If you are experiencing heartburn symptoms, there are many different ways to treat them. You can try over-the-counter medications, change your diet, and even avoid certain trigger foods and beverages. These remedies will help you reduce your heartburn risk and symptoms. Several other solutions are available, such as weight loss and exercise.
Heartburn is a common symptom of GERD. About 20 to 30 per cent of Americans suffer from it at least once a week. It causes a burning sensation in the lower chest and may accompany back and abdominal pain. The burning sensation is caused by stomach acid flowing back into the oesophagus. Symptoms of this condition can be excruciating and impact the quality of life. Luckily, there are several ways to alleviate the pain and symptoms of heartburn.
There are many over-the-counter medications available to help treat heartburn. These include antacids and H2 blockers. They act by blocking the histamine receptor, which triggers the production of stomach acid. Some of these medications work faster than others, while others reduce symptoms for a more extended period. However, these medications have varying side effects, so you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before starting any treatment.
To discover which foods trigger heartburn, it is helpful to keep a food diary. This will help you determine what you need to eliminate from your diet. It is also helpful to consider the balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in your meals. A high-fat diet can aggravate symptoms of acid reflux. Instead, opt for lean protein sources. You should also avoid fatty and greasy foods and heavy sauces.
Heartburn during pregnancy can be a serious problem. About half of pregnant women report severe heartburn at some point in their pregnancy. The reason is that the body produces more acid, altering hormone levels. This causes your digestive system to function slower than usual, leading to heartburn and bloating. Also, hormones such as progesterone cause the lower oesophagal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to move up into the oesophagus.
There are many medications to help with heartburn symptoms. Some are over-the-counter (OTC) and can help relieve your symptoms in a short amount of time. Your doctor prescribes other medications to treat GERD or other conditions. For example, antacids, such as Pepcid or Tagamet, neutralize the acid in the stomach and form a barrier to prevent acid from rising into the oesophagus.
Alcohol is one of the top causes of heartburn. Alcohol relaxes the oesophagus muscles and causes stomach acid to rise into the oesophagus. Symptoms of heartburn can be relieved by abstaining from alcohol for several hours. However, some people cannot wholly avoid drinking alcohol and still experience symptoms. In this case, reducing alcohol intake to a couple of drinks a day or taking specific lifestyle measures can help.
While certain foods and drinks can trigger heartburn, they are generally not harmful. They may even help relieve symptoms. However, if you’re suffering from heartburn, you’ll want to avoid coffee, soda and other caffeinated beverages. While they aren’t the only foods that can trigger heartburn, coffee is a top trigger. Soda is also associated with reflux symptoms, but this has nothing to do with caffeine.
If you have heartburn or GERD symptoms, you may wonder whether you should get an endoscopy. This procedure takes pictures of your oesophagus and stomach. Fortunately, it is not a scary procedure, and it can help you put an end to the symptoms you’ve been dealing with for years.