Saturday, May 23, 2009

The Best Treatment For Heartburn – Natural Or Medical?

If you suffer from heartburn, you want the best heartburn treatment for it. Heartburn hurts – and no one should suffer unnecessarily. But what’s the best treatment? That depends on who you ask. Most doctors agree that if you can get by without using a prescription medicine, so much the better. Home heartburn remedies are definitely something to try before running in to the doctor for a prescription particularly if your heartburn treatment isn’t for a chronic condition.

Home Remedies – The Natural Solution

One of the best treatment for heartburn that is a home remedy is to use baking soda. Baking soda is “sodium bicarbonate”, an alkaline, that can neutralize the acids in the stomach to relieve the burn of heartburn. It is easy to find at any grocery store, and is simple to use. Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to 4 ounces of warm water. Stir the water until the baking soda dissolves, then drink it. If you like, you can increase the baking soda up to a couple of teaspoons if that works better for you. After using baking soda, your heartburn can be relieved for several days.

But there are a few “downsides” to this treatment. First, it doesn’t take very good. (But most people say it isn’t too hard to swallow.) Also, some people find that using baking soda makes them burp, so be aware of that possibility. Finally, if you have high blood pressure, you might want to choose another remedy, as using baking soda can raise your blood pressure.

Another natural treatment that is best for heartburn is to use an over-the-counter antacid. Tums and Rolaids are two common ones. These can relieve heartburn immediately, and many people appreciate that.

But antacids should not be used on a continual basis, and relief usually only lasts 30 to 60 minutes. Check with your doctor if you find yourself taking antacids several days a week.

Other natural remedies that are around your house are pineapple juice, orange or apple, lemon juice or yogurt. And many people find having a cold bath can relieve their heartburn – so you can try that!

Prescriptions – Bringing Out The “Big Dogs”

If the home remedies don’t relieve your heartburn, or your doctor says it is time for something more heavy hitting, consider a prescription.

First, there are the class of drugs known as H2-receptor antagonists. These are often called H2 Blockers. These are a systemic drug that decreases the amount of acid that the body releases. These are usually used to prevent heartburn, though, because they can take half an hour or longer before they provide relief of symptoms.

Another type of drug for heartburn is the alginates. These form a barrier in the stomach to protect it from the acid. It is a non-systemic drug, and is often chosen for the best treatment for heartburn.

If your body doesn’t respond well to the antacids or acid blockers, proton-pump inhibitors can be taken systemically to block acid production. Check with your doctor if you are interested in trying a prescription form of treatment for heartburn – it may be best.


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