How to end heartburn pain

WHAT IS HEARTBURN?

Heartburn is a painful, burning sensation in the
esophagus, precisely under the breastbone, that happens after eating or at night. The
pain often grows in the chest and radiates to the neck and throat. Caused by the
regurgitation of gastric acid into the esophagus, heartburn is the most common
symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD. However, unlike
occasional heartburn, GERD is a more serious condition that causes consistent
heartburn for passed periods of time and frequently affects the quality of a
person’s everyday life.

SYMPTOMS OF GERD

Everyone experiences heartburn at some time or another,
whether it’s activated by spicy foods or eating a bigger meal. Still, for
people who stand from GERD, heartburn occurs much more frequently—often 2 or
more times a week, going up to 3 months or longer.

In addition to seeking medical help, changes in habit
and lifestyle can also help reduce the occurrent of heartburn. Common
preventative measures include:

• Avoid lying down after feeding or within 2 or 3 hours of bedtime

• Raise the head of the bed 4 to 6 inches

• Quit smoking/using tobacco products

• Eat lower, more frequent meals

• Lose weight if overweight

• Avoid aspirin and most hurting medicines (other than acetaminophen)

Avoiding the next foods may also help reduce heartburn:

• Coffee, tea and other caffeinated beverages

• Mint products, such as peppermint, spearmint, etc.

• Alcohol

• Carbonated beverages, citrus and fruit juices

• Chocolate

• Fried or fatty foods

• Tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard and vinegar

TREATMENT

While one of the simplest treatments of heartburn/GERD
is a change in life-style, other options range from over-the-counter antacids
that neutralize stomach acid to prescribed medications that reduce acid
regurgitation or block acid production. In more severe cases, surgery may be
necessary to tighten the esophagus/stomach barrier.

If you’ve been getting consistent heartburn for an extended period of time,
it’s a great idea to talk to your doctor. Require the first step to getting the help
you take by filling out the Evaluation Assessment below to determine the
severity of your condition and the treatment options available to you.


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