks like coffee, milk tea can provocate the heartburn at night. SO its better to avoid such foods at night.
Avoid tight clothings: Wear loose fitting clothings than tight one at night which will help to some extent to lower the heartburn symptoms at night.
Avoid late night heavy meals: Keep at least time of 2-3 hours after having dinner for your sleep. Avoid having heavy meals.
Reduce your weight: obese individuals are more likely to have heartburn symptoms. So try to reduce your weight.
Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated: Water can some extent help to reduce the heartburn symptoms. A glass of lukewarm water may help for providing a temporary relief.
OTC antacids: If you are taking any antacid gels for the heartburn relief you can take one that helps to relief the symptom temporarily.
Treatment of the cause of heartburn
As mentioned earlier, heartburn is due to different causes. So treatment of the particular cause is key for permanent relief of the symptoms. Contact your doctor for it, have necessary examination and investigations and get treated it accordingly.