Prescription Proton Pump Inhibitors
Healthcare providers prescribe PPIs to treat people with gastroesophageal reflux disease , peptic ulcer disease, or other digestive disorders that may cause excess stomach acid.
Prescription proton pump inhibitors are available under the following brand names and may have generic formulations:
Prescription PPIs are meant to be taken under a healthcare provider’s supervision and only for a limited amount of time. Chronic use of PPIs has been associated with heart attacks, kidney disease, and bone fractures.
What Is The Treatment For Heartburn
The health care professional will recommend treating heartburn in a stepwise fashion. For mild or occasional symptoms, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough. The next step is nonprescription antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, or Rolaids. Other treatments include acid blockers and even surgery. In most cases, one or more of these treatments provide relief from heartburn and prevent it from turning into a more serious disease.
I take nonprescription antacids for heartburn, but they don’t seem to help.
Nonprescription antacids are only part of the treatment for heartburn. They can work very well, but these antacids alone usually can’t stop heartburn. A health care professional will probably recommend that the patient make lifestyle changes in addition to other treatments.
What kind of lifestyle changes and remedies can I make to reduce heartburn?
Try any or all of the following:
Will these changes stop the heartburn?
They may. If they don’t, adding a nonprescription antacid can be helpful.
How do antacids work?
What if lifestyle changes and antacids don’t work?
If a person still has symptoms after lifestyle modifications and antacids, a health care professional probably will prescribe a stronger drug. The usual choice is one of the histamine-2 blockers, or acid blockers. These drugs block the biochemical process that creates acid in the stomach.
What are acid blockers?
What Can Trigger Heartburn
Heartburn can be triggered by many different things that are a part of your daily life. For many people, heartburn can be caused by certain eating and lifestyle habits. These habits can involve things like eating large portions of food, eating too close to bedtime or even having high stress levels.
Certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn for some people. Some foods and drinks that could trigger your heartburn can include:
- Caffeinated beverages.
- Carbonated beverages.
Your lifestyle habits can also play a part in why you might experience heartburn. These everyday factors often contribute to medical conditions that cause heartburn, like GERD or hiatal hernia. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger your heartburn include:
- Being overweight.
- Having a high stress level.
- Wearing tight clothes and belts.
Read Also: What To Eat To Prevent Heartburn
What Are Gerd Symptoms
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a condition whose main symptom is caused by acid reflux. This reflux causes burning in the chest, typically after eating. An attack may last for up to several hours. Lying down and bending over may make symptoms worse. Severe reflux may cause additional symptoms including trouble swallowing, a feeling that something is stuck in the throat or chest, or a sour taste in the back of the throat. Reflux can trigger shortness of breath, asthma attacks, and a chronic cough. Chest pain caused by reflux may mimic chest pain that occurs during a heart attack. If you are unsure about reflux vs cardiac chest pain, see your doctor. A doctor can usually diagnose reflux easily by asking a patient to describe his or her symptoms.
How Do You Know If You Have Heartburn
In this manner, is heartburn a sign of a heart attack?
heart attack signsheartburn
What are the signs and symptoms of heartburn?
Symptoms of acid reflux that may accompany heartburn include:
- difficulty swallowing,
- stomach pain or burning in the upper abdomen,
- persistent sore throat,
- regurgitation of foods or liquids with a taste of acid in the throat, and.
- persistent hoarseness or laryngitis.
How do I get rid of heartburn fast?
We’ll go over some quick tips to get rid of heartburn, including:
Read Also: Heartburn Quick Fix And Relief
Adopt New Bedroom Habits
Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to heartburn? If so, try sleeping on your left side this position seems to help. Experts also recommend keeping your upper body elevated to make it harder for acids to flow up the esophagus. Raise the head of your bed or use a thick wedge-shaped body pillow when sleeping to keep heartburn at bay.7
* Onset of acid neutralization does not imply the onset of symptom relief.
What You Wear Matters Too
Lifestyle changes can have surprising effects on acid reflux symptoms. The clothing you wear may influence your symptoms. Tight-fitting clothing puts pressure on the abdomen and may force acid and food in your stomach up into your esophagus. Avoid wearing tight pants, belts, shapewear, and constraining clothing that puts pressure on your abdomen. Wear loose-fitting pants, shirts, and other types of clothing to give yourself ample room to encourage proper digestive function. These styles may help prevent reflux, too.
Don’t Miss: What Remedy Is Good For Heartburn
Surgery And Other Medical Procedures
Your doctor may recommend surgery if your GERD symptoms dont improve with lifestyle changes and medicines, or if you wish to stop taking long-term GERD medicines to manage symptoms. Youre more likely to develop complications from surgery than from medicines.
Fundoplication. Fundoplication is the most common surgery for GERD. In most cases, it leads to long-term improvement of GERD symptoms. During the operation, a surgeon sews the top of your stomach around the end of your esophagus to add pressure to the lower esophageal sphincter and help prevent reflux.
Surgeons may perform fundoplication as laparoscopic or open surgery. In laparoscopic fundoplication, which is more common, surgeons make small cuts in the abdomen and insert special tools to perform the operation. Laparoscopic fundoplication leaves several small scars. In open fundoplication, surgeons make a larger cut in the abdomen.
Bariatric surgery. If you have GERD and obesity, your doctor may recommend weight-loss surgery, also called bariatric surgery, most often gastric bypass surgery. Bariatric surgery can help you lose weight and reduce GERD symptoms.
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 patients 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: Will Chocolate Milk Help Heartburn
Antacids For Heartburn Relief
Antacids are medications that neutralize stomach acid. They are one type of over-the-counter treatment to alleviate the burning feeling. Rolaids, Maalox, and Mylanta are a few kinds of OTC antacids. Antacids are a good option if you have occasional heartburn and mild symptoms and discomfort. Take these medications as directed and do not exceed the recommended dose. Do not overuse antacids or take more than is directed on the label as this may result in side effects including constipation or diarrhea. If you suffer from severe heartburn or longstanding heartburn, antacids may not be the appropriate treatment choice.
Q: Do This Studys Findings Mean Ppis Increase A Patients Risk Of Severe Covid
Staller: This was an observational study, meaning researchers arent giving some people the drug and seeing what happens to those people versus what happens to the people who dont take it. Instead, its comparing two different groups of people: A group of people with symptoms who happen to be taking the drug, and a group of people who dont.
On average, people who happen to be taking PPIs are likely to be a little bit sicker. Its not that these people are compromised by their heartburn medication but rather that their heartburn is the result of being overweight, or suffering an ailment associated with an unhealthy lifestylesomething that puts them in a high-risk group. Thats probably whats driving the risk for COVID-19.
Studies like this give us a better understanding of all the ways COVID-19 might infect the GI tract or the body in general. PPIs have their issues, but theyre still an incredibly effective therapy. So while PPIs shouldnt be added to the water supplymeaning these drugs are not for everyonethere are people who derive a great benefit from PPIs, and we shouldnt scare them away.
You May Like: I Get Heartburn From Everything
Next Steps And Precautions
Except for bottled water, most bottled beverages — including fruit and vegetable juices and herbal teas — are preserved with ascorbic or citric acid as part of the “canning and bottling” process and therefore may have a low pH value — meaning that they’re acidic and potentially irritating. Although mint tea is enjoyed by many as a digestive aid, mint may cause the muscular valve between the stomach and esophagus to relax, allowing acidic digestive juices to leak into the esophagus. For this reason, the pediatric remedy “Gripe Water,” which often contains mint and other herbs, may not be good for acid reflux.
Finally, while diet and lifestyle modifications may be helpful for GERD, some people require acid-suppressing medication as well, so work with your doctor if you are dealing with more than just occasional heartburn.
Ways To Prevent Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Most of us are all too familiar with the painful, burning sensation in the center of the chest thats associated with heartburn.
In fact, up to 28% of adults in North America experience gastroesophageal reflux disease , a common condition that causes heartburn. GERD occurs when acid is pushed up from the stomach back into the esophagus, which leads to the heartburn sensation .
Although people often use medications to treat acid reflux and heartburn, many lifestyle modifications can also help you reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Here are 14 natural ways to reduce your acid reflux and heartburn, all backed by scientific research.
You May Like: What Is A Good Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Why You Should Take It Seriously
Yes, its easy to throw heartburn medication at the problem and wait to feel better. Some people just live with the pain, thinking this is something that just happens after eating. Thats unwise, says Dr Lynch: Over time, acid reflux causes damage to the lining of the oesophagus and can lead to Barretts oesophagus, a condition in which cells of the lining of the oesophagus develop abnormalities. Barretts can eventually turn into oesophageal cancer. Though most patients will never develop cancer, its so scary and morbid that its a high concern, says Dr Lynch.
How Do H2 Receptor Blockers Work
When you take an H2 receptor blocker, the active ingredients travel to specific receptors on the surface of the stomach cells that release acids. The medication inhibits certain chemical reactions in these cells so that they arent able to produce as much acid. According to the National Institutes of Health, H2 receptor blockers decrease stomach acid secretions over a 24-hour period by 70 percent. By reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, any damaged tissues are allowed time to heal.
Most of the side effects associated with H2 receptor blockers are mild and usually subside as a person takes the medication over time. Only 1.5 percent of people stop taking H2 receptor blockers due to the side effects.
Some of the side effects that may occur with H2 receptor blockers include:
- suicidal thoughts
Despite their potential side effects, H2 receptor blockers are usually a very effective treatment for conditions that cause excess stomach acid. You and your doctor can discuss the potential risks and determine whether H2 receptor blockers are the best option for your particular condition. You should never stop taking your medication without talking to your doctor about it first.
Recommended Reading: What Heartburn Medicine Can You Take While Pregnant
Knowing When To See The Doctor
Can Heartburn Be Prevented Or Avoided
You might be able to avoid heartburn by making some lifestyle changes.
- Place 6- to 9-inch blocks under the legs at the head of your bed to raise it.
- Try to eat at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down. If you take naps, try sleeping in a chair.
- Quit smoking if you smoke.
- Lose weight if youre overweight.
- Dont overeat.
- Avoid tight clothes and tight belts.
- Avoid foods and beverages that give you heartburn.
Don’t Miss: What To Take For Heartburn At Home
What Causes The Valve To Malfunction
In some people, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes at the wrong time or becomes weakened. This allows stomach contents to escape and travel up the esophagus. This causes burning, irritation, and pain. Surprisingly, not everyone who has acid reflux experiences a burning sensation. Other times, burning in the area of the chest and abdomen is caused by a condition other than reflux. Sometimes chest pain may occur due to a heart attack or other serious conditions. Acid reflux is the main symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease , but GERD is associated with other symptoms like nausea, dry cough, hoarseness, sore throat, trouble swallowing, and a feeling of a lump in the throat. See your doctor if you experience pain, burning, or irritation in your chest or abdomen.
Are There Any Tests For Heartburn
If it is obvious from the symptoms that a person has heartburn, no tests or exams may be necessary. Advice in regard to lifestyle modifications, diet, or medications may begin immediately.
If your health care professional is not sure about the diagnosis, or if he or she is concerned about damage done by chronic heartburn, tests may be ordered. This is true especially if the patient has already been prescribed medications that are not relieving the heartburn.
There is no simple blood test for heartburn. The tests used to diagnose heartburn include the following:
You May Like: What Not To Eat To Prevent Heartburn
Avoid Spicy Foods And Keep Some Dazzle In Your Diet With Low
The fiery feeling of heartburn is the last way you want to remember a great meal. But when your doctor says you have chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease , you may worry that a bland and disappointing menu is in your future. “That may not be true,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “The foods that trigger heartburn are different for everyone.” He suggests keeping a journal to determine which foods cause symptoms.
Some foods and ingredients may intensify heartburn, such as spicy foods, citrus, tomato sauces, and vinegar.
Fatty and fried foods linger longer in the stomach. That may increase stomach pressure and force open the muscles that keep stomach acid out of the esophagus.
Other common heartburn triggers include chocolate, caffeine, onions, peppermint, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.
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.
Recommended Reading: Things To Do To Get Rid Of Heartburn