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What You Need to Know About Heartburn Treatment and Remedies

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Updated June 04, 2012

Whether you have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a hiatal hernia, a peptic ulcer, or some other digestive disorder that causes chronic heartburn, it is important to know what treatments are available to help control the heartburn symptoms.

Treatment for chronic heartburn can include lifestyle modifications, diet modifications, over-the-counter or prescription remedies, or surgery.

Lifestyle modifications
One of the first steps doctors advise their patients to take when treating chronic heartburn is to make modifications in their lifestyle habits. These include preventing heartburn before it happens, preventing nighttime heartburn, preventing heartburn during pregnancy, and preventing heartburn during the summer, at school, and during the holidays.

Diet modifications
Some studies have shown that any particular food will not trigger heartburn in individuals. This is especially true when those individuals who do not suffer from chronic heartburn, and they only experience heartburn only occasion when they overeat or if they eat too fast. Some researchers have stated that it is not to conclude that causes chronic heartburn in individuals, but when they eat and how they eat.

There are, however, those individuals who state that certain foods will trigger their heartburn no matter when they eat it or how much they eat. For these individuals, making modifications in their diet is often helpful and preventing heartburn.

Diet modifications include knowing what foods are safe for heartburn sufferers, what foods heartburn sufferers should avoid, and what foods should only be eaten in moderation. It is also helpful to know how to plan meals to avoid heartburn, and how to prepare the foods they eat. Preparation includes heartburn friendly recipes. These include:

It can also be helpful to have sample heartburn free menus to follow.

Over-the-counter and prescription remedies
These remedies include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.

First, when do you need an an antacid? You should discuss this with your doctor to decide if using an antacid will help you. Antacids include Chooz, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums.

Your doctor may prescribe a H2 blocker to help you control your heartburn. Your doctor will tell you what H2 blockers are used for and why he he or she thinks you should use them. H2 blockers include Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac.

Another medication your doctor may prescribe for you is one of the proton pump inhibitors. Your doctor will also explain what PPIs are, and what they are used for. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix.

Surgery for acid reflux
For some individuals as surgical options may be used to treat chronic acid reflux that either does not respond well to other treatments, or you and your doctor decide it is the best option for you. Surgical options include fundoplication and radiofrequency treatment.

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