Choices in Heartburn Relief

in Heartburn

If you are one of the many in the general population who suffer from the painful burning of frequent heartburn, there are a number of steps that you can take to bring heartburn relief or even eliminate the symptoms that you often experience. Heartburn occurs when the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly, allowing the digestive acids from the stomach to creep back into the esophagus. While the stomach has its own natural protection against these acids, the esophagus has no such protection, so when the fluids come in contact with the esophageal wall, the result is burning and an acidic taste in the mouth. There are a number of reasons why this valve, known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES, does not function properly. By understanding the factors involved that can affect the LES, you can go a long way toward heartburn relief and prevention.

Natural Remedies can bring Heartburn Relief

Non-medicinal methods to bring heartburn relief can include avoiding foods that seem to bring on the symptoms, regular exercise and weight maintenance, and lifestyle modifications like quitting smoking and waiting two or three hours after a meal before lying down. To help you pinpoint the exact factors that are contributing to your heartburn, you can keep a journal that will track the foods you ate and the activities you participated in at the time of the onset of symptoms. This will help you gain a more accurate idea of the changes that you can make to bring relief to your heartburn. Often you can avoid frequent heartburn simply be avoiding the triggers that bring on your symptoms.

Medications that you can try

If the natural remedies and lifestyle modifications that you have tried do not seem to bring about the heartburn relief that you were hoping for, you can talk to your doctor or pharmacist about over the counter (OTC) medicines that can offer heartburn relief. There are a variety of OTC medications that are taken for heartburn symptoms, such as antacids that can neutralize the acids in the stomach. Antacids are generally the medication of choice for quick heartburn relief, but the results can be short-lived. You can also try over the counter H2 blockers such as Pepcid, which will reduce the amount of acid that your stomach produces. While these medications can be very effective in long-term relief of symptoms, they take much longer to begin working as well. Some medicines will provide the best of both worlds to provide the quick heartburn relief combined with the long-term effects, such as Pepcid Complete. If these OTC medications do not do the trick, your doctor can prescribe stronger medicines that will offer greater heartburn relief.

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Choices in Heartburn Relief

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This article was published on 2010/09/23