January 2012 Moms

Can you get heartburn without eating?

I've been lucky enough in my whole life that I've never had heartburn before, so I don't know what it feels like.  

 

This morning, even before eating, I started getting these bad chest pains... like it feels like its on the bone (though it's probably not) right in between my breasts.  It kind of comes and goes, but sometimes it hurts so bad that I literally drop what I'm doing.  I called the on-call OB, and she said it might be reflux (which is heartburn), and to take Tums and put ice on it, and if it doesn't feel better in two hours to head to the ER.  I just got off the phone with her and sent DH to go get some Tums, but I was just thinking about it... can you even get heartburn if you haven't eaten anything today yet?  

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Re: Can you get heartburn without eating?

  • I say yes only because it has happened to me before.  Even when you haven't eaten, you still have acids in your stomach, and I imagine (I could be completely wrong) that with baby pushing everything up higher in us, even on an empty stomach some of those acids are gonna bubble up and irritate us.  I get heartburn all the time (this is my first pregnancy and I've gotten it almost the entire time) and can't take any antacids because of a preexisting condition... you may want to keep milk in your fridge for just in case... I usually drink a full glass and it goes away.
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  • Yep. I get it sometimes just from water. It sucks, but you just have to try to get through it. Try keeping crackers or something beside your bed, so you can eat something before you get up.
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  • Water gives me heartburn these days so I'd definitely say yes.

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  • Yes. Prior to getting put on Zantac, I would have heartburn all day, every day, no matter if I ate or not.

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  • Hmm.  All I've had so far this morning was just a sip of water to take my thyroid medication with.  It just makes me nervous, and I wonder if this is heartburn at all... from what I'm reading, a lot of people feel it burn going to up to their throat, but no... this is definitely just on my breastbone.

     

    I guess I'll just wait two hours after DH comes home with the Tums and take action from there.  Thank you all very much for your input though... it's very helpful!   

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  • I am also getting random heartburn without eating. Definitely keep an eye just incase, but I am willing to bet that is what it is. Mine is also in my chest and soooo uncomfortable. So far I have found that eating an apple helps, and my midwife recommended tums or papaya extract from the health food store.

    Good luck! 

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  • I would check with your thyroid dr. about taking antacids like tums.  I take levoxyl for my thyroid and was told by my endo (as was my mom who had her thyroid radiated) that we CAN NOT take antacids of any kind... hence why I'm not a milk crazy person.   Just a thought... 
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  • image MrsKujawski:
    I would check with your thyroid dr. about taking antacids like tums.  I take levoxyl for my thyroid and was told by my endo (as was my mom who had her thyroid radiated) that we CAN NOT take antacids of any kind... hence why I'm not a milk crazy person.   Just a thought... 

    Is levoxyl a thyroid replacement/booster? I take synthroid which I believe is the same thing and I can take tums and things like that as long as it is 4 hours after I take my meds.... 

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  • My problem isn't the actual thyroid gland it's with my anti-bodies... its a replacement hormone.

    My mom takes synthroid as well as a couple of other meds since she has no thyroid anymore and so I think it's different for her but my endo was very adamant... and he's very good...  either way I don't mine... one less pill to take LOL. 

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  • Once you have a heartburn or acid reflux problem, you can have heartburn at anytime.  A lot of time, heartburn is worse if you don't eat anything. You need to find a happy medium. I totally recommend crackers or bread like PP mentioned. Feel better!
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  • I can just think about food and get heartburn.
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  • Interesting, I had never heard about not taking antacids if on thyroid meds. I take synthroid first thing in the morning and sometimes take Tums at night (obviously well over the 4 hour mark that they tell you to avoid). My endo never said anything about avoiding antacids, but will ask at my next appt.
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  • I've been on reflux meds for several years and I'm having break through reflux w/ this pregnancy.  I'm currently taking 40mg of Nexium at bedtime and then OTC Prilosec in the morning to control it.

    Yes, you can have heartburn or reflux if you haven't ate.  I've found that sometimes it's worse when I have nothing in my stomach because there's nothing for the stomach acid to work on digesting.  As pps have said eating something or drinking a glass of milk can help.  Milk actually coats the esophagus and stomach and helps "neutralize" the acid.  Water, at least for me, often makes my reflux worse.

    The chest pains could also be costochondritis.  Is the pain more muscular and centered in your chest at your sternum?  Does it hurt more if you take a deep breath?  I get costochondritis from time to time.  Yes it hurts but my dr says that it's not harmful and there's not much that can be done about it.  Mine can last a few minutes or a few hours and goes away on it's own.  It often feels like someone is applying pressure to my chest.

    I'd follow your dr's advice though and if your pain isn't better go to the ER.  It's always better to be safe than sorry.  I'd rather have the ER docs tell me that I'm over reacting than to have something serious going on and do nothing about it.

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  • I'm on thyroid meds too (levothyroxin), which may not be the same type as the rest of you ladies so definitely check with your own doc, but I was just given the okay to take tums. If those didn't work the next step up, so and and so forth up to Zantac or Prevacid. So far pepto seems to be working on the days when Tums dont. But sometimes nothing touches it. :S

    After TTC w/ PCOS for 17 mo.s, we finally got our BFP!
    First u/s 5/19/11 showed: ♥Twins!♥ Second u/s 8/12/11 showed: Girls!
    12/20/11 & 12/21/11: 2 Little Girls, 2 Birthdays, and 2 Very Different Personalities!

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    Soon to be Big Sisters! Baby #3 due 4/18/14
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  • I can't speak to the thyroid issues, but my heartburn is worst when I have an empty stomach.  I actually haven't found that my heartburn is food induced, but more empty stomach induced.  Hoping that your pains soon go away, and if they persist, follow the doctor's advice.
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  • Fortunately, DH took forever to come back with Tums (he went to Lowe's, and I called him to ask him to pick up some Tums on his way back)... so two hours after I got off the phone with the doctor, he came back home with the Tums... I had applied ice on the area the whole time, and I never had an issue since.  Not sure if it was coincidental or not.  Regardless, I didn't end up taking the Tums.

     I'll have to ask the OB at my next appointment about Tums with the levothryoxine.  Good point, ladies... I would not have even thought about that.  Interesting to see though that everyone can get heartburn without eating yet!  Thanks again for all your help.   

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  • I get worse heartburn when I don't eat- but then I don't want to it.  It's a vicious cycle.

  • I had never had heartburn before being pregnant either. I have only had a few times where it has hit so far. I never feel it in my throat though, always just in my chest. I get it in the morning sometimes before I even eat. I drink some water or soymilk and eat some tums and that helps.
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  • image theladyjess:

    The chest pains could also be costochondritis.  Is the pain more muscular and centered in your chest at your sternum?  Does it hurt more if you take a deep breath?  I getar costochondritis from time to time.  Yes it hurts but my dr says that it's not harmful and there's not much that can be done about it.  Mine can last a few minutes or a few hours and goes away on it's own.  It often feels like someone is applying pressure to my chest.

    I'd follow your dr's advice though and if your pain isn't better go to the ER.  It's always better to be safe than sorry.  I'd rather have the ER docs tell me that I'm over reacting than to have something serious going on and do nothing about it.

    I was going to say the same thing. I had an awful case of costochondritis and it lasted for months. It was so uncomfortable and I felt like I was having a heart attack at times. That comes from inflamed cartilage so it just needs time to heal since we can't take anti-inflamatories like ibuprofen. I remember reading that it can come later in pregnancy because of things shifting around and pressing on your chest area as a result.

    Good luck with whatever it may be! I hope you've found relief by now! 

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  • Heartburn was new to me as well, and it has really been my only pregnancy symptom (well, that and reflux). You can DEF. get it without eating, or when eating something that you wouldn't think would give you heartburn.

    Chew some Tums and hopefully that will help. It usually does for me.

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