- Heartburn Slideshow: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
- Digestive Myths Slideshow: Common Misconceptions
- GERD Quiz: Test Your Digestive Diseases IQ
- Patient Comments: Heartburn - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Heartburn - Causes
- Patient Comments: Heartburn - Treatment
- Patient Comments: Heartburn - Triggers
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Heartburn facts
- What is the definition of heartburn?
- What causes heartburn?
- What does acid reflux look like?
- What are the symptoms of heartburn?
- Foods and beverages to avoid
- How is heartburn diagnosed?
- What are treatments, relief, and home remedies for heartburn?
- Lifestyle changes
- OTC and prescription medications
- Surgical procedures
- Heartburn during pregnancy
- How can heartburn be prevented?
Quick GuideHeartburn Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, and Treatments
Laparoscopic surgical procedures are available to treat heartburn. This option is usually only chosen if lifestyle changes and medications have not helped.
Heartburn during pregnancy
Pregnancy tends to aggravate heartburn because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is weakened during pregnancy. This weakened (LES) resolves after delivery of the baby. Pregnancy also distorts the organs in the abdomen and the increased abdominal pressure from the growing fetus causes heartburn. These changes promote the reflux of acid and heartburn.
Approximately 17% to 45% of women who become pregnant will suffer from heartburn.
Unfortunately there are no clear studies on the safety of heartburn medications on the growing fetus, and researchers are not going to test these drugs on pregnant women to evaluate how safe they are for the developing fetus, so the only option is to test these drugs on pregnant animals.
Management of heartburn during pregnancy consists of many of the same home remedies and lifestyle changes for a person with heartburn who is not pregnant (see previous section on home remedies and lifestyle changes).
How can heartburn be prevented?
If these interventions do not fully alleviate heartburn symptoms, then the addition of medications that decrease heartburn or prevent it all together, under the guidance of your health-care professional, should allow you to control heartburn.
Anand R Kumar* and Philip O Katz. Functional esophageal disorders: a review of diagnosis and management. Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology. July 2013, Vol. 7, No. 5, Pages 453-461.
NCBI. Juan C. Vazquez. Constipation, haemorrhoids, and heartburn during pregnancy. Clinical Evidence; 2008. PMC2907947.