will acid reflux cause nausea?
Unfortunately, the irritation in your throat is just one of many symptoms you may experience when you have GERD. Nausea, an uneasiness or discomfort in your stomach, is another.
Usually brought on by eating a meal too fast or eating too much, an attack of GERD can cause an unsettling feeling in your stomach and throat and can be quite embarrassing when it’s brought on at the most inopportune times, like on a date, or right before an important meeting.
Fortunately, you’re not in this alone. Most of us will experience acid reflux at least once in our lives.
Acid reflux typically feels like a burning sensation accompanied by a sour taste in your throat after you have over-indulged, eaten too quickly, or consumed too much of specific foods that trigger acid production.
It’s unpleasant, tastes awful, and can feel like there’s no way to relieve your symptoms.
Laying down also tends to make the symptoms worse.
Brought on by digestive issues and specifically occurring when stomach acid or bile enters the lower esophageal sphincter and irritates the food pipe lining, acid reflux can cause a burning sensation in your chest and major discomfort when speaking.
If you’ve ever felt your throat close after a spicy curry or greasy plate of bacon and eggs, or you were starving and wolfed down a large meal, you may have just signed yourself up for an attack of GERD.
Most cases will go away on their own in a few hours, or possibly faster when aided by over-the-counter medications or home remedies.
If you think you have acid reflux, you may have any or all the following symptoms:
There are several causes of acid reflux. These include:
In addition to health issues, the following foods can cause acid reflux and nausea:
What typically happens when we consume foods or liquids is that our lower esophageal sphincter closes to prevent any food particles or stomach acids from making their way back up into our food tube, otherwise known as the esophagus.
However, when we experience acid reflux, some of our stomach acids may find a way to creep up into our esophagus. This can encourage coughing and burping which then may result in nausea.
Your impulse when experiencing nausea from acid reflux may be to lie down.
Lying down can unfortunately aggravate your acid reflux more so instead, consider finding a calm, quiet place to sit for a while. In most cases, acid reflux can also be treated with home remedies, lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter medications.
It’s time to see a doctor when you have explored your options with home remedies, over-the-counter medications, and lifestyle changes and are still experiencing symptoms.
Ongoing symptoms could indicate a more serious health condition especially if you have acid reflux regularly.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately:
Mild cases of acid reflux can be cured with over-the-counter medicine, but recurring symptoms or or severe symptoms could indicate a more serious health condition and should be evaluated by a doctor right away.
A physician will take a thorough history, perform physical examination, and may obtain imaging or endoscopy if you are over 60 years old or otherwise at high risk for ulcers and other serious medical condition. Your doctor may also want to do a blood or stool test to determine if your recurring GERD is the result of a bacterial infection that will need antibiotic treatment.
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Nausea may occur due to acid reflux, which is a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It can also result from other conditions, such as anxiety, stress, and motion sickness. GERD is a common digestive disorder wherein acids, foods, or fluids travel from the stomach up into the esophagus.
You can generally treat acid reflux-induced nausea with a combination of lifestyle changes, home remedies, and medication. Here are some steps you can take:
Change your eating patterns. Eat smaller meals and reduce your fat intake to curtail indigestion and keep your LES working as it should. Reflux and nausea can occur when your stomach is too empty, so try to eat smaller and more frequent meals.
Stop smoking. Nicotine products can weaken your LES, increasing your symptoms.
Wear loose-fitting clothes. Tight-fitting clothes put additional pressure on your stomach, which can contribute to acid reflux and nausea. Loose-fitting clothes won’t add this pressure.
Stay upright after eating. Keep stomach acids in your stomach by staying in an upright position for two to three hours after eating.
Elevate your head when you sleep. Put 6-inch blocks under the head of your bed to assist gravity in keeping the acid in your stomach.
Chew gum. Chewing gum can reduce your incidence of acid reflux, according to a study published in the Journal of Dental Research. It can also help eliminate the sour taste in your mouth that can cause nausea.
Harness the power of ginger. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine suggests checking with your doctor about taking ginger supplements as a natural way to relieve nausea.
Shop ginger supplements.
Take antacids. Antacid tablets or liquids may curb nausea and acid reflux by neutralizing stomach acids.
Acid reflux occurs when the acid in your stomach flows backwards into your esophagus. When you swallow, food passes from your mouth to your stomach via a tube called the esophagus. A ring of muscle fibers at the end of your esophagus — your lower esophageal sphincter — opens and closes to allow food to pass from your esophagus into your stomach.
Your esophageal sphincter is responsible for keeping the contents of your stomach separate from your esophagus and throat; if this muscle weakens or opens abnormally, then stomach acid can flow up into your esophagus and cause discomfort.2
A study featuring ten patients with chronic nausea found that all ten of the patients’ nausea was a symptom of acid reflux. Six of the ten patients were found to have esophageal problems, and of those six patients, most of their episodes of nausea (32 out of 33) were accompanied by acid reflux.3However, people with gastroesophageal reflux disease don’t usually report experiencing intractable nausea; it is an atypical symptom.
If you’re feeling nauseated from acid reflux, there are tips you can implement to help relieve your nausea or stop it from getting worse, such as:4
Acid reflux and nausea are very common ailments people experience during pregnancy, and studies show that 80% of pregnancies are accompanied by symptoms of acid reflux.6This is probably caused by the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy, because the increase in maternal estrogen and progesterone during pregnancy affect the lower esophageal sphincter.
A recent study suggests that pregnant women with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that causes a patient to experience frequent or severe acid reflux, also experience more severe nausea and vomiting.6
Lifestyle changes are usually the first defense against acid reflux during pregnancy.
Since there is a link between acid reflux and nausea, learning how to manage your acid reflux could help reduce the frequency and severity of your bouts of nausea.
Try to avoid foods that trigger your acid reflux. Everyone’s trigger foods will be different, but there are foods that commonly trigger acid reflux in patients, such as:7,8