Heartburn is one of those symptoms that seriously commands your attention. First off, it can really hurt. Odds are good that your skin has rarely felt as fiery as your belly may feel during an attack of heartburn. Secondly, while it doesn't actually involve your heart, heartburn can give you the sense that something is amiss deep among your vital organs.
Heartburn can be a problem that you should bring to your doctor's attention. But as painful as this common condition can be, it's also something that you can also help treat and prevent on your own.
Heartburn arises when the contents of your stomach move the wrong way. The food and drink you swallow is supposed to only travel south from your mouth, but during heartburn, food, drink, and stomach juices move upward past the "doorway" between your esophagus and stomach. Your esophagus isn't as naturally protected against this harsh material as your stomach lining, thus it causes pain.
If heartburn strikes you often e...
To prevent heartburn, avoid foods and beverages that may trigger your symptoms. These include alcohol, caffeine, carbonated beverages, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, tomato sauces, spicy or fatty foods, full-fat dairy products, peppermint, and spearmint.
Also, try the following changes to your eating habits and lifestyle:
Sleep with your head raised about 6 inches
Lose weight if you are overweight
Avoid garments or belts that fit tightly around your waist
Drink plenty of fluids
Avoid bending over or exercising just after eating
DO NOT lie down with a full stomach. For example, avoid eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime
Eat smaller meals
See heartburn .
While reflux events decreased considerably with acid-reduction treatment such as proton pump inhibitors like Nexium and Prevacid, nonacidic reflux events, such as stomach bile regurgitation, were significantly greater with acid-reduction treatment. This increase in nonacid reflux events may explain persistent symptoms in some patients despite being treated with acid-reducing agents. If this is the case, you might benefit from medications that bind bile such as Carafate. You should check with your physician about adding that to your treatment regimen. For information on Carafate, click here. Read more of Dr. Eisner's blogs More on heartburn
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