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Acid Reflux and Nausea: Causes, and Treatment

acid reflux and nausea

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Acid reflux and nausea are common gastrointestinal problems, which means it is a digestive system disorder. However, acid reflux is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this article, you will learn about the relationship between acid reflux and nausea, and the potential causes of these conditions occurring at the same time.

Link Between Acid Reflux and Nausea

Acid reflux occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) is weak. LES is a muscle ring that divides the oesophagus and stomach. Therefore, if the LES can not close tightly after you swallow food or fluids, the food particles will move back to your throat.

Acid reflux symptoms include:

  • heartburn
  • irritation
  • nausea
  • regurgitation
  • difficulty swallowing
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • repeated vomiting
  • asthma

There are several reasons for a weak lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). If you have a bad LES, you can encounter more reflux problems if you eat or drink the following foods and beverages:

  • garlic
  • spicy foods
  • onions
  • mint
  • grapefruit
  • lemons
  • limes
  • alcohol
  • pineapple
  • chocolate
  • salsa
  • acidic drinks
  • coffee
  • caffeine
  • orange juice or oranges
  • carbonated beverages
  • tomato sauce or tomatoes

People who have acid reflux also receive a bitter taste in their mouth. Usually, the taste can cause nausea and bad breath, along with the constant burping and coughing associated with reflux and GERD. Another symptom of reflux and GERD that can lead to nausea is the feeling of stomach acid, an irritating in the oesophagus.

Lifestyle and Dietary Changes

Usually, lifestyle and dietary changes are the first line of treatment for reflux-induced nausea. Here are some steps that you can take:

  • stop smoking
  • don’t overeat
  • eat slowly
  • eat the right food
  • avoid tight clothing
  • don’t sleep after eating
  • maintain a healthy weight
  • use non-mint chewing gum
  • use 8 inches wedge pillow

There is no magic food that can relieve reflux-induced nausea. However, some foods can help prevent acid reflux from occurring. Consider adding the following foods to your diet to help avoid reflux-induced nausea.

  • lean poultry
  • egg white
  • seafood
  • oatmeal

Vegetables: Vegetables are low in fat and sugar. Therefore, it can help minimise the acidity.

  • green beans
  • ginger
  • cucumbers
  • non-citrus fruits
  • broccoli
  • asparagus
  • cauliflower
  • leafy greens
  • potatoes

Medications

Different over-the-counter and prescription medicines can treat acid reflux:

  • proton pump inhibitors
  • calcium carbonate (TUMS)
  • histamine blockers (H2 blockers)
  • aluminium hydroxide
  • magnesium (Mylanta)

Some chewable antacids contain ingredients that freshen up the air and can reduce all symptoms at once. Other acid reflux and GERD drugs can cause dry mouth. However, dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands do not contain enough saliva. It can be sticky, and it can also cause a bad breath. Therefore, ask your doctor about dry mouth remedies and the side effects of all medications you take. Many people are not helped by lifestyle changes or medications. GERD surgery may be a choice for these people.

Related: read about medication of GERD during pregnancy.

Home Remedies

The following herbs can be used as acid reflux home remedies:

  • marshmallow
  • chamomile
  • licorice
  • slippery elm
  • Probiotics

Generally, these natural herbs are available in the form of supplements, tinctures and teas. The downside of these herbs are that there are not enough studies to show that they can cure acid reflux. According to a study, sugar free chewing gum will decrease your incidence of acid reflux. In addition, it can help remove the sour taste that can induce nausea in your mouth (1).

Related: Reflux In Children: Symptoms, And Treatment

The Bottom Line

By making lifestyle improvements, however, you can reduce acid reflux and nausea. To get a correct diagnosis, always discuss acid reflux with your doctor. Therefore, your doctor will help you create a treatment plan which may include changing your diet or adding medication. However, your doctor can refer you to a gastroenterologist who can perform tests to find out what causes your problems.

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Naeem Durrani BSc
Naeem Durrani is a freelance journalist who specializes in health and wellness innovation. His interests include medical research, nutrition, and the scientific evidence around effective wellness practices that empower people to positively transform their lives.
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