Heartburn & Gastric Reflux

I have three different morning routines; one for a work day, one for a non-work but still a school-run day, and one for weekends. The basic components are the same (wake up, shower, dress, eat) but there are different additions; one of which is the moment where I rattle like a medical cabinet.

As someone who has suffered from an underactive thyroid and gastric reflux for around 15 years, I am very used to taking tablets daily. One of them is necessary to actually function, the other prevents me from being doubled up in pain and managing to eat simple foods without getting heartburn. Or even drink water.

Because when I was pregnant with The Boy, I wasn't able to take my gastric reflux tablets and even drinking water would give me heartburn. On bad days even my own saliva gave me heartburn.

Heartburn during pregnancy is not an uncommon issue, by the third trimester nearly three quarters of pregnant women can suffer from heartburn. Women with a bottle of Gaviscon in their handbags or slipping a peppermint into their mouths in order to ease the incessant burning, caused by one of two things;

  • progesterone surges causes the ring of muscle at the entrance to the stomach to relax, which means stomach acids are able to travel back up into the oesophagus causing heartburn.
  • the baby physically puts pressure on the woman's digestive tract with all that wriggling around.

Eating a healthier diet and sitting or sleeping upright can help, although the only thing that really soothed mine (because of a pre-existing condition) was liquid Gaviscon; I could almost feel it coating my oesophagus and pushing the 'fire' back down.

For people who normally suffer from reflux, there are several other causes of heartburn:

  • eating irregularly, too quickly or too large meals which overfills the stomach;
  • fatty and spicy foods, although chocolate can also relax the sphincter allowing acid to escape back up;
  • caffeinated drinks, alcohol and hot drinks;
  • some medicines, such as those for heart problems, asthma and high blood pressure;
  • being overweight;
  • tight clothing;
  • smoking.

A few of these apply to me and are definitely things I could alter. Although I'm not quite sure about ditching the chocolate just yet.

This is a collaborative post.

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