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How Do You Help Heartburn

How Do Acid Blockers Work To Treat Heartburn

How to Soothe Heartburn

Products like Pepcid AC® are called histamine H2 blockers, or acid blockers. Acid blockers reduce the production of stomach acid. They relieve heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach. Always follow the directions on the packaging or talk to your healthcare provider about how to take this medication. Acid blockers you can buy without a prescription include:

  • Pepcid AC®.
  • Tagamet HB®.

Take your acid blocker medicine regularly for as long as directed by your healthcare provider, even if you do not have any pain or if your symptoms get better.

Stronger acid blockers are prescription medications. These can be used to block stomach acid, treat stomach and duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD. They work by reducing the production of stomach acid. Your healthcare provider will give you a specific prescription for this type of acid blocker.

The United States Food and Drug Administration recently reported elevated levels of a possible carcinogen, NDMA, in the drugs ranitidine and nizatidine . You should speak to your healthcare provider if you are taking one these medications.

Maintain A Healthy Weight

If you are overweight, dropping a few pounds can help resolve heartburn symptoms not least because you are less likely to eat high-fat foods on a diet. Losing as little as 2.5 pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms, according to David A. Johnson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine.7

Ways To Relieve Acid Reflux Without Medication

Image: Bigstock

A few lifestyle changes are worth trying before resorting to drugs for controlling gastroesophageal reflux.

If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if youve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. Thats the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesnt close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.

Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is pain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feel like youre having a heart attack.

Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Womans Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.

If youve been having repeated episodes of heartburnor any other symptoms of acid refluxyou might try the following:

Recommended Reading: Does Smoking Weed Cause Heartburn

Adjust Your Sleep Position

Elevating your head and chest higher than your feet as you sleep can help prevent and ease acid reflux and heartburn. You can do this using a foam wedge placed under the mattress or by raising bedposts using wood blocks. Beware of piling pillows, as this usually isn’t effective and may even make your symptoms worse. Additionally, sleeping on your left side is thought to aid digestion and may work to limit stomach acid reflux.

A New Cause Of Acid Reflux

Eight ways on how to control and prevent the discomfort of ...

Another emerging cause of reflux is an imbalanced microbiome, or gut bacteria and flora.

Many experts in the field of probiotics have conducted research to show that acid reflux can be a result of small intestinal bacterial overgrowth .

Both SIBO and GERD may be caused by an altered microbiome. This is where probiotics start to come in to focus on acid reflux.

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Reducing Acidity In Tomato Sauce

Tomato sauce and pasta are naturally acidic. To counteract this you need to add naturally alkaline ingredients to bring the PH down to help neutralize the acid in food. While at the same time not dramatically changing the flavor, or look of the Low-Acid Marinara Sauce. Although garlic is alkaline, many people find it irritating, you can reduce or eliminate it from the recipe if needed.

Im not a Doctor, Im just a cook, so take this information with a grain of salt, and consult with your doctor if you have concerns about any of these ingredients or suggestions.

  • How to Tone Down Spiciness in BBQ Sauce
  • Tomato sauce is a popular accompaniment to many meals, but it is also one of the prime culprits in heartburn flareups. The high acidity of the tangy sauce can cause people pain after a hearty Italian dinner. However, there are ways to make your tomato sauce less acidic and keep yourself, and your loved ones, safe from digestive outbreaks.

    Cut your cooking time. Many chefs pride themselves on crafting sauces that simmer for hours until they are, in the eyes of their preparers, perfect. However, letting a tomato sauce simmer all day before you pour it over your spaghetti makes it more acidic. The longer the sauce cooks, the more concentrated it becomes, as more moisture leaves the broth. This leaves you and your family with a very acidic sauce. According to chef Nancy Schneider, the sauce should cook no longer than 1 1/2 hours.

    Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages

    Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.

    This is because studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of reflux .

    One study found that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened certain acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, fullness, and burping .

    The main reason is that the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .

    Summary

    Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily increases the frequency of burping, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.

    Read Also: Natural Remedies For Heartburn And Acid Reflux

    C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes

    There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:

    • Avoid alcohol
    • If you smoke, stop immediately
    • Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
    • Wear loose-fitting clothes
    • Drink plenty of water
    • Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
    • Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily

    For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.

    When To See A Doctor

    How to relieve heartburn

    Occasional episodes of heartburn can be treated at home with over-the-counter medications or holistic food options such as ginger, melons, or a glass of cold milk.

    However, if you have no previous incidence of acid indigestion and if heartburn erupts suddenly, you should visit a doctor to rule other potentially serious conditions.

    You should also visit a doctor when your heartburn episodes are frequent even after you take medications to treat the symptoms.

    Heartburn can be painful and persistent if the symptoms are ignored. It is best to identify the triggers and create a health strategy to avoid them. Visit a doctor if the symptoms do not go away even with medication/s.

    Also Check: Can You Take Heartburn Medicine While Pregnant

    How To Know If You Have Heartburn

    This article was co-authored by Peter Gardner, MD. Peter W. Gardner, MD is a board certified physician who has practiced Gastroenterology and Hepatology for over 30 years. He specializes in diseases of the digestive system and liver. Dr. Gardner earned his Bachelors degree from the University of North Carolina and attended Georgetown Medical School. He completed his residency in Internal Medicine and then his fellowship in Gastroenterology at the University of Connecticut. He is a previous Chief of Gastroenterology at Stamford Hospital and remains on the staff. He is also on the staff of Greenwich Hospital and New York Presbyterian Hospital. Dr. Gardner is an Approved Consultant in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology with the American Board of Internal Medicine.There are 10 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, several readers have written to tell us that this article was helpful to them, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 33,847 times.

    How Do I Find My Way Around

    When you click on a forum’s name, you are taken to the list of topics it contains. A topic is a conversation between members or guests. Each topic starts out as a single post and grows as replies and comments are added by different users.

    To start a new topic simply click on the + New Topic button .

    Threads can be ordered in many different ways. The default is to have the topic with the most recent activity at the top. But you can easily change this ordering, for example to have the topic with the most posts at the top. Simply click on Filter menu at the top right of the topic list. The Filter menu will provide you with the options you need to sort the current page

    Also Check: Natural Ways To Relieve Heartburn

    Does Heartburn During Pregnancy Mean My Baby Will Be Born With Hair

    Suffering from severe heartburn? You may want to stock up on baby shampoo. Research has backed up the superstition that, on average, the more heartburn you have during pregnancy, the more likely your baby will be born with a full head of hair.

    From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When Youre Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

    Is Alcohol Bad For Heartburn

    home remedy for heartburn

    A painless, burning sensation occurs in the chest and upper throat when you suffer from heartburn. Some people are more susceptible to heartburn when they consume alcohol. Acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus, which causes burning and discomfort. Alcohol is one of the most common causes of heartburn, along with certain foods and drinks.

    Read Also: Foods To Eat If You Have Heartburn

    Quelling Inflammation With Probiotics

    One way to help alleviate inflammation is with probiotics. There are probiotic sprays that can be applied directly to areas of the skin affected by eczema. These have shown great promise in helping to alleviate a patients symptoms. However, since chronic inflammation tends to be systemic, it is also important to target inflammation from the inside out. This means also eating probiotic foods or taking a quality supplement.

    Topical probiotics can be used with those you ingest. They may help to do the following:

    • Alleviate eczema symptoms
    • Rehydrate the skin
    • Provide the skin with powerful antioxidants

    When the skin is healthier, eczema symptoms may be reduced. It is also critical to keep the skin hydrated since dryness can trigger certain eczema symptoms.

    When you apply probiotics to the skin, it absorbs them. The skin is better able to fight against the allergens and other environmental factors that might trigger eczema symptoms. With sufficient probiotics, the skin also tends to be stronger.

    When you are using topical probiotics, make sure to follow the directions exactly. Use the same information for choosing this type of probiotic that you do when you pick out a supplement.

    With this information, you can better determine if probiotics are the answer to your eczema problems. You can get them from your diet, as well as from high-quality supplements. Take the Vitagene Health + Ancestry DNA test to find out if supplementing with probiotics is right for you.

    Dont Drink Too Much Citrus Juice

    Many types of citrus juice, including orange juice and grapefruit juice, are considered common triggers for heartburn .

    These ingredients are highly acidic and contain compounds like ascorbic acid, which could cause indigestion if you consume them in large amounts .

    In addition to being acidic, certain compounds found in citrus juice could irritate the lining of the esophagus .

    While citrus juice probably doesnt cause acid reflux directly, it could make your heartburn worse temporarily.

    Summary

    Some people with acid reflux report that drinking citrus juice makes their symptoms worse. Certain compounds in citrus juice, in addition to acids, can also irritate the lining of the esophagus.

    Read Also: Is Heartburn A Sign Of Colon Cancer

    Smoking + Alcohol = Heart On Fire

    Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can set you up for terrible reflux. The nicotine and alcohol both work to weaken your LES, making it that much easier for stomach contents and acid to splash up into your esophagus. Alcohol is also going to irritate your stomach in general. The solution? Quit smoking, and drink less Doing both will improve your health overall, in addition to relieving acid reflux.

    Apple Cider Vinegar For Heartburn

    How To Fix Heartburn Naturally | Natural Cure For Heartburn

    It seems counterintuitive that something acidic like vinegar could help treat heartburn, but heres a twist: Sometimes, the painful sensation occurs if your stomach doesnt have enough acid to help digest the food, says Brenda Rea, M.D., R.D., a professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in California. The longer food sits in your stomach before being broken down, the greater the risk that it will cause indigestion and heartburn. A teaspoon of diluted unprocessed apple cider may provide your stomach with the acid it needs to digest the food. Its worth noting that there is no scientific proof that the vinegar trick works , and it could make your heartburn worse, so proceed with caution.

    You May Like: Best Ways To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally

    Lifestyle Changes For Heartburn Symptoms

    If acid reflux is bringing you down, Dr. Gabbard recommendsgiving these lifestyle changes a shot:

  • Drop a few pounds. Extra weight can force acid up into the esophagus and put pressure on the esophageal sphincter, causing it to open up when it shouldnt. Losing weight isnt the easiest change to make, but its the single biggest thing you can do to reduce acid reflux, Dr. Gabbard says.
  • Skip the all-you-can-eat buffet. Big, fatty meals are fuel for heartburn. Try eating smaller, more frequent meals instead. Limiting meals to 500 calories and 15 grams of fat does seem to limit the amount that the sphincter opens, so staying below those values seems to be good for patients who have heartburn after meals, Dr. Gabbard says.
  • Stop smoking. There are all sorts of good reasons to steer clear of tobacco, of course. Add heartburn to that list: Nicotine can weaken the esophageal sphincter. Quitting smoking has been shown to improve GERD symptoms.
  • Get up, stand up. Give yourself a chance to digest before you lay down. Remain upright for at least two hours after all meals, Dr. Gabbard recommends.
  • Work the angles. Sleeping on an incline can ease nighttime reflux. Try placing blocks under the head of your bed or using a wedge-shaped pillow.
  • How To Cure Heartburn Four Quick Fixes And Long

    How to cure heartburn you ask? Well, theres no easy answer to that question.

    If youve been struggling with acid reflux for any length of time, then you know there isnt a quick fix to this disease as a whole. GERD has many symptoms, one of which is heartburn. At the crux of this disease is the lower oesophageal sphincter . Located at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the LES can weaken and no longer function as an effective barrier, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to back-flow up into the oesophagus. When this happens, heartburn often follows. This weakening of the LES is progressive, so the more often you reflux, the more frequent the episodes become.

    Learn more: GERD explained: The role of the LES

    Medications can help relieve acid reflux symptoms by making the contents of the stomach less acidic however, they dont stop reflux from happening. Thats why managing GERD requires commitment and diligence: Watching what and how you eat and making lifestyle choices aimed at minimizing reflux can reduce your symptoms AND help stop the progression of the condition.

    But sometimes, despite your best efforts to manage your GERD, heartburn strikes and you need relief . So though we cant provide a definite answer to how to cure heartburn? We can offer four quick fixes to help you cool the burn.

    Read Also: How To Treat Heartburn With Baking Soda

    Deseeding And Shortening Cook Times

  • 1Remove the seeds from the tomato. Carefully slice the tomato in half around what would be the equator line so that one half has the stem and one half has the bottom. Then use a ¼ teaspoon, or another small spoon, and scoop the tomato seeds out and discard them. Donât scrape too deeply into the flesh of the tomato.XResearch source
  • The seeds carry much of the acid content of the tomato plant, so removing them altogether is a great way to reduce the acidity.
  • Some dishes are enhanced by cooking the seeds along with the flesh of the tomato, so take this into account before you remove the seeds.
  • 2Reduce the cooking time of tomatoes. Tomatoes become more acidic as they cook longer, so reducing the cook time to the least amount possible can help keep the acid level lower. Sauces and other dishes that require long simmering may make this difficult, but it is recommended that you donât cook tomatoes for longer than 1 ½ hours.
  • You may have to get used to using tomatoes that are less cooked, but if you deal with problems stemming from acidic foods it may be worth the effort.
  • 3Add tomatoes last. If you dish includes tomatoes, but tomatoes are not the main ingredient, add them after everything else has cooked for the majority of the necessary time. Doing this is another way of reducing the cook time, while still cooking them briefly.
  • Recommended Reading: Best Heartburn Medicine On The Market

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