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What could cause frequent dry heaving?

5 answers | Last updated: Mar 24, 2015
An anonymous caregiver asked...
I have bouts of dry heaving at times and it hits me all of a sudden with frequent stomach indigestion or acid reflux. I sometimes get bile, but typically I don't throw anything up. I have experienced this for the last five years on and off. What could be the cause?

Caring.com User - Jennifer Serafin, N.P.
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Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.
25% helpful

Dry heaving, indigestion, and acid reflux is usually a condition called GERD, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (acid reflux). It is quite a common medical problem. You can walk See also:
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down the aisle of any drug store across the U.S. and see tons of medications to treat acid reflux. It is basically a problem where a sphincter in your esophagus does not close all the way, so stomach acid goes up into your esophagus, burning the tissue in there (commonly called "heartburn").

There is plenty of information about this condition on the internet, magazines, and media, so I will not go into specifics regarding the treatments. In general, they include:

  1. Dietary changes
  2. Sleeping with your head elevated
  3. Losing weight
  4. Medications

Regarding your particular case, your problem sounds on the more severe side. I would recommend seeing your health care professional to get checked out regarding your symptoms. Although it does sound like you have acid reflux, you should get examined to be sure nothing else is going on.


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7% helpful
Tigerette answered...

My husband had the same ting, for years, took everything her could , even what the doctors told him to take. eventually he started to have little pain in the upper chest. then he couldn't even dring a ounce of water, without throwing up, took to ER, then told him his Esphagus was clogged with food, took him right up to OR, cleaned out his esphagus and then they found a Tumor, what was cancer of the esphagus, If anything, when I hear people sai they have reflux or Gerd, I tell them right away to go to doctor and get a endoscopy, now my husband is fightingwth Esphgeal cancer, and suffering, if you catch it in time yu will Thank God you did.


17% helpful
skiqsr answered...

Sometimes the Gallbladder doesn't know when to work... basically a breakdown between sensors, the Gallbladder and the brain. Functional Dyspepsia... only help is to try an antidepressant. Warning some doctors will tell you your Gallbladder is bad and needs to come out... not without an ultra sound and a nuclear medicine test where you are injected with a synthetic drug simulating the triggers making your Gallbladder work. I bloat... my stomach swells up putting pressure at my rib cage and then I dry heave... before or after dinner... morning, noon, night... it has no set time schedule... The only constant is my blood pressure goes up... my feet get warm and purple... I carry towels to muffle the sound... no food comes up just gas... and it sounds terrible. I went on an antidepressant for 6 months it cut my episodes down to one or two days a month but then... 4 straight days of episodes... it is frustrating.


mdocrn answered...

I believe it could be caused by stress, as well. I've been dealing with the daily dry heaves and at times bile/vomiting for the past six months, even taking an anti-depressant. I feel for all of you.


50% helpful
An anonymous caregiver answered...

I've been taking a med called librax for 33 years and it helps prevent this.


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