Heartburn Treatment

Maria Papadopoulou By Maria Papadopoulou, 5th Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Managing Health Care

Heartburn is a serious problem that however, can be properly treated.

What is heartburn

Heartburn is defined as a burning sensation in the lower chest, along with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth. Usually occurs after a big meal or while lying down and it can last from a few minutes to a few hours.

How is heartburn caused

When eating, food passes from the mouth down the esophagus. In order to reach the stomach, the food must pass through an opening between the esophagus and stomach. Usually this opening closes as soon as food passes through, but when it does not close all the way, acid from the stomach can get through the opening and into the esophagus. This is called reflux. Stomach acid irritates the esophagus, causing heartburn.

What can make heartburn worse

1. Smoking

2. Coffee (both regular and decaffeinated), as well as other drinks which contain caffeine.

3. Alcohol

4. Carbonated drinks

5. Tomato products

6.Onions

7. Fatty, or spicy foods

8. Chocolate

9. Mints and peppermints

10. Citrus fruits

11.Laying down too soon after eating (less than 2 hours after a big meal)

12.Being overweight or obese

13, Certain medicines (such as sedatives and some medicines for high blood pressure)

Heartburn treatment

Prevention is the best treatment, therefore it is important to follow some basic rules in order to avoid heartburn.

1. If you are overweight, you need to loose some weight fast.

2. Stop smoking, or at least cut down on smoking. Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle that controls the opening between the esophagus and stomach and prevents the acid-containing contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus.

3. Don't overeat. When you overeat, wait at least 2-3 hours before laying down. If you take a nap, try sleeping in chair.

4. Eat meals high in protein and low in fat.

5.Avoid the foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn symptoms. A good way to remember which are they, is to keep a heartburn diary.

6. Drink warm liquids, such as herbal tea. Avoid alcohol. If your aim is to relax after a tiring day, try exercising, walking or stretching instead.

7. Avoid tight clothes and tight belts.

8.Place 6 to 9 inch blocks under the legs at the head of your bed to raise it.

What you can do if heartburn gets worse while lying down

1.Try sleeping on the left side. This will help digestion as well as the removal of acid from the stomach more quickly.

2. Raise the head of the bed so that your head and chest are higher than your feet.

3. Eat earlier. Try not to eat anything within 3-4 hours before bedtime.

What you can do if heartburn gets worse after exercise

1. Wait at least 2 hours after a meal before exercising, otherwise you might trigger heartburn.

2. Drink more water, especially before and after exercise. Waiter aids digestion.

Medicines for heartburn

H2 blockers (brand names:Zantac, Pepcid and Tagamet) reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, and they are often available without prescription. Omeprazole ( brand name: Prilosec) and lansoprazole (brand name :Prevacid) also reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Metoclopramide (brand name Reglan), reduces acid reflux. Your doctor will determine which medicine is the right one for you.

Tags

Digestion, Esophagus, Heartburn, Heartburn Treatment, Medicines, Prevention, Stomach

Meet the author

author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
I am a certified health visitor and i also hold two bachelor degrees in translation as well as a bachelor degree in subtitling.

I have been working successfully as a professional freelance translator and proofreader with several prestigious transl...(more)

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Comments

author avatar Jerry Walch
5th Oct 2010 (#)

Very informative.

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author avatar Denise O
7th Oct 2010 (#)

All great advice.
Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
8th Oct 2010 (#)

You are welcome everyone!

Reply to this comment

author avatar Maria Papadopoulou
8th Oct 2010 (#)

You are welcome everyone!

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