A Guide to Heartburn Relief

  • Sharebar

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest caused by the movement of stomach acid into the esophagus. It is very common, but fortunately, many options exist for heartburn relief. This article gives an overview of some of them.

Heartburn Relief Through Drugs

Mild cases of heartburn can be cured through over the counter antacids such as Tums or Gaviscon. These are sufficient for occasional outbreaks, but should not be used where heartburn occurs more than two or three times a week, due to the risk of kidney damage.

For more severe or chronic cases of heartburn, histamine receptor blockers such as Pepcid AC or Zantac can provide ongoing relief. They work by blocking the production of stomach acid. They do not provide instant relief, taking 45 minutes to an hour to work and so are best taken either on a daily basis or an hour before you eat that 5-alarm chili that you know you’re going to regret later! The long term effects of histamine receptor blockers are unknown, but some researchers fear that an ongoing reduction in the overall acidity of the stomach could lead to the patient being more susceptible to infections.

More recently, combined antacids and histamine receptor blockers have appeared on the market, led by Pepcid Complete. These combine the advantages (and the drawbacks) of the two classes of heartburn relief medicines mentioned above.

Heartburn Relief Through Surgery

In the most severe 10% of cases, drugs alone may not be enough to provide sufficient heartburn relief. A surgical procedure called fundoplication can inhibit heartburn by putting pressure on the sphincter muscle that allows the stomach acid to flow into the esophagus. The rate of success of this procedure has been low traditionally, with 65% of patients reporting a recurrence of heartburn in few years, however newer, less invasive forms of fundoplication have developed recently that have increased the chance of permanent heartburn relief.

Heartburn Relief Through Lifestyle Changes

Not all cures for heartburn involve drugs or doctors. Some can be achieved through simple lifestyle changes. Drinking milk can help line the stomach, and is particularly recommended for heartburn relief during pregnancy. Staying away from fatty, spicy and fried foods can also stop heartburn before it starts. Alcohol and caffeine can also contribute towards heartburn. Generally speaking, the healthier your lifestyle, the less chance you have of developing heartburn. Heartburn relief is readily available, but prevention is better than cure.

Recommended Reading

Digg This
Reddit This
Stumble Now!
Buzz This
Vote on DZone
Share on Facebook
Bookmark this on Delicious
Kick It on DotNetKicks.com
Shout it
Share on LinkedIn
Bookmark this on Technorati
Post on Twitter
Google Buzz (aka. Google Reader)

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge
This blog uses premium CommentLuv which allows you to put your keywords with your name if you have had 3 approved comments. Use your real name and then @ your keywords (maximum of 3)

Canonical URL by SEO No Duplicate WordPress Plugin