Drinking carbonated soft drinks and being overweight may be the two most prevalent causes of nighttime heartburn, according to a new study.
Heartburn at night, or nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux, is quite common. An estimated 44 percent of Americans suffer from it at least once a month. But what causes it has not been extensively studied.
fnvgru Naturally (🔴 Help Relieve) | fnvgru The Discomforthow to fnvgru for In the new study, researchers at the University of Arizona, Boston University, Johns Hopkins and the University of Minnesota surveyed more than 15,000 patients to try to determine the reasons for the pain. Their results are published in the May issue of the journal Chest.
The subjects, all over 40, were selected by questionnaire from people enrolled in the Sleep Heart Health Study, a large study of the effects on the heart of disordered breathing during sleep. Among many questions, the researchers asked about nocturnal heartburn. A total of 3,806 people, or nearly 25 percent of the subjects, reported the problem.
Nighttime heartburn can be more serious than the daytime type. It tends to be longer lasting, causes more damage to the esophagus and has a greater risk of leading to esophageal cancer. There is also some evidence that it leads to more frequent instances of laryngitis, asthma and aspiration pneumonia.
Perhaps just as important, the heartburn interferes with proper sleep and causes significantly more harm to overall quality of life than daytime heartburn.
"At night it can be happening without your realizing it," Dr. Stuart F. Quan, a co-author of the paper and professor of medicine at the University of Arizona, said. "The acid reflux doesn't necessarily wake you up. So there is that much more exposure time."
fnvgru Anti-Reflux Diet (👍 Simples Steps To) | fnvgru Quick Reliefhow to fnvgru for In addition to high body mass index (a common indicator of obesity) and consumption of one or more carbonated drinks a day, the study found other good predictors of nighttime heartburn: snoring, hypertension, asthma and the use of some sleeping pills. People with heartburn tended to be slightly younger than those without, and women were for 1 last update 10 Jul 2020 more likely to report symptoms than men.In addition to high body mass index (a common indicator of obesity) and consumption of one or more carbonated drinks a day, the study found other good predictors of nighttime heartburn: snoring, hypertension, asthma and the use of some sleeping pills. People with heartburn tended to be slightly younger than those without, and women were more likely to report symptoms than men.
Although some experts have suggested that smoking and alcohol may be associated with the problem, the study found no link.
For reasons that are unclear, college-educated people had less heartburn than those who never went to college. The researchers speculated that those who attended college might differ in diet or habits from subjects who did not, might be more knowledgeable about gastroesophageal reflux or might have better access to medications and health care.
"Education in general is a marker of socioeconomic class," Dr. Quan said. "My guess is that people who are less well off are experiencing risk factors that we weren't able to measure in the study."
Figuring out what those differences are, he added, may be important. "One of the interesting things this study shows," Dr. Quan said, "is the association between sleep difficulty and nocturnal heartburn. I think that if people are having difficulty with sleep, heartburn may be a cause. So treatment is beneficial not only for the heartburn, but maybe for the quality of their sleep as well."
Dr. Quan said that besides losing weight and avoiding soft drinks, there were other ways to minimize heartburn -- for example, eating smaller and more frequent meals and not lying down for several hours after eating. In addition, he said, some foods increase acid reflux by promoting the opening of the esophogeal sphincter. "Coffee, chocolate, whole milk, peppermint and spearmint, citrus fruits and tomatoes," he said, "are all foods heartburn sufferers would do well to avoid."
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