Heartburn can be extremely painful and isn’t easy to deal with. Feeling like your chest is on fire and the dreadful discomfort that comes along with heartburn can prevent you from carrying out many activities you’d normally do- even getting a goodnight’s sleep. Many people experience heartburn regularly without knowing how to relieve the pains. If you’re one who frequently experiences heartburn, you don’t have to wait it out or hope that the pain will diminish soon on its own. Here are simple steps that will help you deal with heartburn right away.
You need to pay attention to the pattern of your heartburn and notice any potential triggers. Heartburns are triggered or become worse usually after you eat certain things. Keeping track of what you eat and noticing how it affects you can help you make the necessary dietary changes to manage your heartburn. Fatty, greasy, fried foods, onions, coffee, oranges, lemons, citrus fruits and juices, chocolates, alcohol, soda, peppermint, spicy foods, and tomatoes are all things that can trigger heartburn. Having a big meal can also trigger it. You can try to have several small meals throughout the day instead of having 3 large ones.
Consider also introducing these to your diet: increase the intake of baking soda/ apple cider vinegar with water, foods with high water content (lettuce, watermelons, celery, etc..), chewing gum, ginger, licorice, alkaline foods (cucumber, bananas, melons, etc..), and non-fat milk or yogurt. If you are considering trying out herbal remedies, consult with your doctor beforehand.
There are many types of over-the-counter heartburn medications. However, some people may experience side effects, so it’s best to consult your doctor. Depending on the severity of your case, some medications can work for you while others won’t be as effective. Give your doctor as many details as possible regarding what triggers your heartburn and any existing patterns. This will help them determine the right type of medication for your needs.
There are generally 3 types of heartburn medications: Antacids, H2 Blockers, and Proton-Pump Inhibitors. However, if you decide to take medication, you must carry out thorough research first. Many people filed Zantac product liability lawsuits as it was brought to their attention that it caused cancer. Antacids are fast-acting and can help relieve mild and occasional heartburns and usually contain magnesium or calcium carbonate. They help keep stomach acid in check and some of them can prevent acid refluxes. Antacids that contain magnesium can help treat stomach ulcers.
However, antacids may cause diarrhea or constipation. H2 Blockers work by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach produces. They are not as fast-acting as antacids but their effect is more long-lasting, and are for short-term use. If one type of H2 Blocker doesn’t work for you, you should either try a different type of medication or increase the dosage as all H2 Blockers function similarly. Nausea, vomiting, constipation, headaches, and diarrhea are all possible side-effects of H2 Blockers. Proton-Pump Inhibitors are made to relieve frequent heartburns (over twice a week) and are prescription medications. They also reduce the number of acids that your stomach produces but are more effective than H2 Blockers and can be used for longer-term.
While these solutions may not work on their own, you should try them out until you’re comfortable. They can be general lifestyle changes that will help you maintain your health, prevent a variety of health complications, and help you deal with your heartburn. For example, if you are overweight, work towards following a healthy diet plan and exercising to lose a little extra weight. The extra weight can put pressure over your stomach, resulting in having the acid move up your esophagus.
You can also try to wear loose clothing, especially after eating so that you don’t apply pressure on your stomach. If you are a smoker, you should quit smoking as it relaxes the muscle that stops the acid from moving up the esophagus. It can also increase the acid that your stomach produces. If you’re on any medication, consult your doctor if they can be contributory factors to your heartburn. Don’t take up high-impact exercises or activities that often leave you in inverted poses. Work on developing a better posture as slouching puts pressure on your stomach.
Heartburn is unfortunately very common. They are tough to deal with and identifying the patterns and triggers can be tricky. However, there are many things that you can do to reduce heartburn. Discuss the possibility of medication with your doctor, make dietary changes, and follow a healthier lifestyle.