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How to treat heartburn?

Updated on July 11, 2009

How to treat heartburn? Before I go over the treatment options, how does it start in the first place? Heartburn actually has nothing to do with the heart at all. Whenever you eat something, strong acids in your stomach help break down the food. Sometimes this acid doesn’t stay where it’s supposed to, in the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter, which is like the door between your esophagus and your stomach, sometimes doesn’t work the way it’s supposed. Rather than keeping those strong acids in there, it can let them loose into your esophagus and create the burning sensation around the chest area we know as heartburn.

(photo credit How to treat heart burn?
(photo credit How to treat heart burn?

How to treat heartburn naturally and how to treat heartburn at home?

How to treat heartburn before it starts? In most cases, the reason we get heartburn is do to the foods that we eat. Foods, which are linked to heartburn, include coffee, citrus juice or acid fruit, chocolate, peppermint, and spicy vegetables or sauces. Heartburn also can start up if you take antianxiety, antibiotic, antihistamines, as well as other medications. Another thing you can do to prevent heartburn is to avoid overeating or overstuffing yourself and sleeping with your upper body at an angle so that the acid doesn’t move further up the esophagus. Rather than eating in huge blocks, if you have heartburn, try eating in smaller amounts throughout the day. Other ways, which can help you to eliminate heartburn naturally, is to not drink alcohol (red wine is a killer), lose weight, eat more slowly, stop smoking, not eat before you go to sleep, and drink more water.

What are the heartburn medications that are available? Although there are many treatments available, the main ones are alginates, H2-receptor antagonists, antacids, and proton pump inhibitors. Alignates form a protective barrier within the stomach so that the stomach acid does not go back in to your esophagus. H2-receptor antagonists go to the root of the problem by making there be less acid in your stomach. Because these H2 blockers work by first entering your blood stream, they can take a while to get to work. Antacids provide fast relief by neutralizing the acid that goes into your stomach (a lot of over the counter heartburn pills or OTC heartburn medications are antacids). As such, although the acid still goes where it shouldn’t go it doesn’t hurt nearly as much. Proton pump inhibitors are similar to H2 blockers in that they get to the source of the problem by messing with the proteins or proton pumps which control the acidity in your stomach.

What are some of the over the counter heartburn treatments?

Zantac 75, Tagamet HR, Pepcid AC, and Axid AR are some of the available OTC treatments.

What are some of the prescription heartburn treatments?

Nexium, Zegerid, Aciphex, Reglan, or Prilosec are some of the drugs available.


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