If your stomach feels queasy and you’re feeling fatigued, you could be suffering from heartburn nausea weakness. Although it may seem strange to suffer from nausea or weakness if you have acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), you need to remember that there are a number of symptoms related to acid reflux, not just heartburn.
The following is an individual breakdown of heartburn, nausea and weakness, why these symptoms occur, and how they can be treated.
Heartburn – Heartburn is the number one sign of acid reflux, and frequent heartburn indicates GERD. Heartburn occurs when acid has been refluxed up into the lower esophagus and has had prolonged contact with the unprotected lining of the esophagus. Heartburn is characterized by a painful burning sensation in the chest, which may rise up to the upper esophagus towards the neck. Heartburn typically occurs after eating, or shortly after lying down.
Nausea – While nausea is an uncommon condition among GERD sufferers, it can be quite frequent and severe for the unfortunate people who do experience it. When related to acid reflux, nausea typically occurs when acid backs up past the upper esophageal sphincter (UES) and into the throat. When acid is refluxed into the throat and larynx (voice box), it can cause a sour or bitter taste to occur in the throat. Due to the unpleasant feeling, a person may experience regurgitation with their nausea, or may actually vomit if nausea is severe.
Nausea is a more common condition among ‘uncomplicated’ GERD sufferers and those who have laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). Furthermore, acid reflux sufferers who experience nausea rarely suffer from heartburn, and vice versa.
Weakness – A GERD sufferer may experience two types of weakness associated with heartburn. The first is the weakness that occurs in the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is the primary cause of acid reflux. The LES is designed to open to let food into the stomach, but should close to keep digestive acids from flowing back up into the esophagus. However, the LES muscle can become weak and malfunction. A weakened LES is attributed to many causes including:
– Food (foods high in fat, caffeine, citrus fruits and juices, etc.)
– Excess weight
The second type of weakness may be an actual feeling of fatigue which could be related to:
– Eating heavy meals – It takes plenty of energy to digest food, and certain foods such as meat are exceptionally hard on the digestive system. As the body diverts resources to the digestion process you can often feel drained, fatigued or sleepy.
– Night time heartburn – heartburn tends to frequently occur when a person is sleeping because the muscles of the body naturally relax during sleep, this includes the LES muscle. Heartburn can keep you awake and disrupt your sleeping pattern leading to daytime fatigue.
– Lack of exercise and excess weight – If you lead a very sedentary lifestyle and are overweight, your body will often feel sluggish. Furthermore, excessive weight places stress on your muscles and other internal functions making your body work harder to carry out its normal processes.
Treatment options – Related heartburn, nausea and weakness can be treated using virtually the same methods. In regard to heartburn and nausea, you can relieve the symptoms by neutralizing acids with a herbal remedy such as ingesting Active Manuka Honey, ginger tea, or papaya, or by taking anti-acid medications such as antacids (I.E. Tums, Gaviscon, etc.), H2 receptor blockers (I.E. Zantac) or Proton Pump Inhibitors. On the other hand, to help alleviate feelings of weakness and fatigue, adopting some low impact exercises and reducing stress can help you feel better and increase your energy.
Nevertheless, the best way to cope with related heartburn nausea and weakness symptoms is to prevent acid reflux from occurring by:
– Avoiding foods that weaken the LES
– Eating slower and more frequent meals
– Avoiding eating 2 – 3 hours before sleeping or lying down
– Sleeping with your head elevated a few inches
– Avoiding exercising or engaging in high-impact activities directly after eating
– Losing excess body weight through a healthy lifestyle change
Lastly, before you begin any form of treatment, make sure you have any heartburn, nausea or weakness symptoms checked out by your doctor in case you are suffering from another condition or a more serious health problem.