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What Should I Take For Heartburn

The Best Ways To Get Rid Of Heartburn Fast

Natural Heartburn Relief – Should I Take Supplements?

What should you take to quickly get rid of occasional symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux? One of the best and quickest ways to treat acid reflux naturally is to drink a glass of baking soda and water. The neutralizing effect of baking soda helps to stop burning sensations in your chest fast and the other symptoms of acid reflux.

Read Also: What Is The Best Medicine For Heartburn And Indigestion

Southern Cross Medical Library

The purpose of the Southern Cross Medical Library is to provide information of a general nature to help you better understand certain medical conditions. Always seek specific medical advice for treatment appropriate to you. This information is not intended to relate specifically to insurance or healthcare services provided by Southern Cross. For more articles go to the Medical Library index page.

How Is Heartburn Diagnosed

Often all that a health-care professional requires is a thorough history and physical to make the preliminary diagnosis of heartburn. To evaluate if there is any damage and how severe your heartburn is, the doctor my suggest some of the following tests:

  • Endoscopy: A flexible scope is passed down the esophagus to examine the esophagus as well as the stomach. Biopsies can be taken if indicated. This lets the doctor see if there is any obvious damage, and also eliminate other reasons for the patient’s symptoms .
  • Upper GI series : After drinking a liquid that coats the inside of the digestive tract, X-rays are taken. These X-rays will show the outline of the digestive system.
  • Ambulatory pH testing: This test measures the acidity in the esophagus via a small tube that goes through the nose into the stomach.

Read Also: How Much Baking Soda In Water For Heartburn

What To Take For Heartburn

I just learned that the FDA has banned the heartburn drug Zantac, which Ive been taking for years. Whats wrong with it and what should I take instead?

Andrew Weil, M.D. | May 12, 2020

On April 1, the FDA asked manufacturers to withdraw all prescription and over-the-counter ranitidine products from the market. The agency acted after an investigation revealed that when these acid reflux medications are stored at higher temperatures, levels of the contaminant NDMA they contain rise high enough to be considered a probable human carcinogen.

In announcing its action, the FDA noted that in September 2019 it warned of the potential risk ranitidine poses and urged consumers to consider alternatives. In its April 1 announcement the agency said its tests also showed that the older the products, the higher the levels of NDMA. The FDA recommended that consumers who take over-the-counter Zantac dispose of any supplies they have properly and that those who take prescription forms of the drug speak to their doctors about alternatives before stopping treatment.

Most of these products were withdrawn from the market last year , and large drug store chains took them off their shelves after concern was first raised about NDMA. The FDA reported that while NDMA is also present in some foods and water, those levels are too low increase the risk of cancer.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Ways To Quell The Fire Of Heartburn

What should I take for heartburn?

Heartburn is a common problem. Its caused by the backwash of stomach acid into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach. This is formally called gastroesophageal reflux disease . More than just a minor discomfort, heartburn can significantly reduce quality of life. Heartburn can cause damage to the esophagus and even increase the risk of cancer if ignored and untreated, says Dr. William Kormos, editor in chief of Harvard Mens Health Watch and a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital.

These eight steps can help ease heartburn.

  • Eat in a heartburn-smart way. Large meals put pressure on the muscle that normally helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. The more you eat, the longer it takes for the stomach to empty, which contributes to reflux. Try smaller, more frequent meals and dont wolf down your food.
  • Avoid late-night eating. Having a meal or snack within three hours of lying down to sleep can worsen reflux, causing heartburn. Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out.
  • Dont exercise right after meals. Give your stomach time to empty wait a couple of hours. But dont just lie down either, which will worsen reflux.
  • Identify and avoid foods associated with heartburn. Common offenders include fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate. Carbonated beverages cause belching, which also causes reflux.
  • Recommended Reading: How To Deal With Heartburn At Home

    How Long Does Heartburn Last

    Heartburn can affect people differently. In general, heartburn symptoms begin shortly after eating and can last anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours, or even longer.

    How long you experience symptoms depends on the underlying cause. It also depends on what you do at the first sign of symptoms. For example, sometimes heartburn symptoms last until your body digests the triggering food. Other times, it goes away if you stand up instead of lying down after eating.

    If you take OTC antacids or prescription medications as part of a treatment plan, you may experience a shorter duration or fewer heartburn symptoms.

    Heartburn typically occurs when contents from the stomach back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that carries food and fluids from the mouth into the stomach.

    Your esophagus connects to your stomach at a juncture known as the lower esophageal sphincter. If the lower esophageal sphincter is functioning properly, it closes when food leaves the esophagus and enters the stomach.

    In some people, the lower esophageal sphincter doesnt function properly or it becomes weakened. This leads to contents from the stomach leaking back into the esophagus. Stomach acids can irritate the esophagus and cause symptoms of heartburn. This condition is known as reflux.

    Certain conditions and other factors may make it more likely for you to experience heartburn. Risk factors include:

    How A Doctor Can Help

    If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.

    GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.

    The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center

    GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.

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    Types Of Natural Antacids Including Homemade Antacids

    What are the types of natural alternatives to antacids that you can use to treat acid reflux pain and discomfort? Here are a few remedies that have an antacid effect that many people have found effective.

    • Yogurt as a natural antacid. Raw, natural yogurt contains healthy bacteria that can improve your digestive health. Doctors say that the beneficial enzymes in raw yogurt help to improve the microflora of the gut. Yogurt is also a good source of calcium which has been connected with improvement in reflux symptoms.
    • Baking soda. Baking soda is a tried and tested method to relieve reflux symptoms and stop a burning feeling in your chest. Baking soda neutralizes stomach acid to prevent heartburn pain and discomfort.
    • Ginger. Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient that can help to boost your digestion and stop indigestion. Doctors from Harvard Health say that ginger has been used for centuries as a natural heartburn remedy.4
    • Aloe vera. Another natural soothing remedy that can be used as a burning throat remedy is aloe vera. Aloe vera juice not only helps to relieve irritation in your food pipe, it can improve your digestion and help your stomach work better.
    • Apple cider vinegar. One natural remedy you can drink for heartburn is diluted apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar also contains probiotics, and there is anecdotal evidence that regularly drinking apple cider vinegar can help to reduce heartburn symptoms.

    Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages

    Natural Heartburn Relief – Why You Should Take Acid for Acid Reflux

    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.

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    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

    How Do Acid Blockers Work To Treat 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.

    Also Check: Natural Home Remedies For Heartburn And Indigestion

    Unproven Or Disproved Home Remedies

    Fans of apple cider vinegar theorize that heartburn occurs because there isn’t enough stomach acid. They think taking apple cider vinegar brings the stomach acid level up, allowing the stomach to digest food properly and causing heartburn to subside. However, this is the opposite of what medical experts believe. Healthcare providers recommend taking antacids and medications to reduce stomach acid and control acid reflux symptoms.

    There are no published clinical trials that support using apple cider vinegar for heartburn, and one master’s degree thesis found no difference in using vinegar or a placebo for heartburn.

    Taking apple cider vinegar undiluted could irritate your mouth and esophagus and erode your tooth enamel as it is very acidic. Dilute it with water if you plan to use it, such as 1-3 teaspoons of vinegar to a cup of water. Vinegar may interact with other medications you are taking at the same time. Instead of relieving heartburn, the vinegar may actually make it worse. If you are considering using apple cider vinegar as a treatment for heartburn, it is important that you talk to your healthcare provider first.

    Heartburn Doctor Discussion Guide

    Side Effects Of Antacids

    14 Remedies for Heartburn Relief: Tips and Tricks To Manage Acid Reflux

    Side effects from antacids are rare. However, they can occur, even when you use them according to the directions.

    Antacids can either cause constipation or have a laxative effect. Some people have had allergic reactions. Antacids might also increase the risk of developing sensitivities to certain foods.

    Recommended Reading: What Is Good To Eat Or Drink For Heartburn

    What Is Acid Reflux

    Acid reflux refers to the condition when stomach acid flows back up into the mouth through the esophagus .

    This occurs when the valve at the end of the esophagus doesnt close properly when food enters the stomach.

    Gastrointestinal reflux disease , on the other hand, refers to chronic acid reflux which leads to irritation and inflammation of the lower portion of the esophagus.

    What Are The Worst Foods For Heartburn

    One of the first nighttime heartburn tips is to avoid foods that can make heartburn worse.

    1. Limit coffee

    Coffee and caffeine can lower sphincter pressure, causing it to relax and acid to backflow. Try drinking less coffee, especially in the evening or towards the end of the day.

    2. Eat less acidic food

    Avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits, and chocolate. If you enjoy these foods, the key is moderation. Try eating less of these foods at night.

    3. Avoid fried, fatty foods

    Fried foods can be triggers for some people. Avoid fried fast food and cook grilled or roasted meals at home.

    4. Limit alcohol

    Alcohol can stimulate extra stomach acid and relax the esophageal sphincter, contributing to acid backflow. If you find you get heartburn after drinking alcohol, try drinking less.

    5. Avoid spicy foods

    Spicy foods are common heartburn triggers as they can irritate your esophagus and sphincter. Swap your spices for fresh herbs or eat a bland diet.

    6. Avoid carbonated drinks

    Sodas and sparkling drinks make you belch, which can lead to acid reflux and heartburn symptoms.

    7. Avoid peppermint tea

    Both peppermint and spearmint can relax your esophagus valve and worsen heartburn.

    Recommended Reading: What Can Cause Severe Heartburn

    When To See A Pharmacist

    Speak to a pharmacist for advice if you keep getting heartburn.

    They can recommend medicines called antacids that can help ease your symptoms.

    Itâs best to take these with food or soon after eating. This is when youâre most likely to get heartburn. They may also work for longer if you take them with food.

    Recommended Reading: Does Heartburn No More Really Work

    Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux

    If You Have Acid Reflux, This is What You Should Know

    Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.

    Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:

    • certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
    • being overweight
    • some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
    • a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest

    Recommended Reading: Why Do I Have Constant Heartburn

    Why Treat Heartburn And Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

    Heartburn and acid reflux are traditionally considered innocuous because they are common in pregnancy and are usually self-limiting. However, a recent study suggests that GERD is associated with an increase in the severity of nausea and vomiting of pregnancy , which can have serious negative effects on a womans quality of life. In a prospective cohort study conducted by the Motherisk Program, 194 pregnant women with NVP and heartburn or acid reflux were compared with 188 pregnant women with NVP who did not have heartburn or acid reflux. The 2 groups were assessed for severity of NVP with the pregnancy-unique quantification of emesis and nausea score, which is a validated scoring tool based on frequency and duration of nausea, vomiting, and retching in the past 24 hours, with a high score indicating more severe NVP. Quality of life was measured by the well-being score, with 0 being the worst and 10 being the best. Forty-eight percent of women in the control group had severe NVP according to the PUQE, compared with 75% in the group with heartburn and acid reflux. The mean well-being score in the control group was significantly higher than that in the group with heartburn and acid reflux .

    Treating Heartburn And Gerd

    Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs . They keep the stomach from making too much acid. They have been shown to heal irritation of the tube between the throat and the stomach .

    In most cases, you dont need a PPI for heartburn. You can get relief from a less powerful drug. And when you do need a PPI, you should take the lowest dose for as short a time as possible. Heres why:

    Recommended Reading: How To Stop Nighttime Heartburn

    Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux

    If youve experienced the occasional bout of heartburn, you know how uncomfortable the painful burning sensation can be. Maybe you want to go all-natural or you want to treat heartburn symptoms that don’t respond to medication. If this describes your situation, consider turning to diet and lifestyle modifications, as well as natural remedies to relieve your symptoms.

    Heartburn may be caused by the backflow of your stomach contents into your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that transports food to your stomach. When you have backflow from your stomach, the medical condition is called acid reflux. Your pain may also be caused by a more severe or chronic form of reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease .

    This article will look at several acid reflux remedies and lifestyle modifications that may help.

    Verywell / Emily Roberts

    Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly

    Acid Reflux And The Lungs

    When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.

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