Friday, June 5, 2009

A Review Of Home Heartburn Treatments

Heartburn can be a painful condition. The symptoms can range from a mild burning in the esophagus or throat to pain in the chest mimicking a heart attack. It can be important to treat heartburn, particularly if you suffer from it more than just a couple of times a week. Let’s review some heartburn treatments that are simple to do at home.

Lifestyle Changes Can Be Enough

For some people, making a few changes in their lifestyle can decrease the causes of heartburn significantly. Others may need some changes that are more difficult to make. All of these should be considered prior to seeing your doctor and getting prescription medicine.

Before considering more invasive heartburn treatments, you should review your eating patterns to see if something you eat could be aggravating your heartburn. Avoiding foods that irritate the stomach muscles can help a lot. These foods to avoid are chocolate, peppermint, fatty or fried foods, and caffeine-filled beverages. Also, spicy foods, tomatoes and tomato sauces, and citrus fruits and juices can irritate the esophagus.

Eat your food in smaller meals, to ease strain on the involved muscles. Also, putting your fork down between bites can help slow the meal down appropriately.

After eating, avoid lifting, coughing, and wearing tight clothing, as these can force stomach acid back up into the esophagus. Avoid lying down for a few hours after a meal, and consider elevating the head of your bed while you sleep.

Other changes can be more difficult to make, but can work to the advantage of the heartburn sufferer in more than just avoiding heartburn. A quick review of these treatments for heartburn are: lose weight if you are currently overweight. Cut back on your alcohol consumption. And stop smoking. All of these will help your health in so many more ways than just avoiding heartburn – while they are more difficult than the earlier suggestions; the benefits are huge for lifelong health.

Reviewing heartburn treatments available over-the -counter, there are two types: antacids, which neutralize acid, and drugs that block production of stomach acid. Antacids include Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, and Maalox. They can be taken when symptoms occur or just routinely one hour after eating. If these are not enough, drugs that block the production of stomach acid are also available over-the-counter. These include Tagamet, Pepcid, and Zantac.

If reviewing home heartburn treatments and making some appropriate changes doesn’t help your heartburn, see your primary healthcare practitioner for some other options.


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