Stomach has a valve, just at the entrance. The valve is a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). As food passes through the valve, it closes. Acid produced by your stomach can move up into the esophagus, if the lower esophageal sphincter doesn't close completely. This can cause the hydrochloric acid along with the food to move towards the esophagus. A burning chest pain condition known as a heartburn, is the most common symptom of acid reflux. If the symptoms of acid reflux happen more than twice a week, then acid reflux disease occurs, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, many pregnant women undergo a symptom of heartburn that is caused by acid reflux. A heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is characterized as a burning sensation or irritation of the esophagus caused by the reflux of acid and food from the stomach.
What causes acid reflux during pregnancy?
A Change in the hormone levels is mostly the cause of acid reflux during pregnancy. It can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how different foods are tolerated. Lowering of the muscular valve between stomach and esophagus, called as esophageal sphincter, can also happen by pregnancy hormones. Stomach acids splash back into the esophagus, causing heart burn. The stomach acids can also come upwards by the pushing of the enlarged uterus by the crowding of abdomen. Gallstones can also cause acid reflux and heart burn during pregnancy.
What Are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease?
Common symptoms of acid reflux include:
Heartburn: a burning pain sensation or discomfort that moves from your stomach to your abdomen or chest, and can reach your throat.
Regurgitation: a sour tasting acid that comes up into your mouth or throat causing irritation.
Other symptoms of acid reflux disease are:
Medication to treat acid reflux during pregnancy?
Calcium or magnesium containing antacid are mostly safe enough to use during pregnancy. Antacids containing extra calcium just like Tums is good for the mother as well as the baby.
Aluminum containing antacid should be avoided. They are believed to cause constipation. It can be toxic at high doses. Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) should also to avoided because it can cause swelling.
Proton pump inhibitors include:
Histamine-2 receptor antagonists include:
Prevention and Treatment of Heartburn During Pregnancy
Acid reflux and heartburn during pregnancy, can be prevented by the following ways, without hurting your baby.