If you've had heartburn very often in your life, you might think you know all about it. However, too many heartburn sufferers don't know some of the most important facts about the problem. Here are some things you may not have known you didn't know.
- Heartburn isn't your fault. Yes, sometimes the foods you eat have an impact on what your body decides to do, and some lifestyles are more prone to heartburn than others. However, not everyone who changes those habits stops experiencing heartburn. It's an actual medical condition, and you don't have to feel guilty about it.
- You can control hearburn. It doesn't have to be a fact of life. Changes in diet and lifestyle can help, as can over-the-counter or prescription medications. In extreme cases, there are even some surgeries and other techniques that can help.
- Heartburn is not always a trivial condition. Too many people don't seek medical attention because they think it's too minor to worry about. Heartburn can severely impact your quality of life, and sometimes it can be a symptom of more serious conditions like GERD. It can also lead to other problems like ulcers of the esophagus, asthma, even cancer occasionally. If you have persistent heartburn, don't be afraid to talk to a doctor about it.
- Antacids are real medicine. Some people forget that over-the-counter medicines still should be used with caution. If you're self-medicating, remember that you should always check warnings to make sure that it won't conflict with other medications you're taking. Some antacids can also be harmful if they're taken for too long.
- You don't have to live with heartburn. Some of the new heartburn medications out there can prevent heartburn or relieve symptoms completely. It doesn't have to be a suppression-only lifestyle.
- Your body can still digest your food, even if you take antacids. Although the idea is to reduce acid in your stomach, acid-reducers only inhibit some of the acid production. There's still plenty to break down whatever you eat.
Now go forth, armed with knowledge, and get rid of that heartburn!