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What it feels like

Heart­burn: a burn­ing sen­sa­tion in your esoph­a­gus or chest; some­times sour-tast­ing stom­ach acid rises into the back of the mouth Bloat­ing: in­creased pres­sure in your ab­domen as if a bal­loon were be­ing in­flated; may be ac­com­pa­nied by con­sti­pa­tion Nau­sea: an un­com­fort­able feel­ing of sick­ness in the pit of your stom­ach with an urge to throw up; of­ten leads to vom­it­ing

Heart­burn and your weight

“The num­ber one way to re­duce heart­burn is with life­style changes, par­tic­u­larly through los­ing weight,” says Deb­o­rah A. Fisher, MD, MHS, spokesper­son for the Amer­i­can Gas­troen­tero­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion and as­so­ciate pro­fes­sor of medicine at Duke Uni­ver­sity. “Ex­cess belly fat puts pres­sure on your ab­domen and stom­ach acid has to go some­where—so it rises.” YOGA POSE THAT RE­LIEVES GAS Lie down and hug your knees. Ex­tend one leg straight out on the floor. Hold for a few breaths, then switch legs.

Find the right treat­ment

Heart­burn: an antacid (like Tums) or a his­tamine-2 blocker (like Pep­cid) Bloat­ing: Beano to break down com­plex carbs, Gas-x or di­ges­tion­friendly fen­nel seeds Nau­sea: Pepto-bis­mol, acu­pres­sure wrist­band or gin­ger root cap­sules Rx meds (ask your doc)

Don’t panic

All these is­sues are com­mon and don’t war­rant a doc­tor’s visit if they oc­cur only oc­ca­sion­ally. If you ex­pe­ri­ence heart­burn sev­eral times a week over the course of a few months or it’s ac­com­pa­nied by chest pain, see your doc­tor. If nau­sea lasts longer than 72 hours, sched­ule an ap­point­ment. Get­ting full quickly with pain or vom­it­ing could in­di­cate a block­age, says Fisher. A quick sniff of rub­bing al­co­hol may al­le­vi­ate nau­sea. In fact, it was found to be nearly as ef­fec­tive as a drug com­monly used to treat chemo-re­lated nau­sea. Source: San An­to­nio Uni­formed Ser­vices Health Ed­u­ca­tion Con­sor­tium Pos­si­ble causes


Ab­dom­i­nal pres­sure caused by tight cloth­ing or obe­sity A weak esophageal sphinc­ter A large hi­atal her­nia Gas­troe­sophageal re­flux dis­ease (GERD), which oc­curs when the mus­cle at the end of the esoph­a­gus doesn’t close prop­erly Smok­ing Bloat­ing Trig­ger foods (see be­low) Con­sti­pa­tion Med­i­ca­tions that slow down the GI tract Preg­nancy


Food poi­son­ing and food sen­si­tiv­i­ties A vi­ral or bac­te­rial sick­ness Some med­i­ca­tions, in­clud­ing OTC drugs, sup­ple­ments, vi­ta­mins and teas Preg­nancy Ex­am­ine your diet Spicy foods, tomato or citrus prod­ucts, and large or fatty meals can spark heart­burn, as can caf­feine, pep­per­mint and al­co­hol. Gum, bub­bly drinks or foods such as beans, cab­bage and Brus­sels sprouts can lead to bloat­ing, but wa­ter helps push high­fiber foods along. Also, some food sen­si­tiv­i­ties (like lac­tose in­tol­er­ance) can cause nau­sea.

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