Heartburn: Self Care and Medical Treatments Available

Today, millions of people experiences heartburn. Some have mild cases of it while others have chronic or severe cases of heartburn.

If you are also experiencing heartburn, then it would be wise if you follow these tips in order for you to properly manage or control it and prevent it from taking control of your life. You see, heartburn is a painful condition where you will experience pain often described as a burning sensation on the chest.

Although the name heartburn suggests that it may be an illness associated with the heart, it’s actually not. Heartburn is a digestive condition where stomach acid flows out from the stomach and comes in contact with the esophagus. Sometimes you will regurgitate and taste something bitter or sour in your mouth during an episode of heartburn.

This is because the stomach acid may have reached your mouth, which explains the sour or bitter taste.

Mild cases of heartburn are considered more of a nuisance than a real condition that can have a large impact on people’s life. It can be managed and controlled through self-care. But, if you have chronic heartburn, you may need to seek professional medical help as self-care at home may only provide temporary or partial relief.

For mild or occasional symptoms of heartburn, a few lifestyle modifications will go a long way in helping you with your heartburn problem.

To start, you may want to avoid large meals. Large meals are usually the cause of heartburn. This is because large meals tend to overwhelm the stomach and it will produce excessive stomach acid in order to digest excessive food. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, go for around 6 smaller meals a day. This will keep acid production in check and eventually prevent or at least lessen heartburn.

You should also avoid foods and beverages that reduce pressure on the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter. This means that you have to avoid food like peppermint, chocolate, coffee or any other beverages or food that contains caffeine, and fatty or fried foods.

You also have to lessen your consumption of food that damages the esophagus, such as spicy food, tomatoes, citrus juices and fruits, and even tomato sauces.

After a big meal, you need to take a rest for at least 2 to 3 hours. Avoid doing any activities that forces acid back in to the esophagus, such as lifting, straining, and coughing. You also have to avoid wearing tight fitting clothes as this can produce pressure on your midsection forcing stomach contents, such as stomach acid, upwards to your esophagus.

After eating, avoid lying down. Use gravity to your advantage. Sit, stand up or walk around for at least 3 hours after a big meal. If you constantly experience night time heartburn, try to elevate the head of your bed when you sleep. But, you should never use more pillows under your head. Instead, use a wedge under the mattress or place a 6 inch block under the head of the bed.

If you are overweight, you should start losing weight. And, you also have to stop smoking if you do smoke as nicotine can damage your LES or lower esophageal sphincter.

Taking antacids can also work. This works by neutralizing the acid in your stomach and it should be taken 1 hour after meals or when you feel heartburn symptoms starting.

You can also take advantage of drugs that block the production of stomach acids. Low doses of these drugs are available over the counter.

These are the self-care and medical treatments that you can consider if you are suffering from heartburn. By keeping these things in mind, you can be sure that you will be able to effectively manage heartburn and take control of your life again.

Tips That Can Help Prevent Heartburn from Affecting Your Life

If you suffer from heartburn, then you have to remember that you’re not alone. Heartburn is a condition that millions of people today are suffering from. It is also an age-old condition that people have been experiencing. You have to keep in mind that heartburn is a common condition that is treatable and even preventable.

First of all, you have to remember that heartburn is in no way related to any heart condition. As a matter of fact, heartburn is a digestive condition where the acid that our stomach naturally produces to digest food comes in contact with our esophagus. When this happens, we will feel a burning sensation that starts on our diaphragm all the way to our chest. It is also accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in our mouth, which is basically the stomach acid reaching our throat and mouth.

Now, you have to keep in mind that there are several ways on how you can prevent or at least lessen the frequency of heartburn. By following these tips, you can be sure that you will be able to take control of your life again.

You have to remember that in order to prevent heartburn, you have to make some changes with your life. A few lifestyle modifications can really go a long way.

The first is that you have to avoid eating large meals. Instead of eating 3 large meals a day, you may want to eat 6 smaller meals a day. This will keep stomach acid production on a minimum and eventually prevent heartburn.

You should also avoid foods and beverages that reduce pressure on the LES or the lower esophageal sphincter. This means that you have to avoid chocolate, caffeine containing food and beverages, peppermint, and fried or fatty foods.

You also need to avoid or lessen your consumption of foods that can damage your esophagus, such as spicy food, oranges, pineapple or citrus fruits and juices, tomato sauce and foods that contain a lot of tomatoes.

You should also stop smoking as nicotine can damage your LES or the lower esophageal sphincter, which is primarily responsible for preventing stomach acid from reaching your esophagus.

After eating, you need to avoid lying down as this is the best position for the stomach acid to flow back or reflux in to your esophagus. If you are suffering from nighttime heartburn, the best thing that you can do is to elevate your head when you lie down. But, don’t try using more pillows to do this as this can worsen heartburn as it will increase pressure on your stomach. Instead, try to elevate by placing a wedge under the mattress or by placing 6 inch blocks under the head of the bed.

Alcohol is known to increase the frequency of heartburn. So, try to limit your alcohol intake. You should also try to lose weight if you are overweight.

Lastly, you should take antacids whenever you feel the symptoms of heartburn.

Remember these tips and you can be sure that you will be able to prevent or at least control heartburn. And, if none of these tips work, it may be time to consult your doctor as the heartburn may already be a sign of a far worse condition in your body.