Whether you've been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a hiatal hernia, or some other digestive disorder that can cause heartburn, you are going to want to find a treatment that works.
Your physician will most likely suggest you try some lifestyle modifications and dietary changes as a first step in your treatment. If you continue to have symptoms after these modifications, you can talk with your doctor about the use of antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Possible resources include quick relief options, lifestyle modification dietary tips, medication options, and surgery.
Getting Quick Relief
If you are suffering from heartburn right this minute, you probably want a fast way to ease that burn. Below are some of the ways you may be able to take care of heartburn quickly and easily.
One of the first steps doctors advise their patients to take when treating chronic heartburn is to make lifestyle changes. Lifestyle modifications can help control heartburn. Below are tips on dealing with heartburn in different aspects of your life.
For many individuals, certain foods cause heartburn. For this reason, many physicians will suggest changes in diet as a first step in their patient's GERD treatment. Use the links below to get started on your dietary changes.
- How Certain Foods Cause Heartburn
- Safe Foods for Heartburn Sufferers
- Foods to Eat in Moderation
- Foods to Avoid
- Meal Planning Tips to Prevent Heartburn
- Heartburn-Friendly Recipes
- Heartburn-Free School Lunches
- Dining Out Guide for Heartburn Sufferers
- Heartburn Record - Charting Foods That Cause Heartburn
- Books on the Acid Reflux Diet
If you are already suffering from heartburn, an antacid can give you fast, short-term relief. The antacids neutralize acid in the stomach and esophagus, are fast-acting, and last about 1 to 2 hours. It is important to remember, however, that if you are experiencing long-term or frequent heartburn, you should see your doctor. If your heartburn occurs two or more times a week or keeps coming back, despite being helped by antacids, an evaluation by your doctor is needed.
First, you can learn if you really need that antacid. Next, you can read about some of the different antacids below.
Using H2 Blockers
H2 blockers, also called H2-receptor antagonists, are medicines that reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces by blocking one important producer of acid: histamine2.
Many of the H2 blockers can be found in over-the-counter forms. However, it is still important to talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of using these medications.
For more information on the various H2 blockers, please check out the resources below.
Using Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of medications that decrease the amount of acid in the stomach and intestines by inhibiting (shutting down) a system in the stomach known as the proton pump. This greatly reduces the amount of stomach acid produced.
More of the PPIs are becoming available in over-the-counter form. As with antacids and H2 blockers, it is important to talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of using these medications.
For more information on the various proton pump inhibitors, please check out the resources below.
Using Home Remedies
While there are drug options available to treat heartburn, such as the antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors described above, home remedies for heartburn may also have an appeal -- especially if you have been on your medication for some time.
The items listed below are just a few of the home remedies that people have used to try and treat their heartburn. However, it's important to realize that there are not any clinical studies that prove their effectiveness on heartburn, and it's possible that they could even have harmful effects. Talk to your doctor before trying out any home remedies for heartburn.