What To Do If You Have Heartburn

Various medications such as proton pump inhibitors help inhibit production of stomach acid to reduce risk of heartburn. They're effective but sometimes, they don't work. And when they don't, it would be a good idea to try other measures that can give you relief from persistent heartburn.

Are You Taking It Correctly?
One possible reason the proton pump inhibitor is not working could be because you're not taking it properly. It's important to follow the specific instructions given by the doctor.

- Generally, these medications are given 30 minutes to one hour before eating breakfast.
- Some people are also advised to take another dose within the day to do away from the nighttime symptoms.
- Sometimes people only take the medicine when they are already experiencing the pain of heartburn. This is not how this medication works.

Be sure to follow the doctor's advice to the dot.

Time to Sleep
Is it your habit to hit the sack after devouring on a full meal? If yes, then it's already obvious what's causing your problem. It's very important that you don't eat a big meal right before sleeping. If you must, do this three to four hours before going to bed.

To further alleviate nighttime symptoms, elevate the head by propping several pillows underneath. You can also use a bed wedge to elevate the upper body.

The Extra Pounds
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2006 revealed that overweight and obese women were twice or thrice more likely to have acid reflux than their skinnier counterparts. Even moderate weight gain for people with normal weight can aggravate the symptoms linked to acid reflux. This was a finding of a survey that involved 10,500 people. It's a must to reduce your weight at least by 2.5 pounds to reduce the symptoms of reflux.

Over-The-Counter Drugs
There are various drugs that can be taken to eliminate the acid.
These include:
- Tagamet HB
- Pepcid AC
- Axid AR
- Zantac 75

It's vital to remember however that these drugs cannot be taken daily because people are likely to develop tolerance.

Ditching the Triggers
Different factors can trigger an acid reflux. If you notice that onions or other spices trigger an attack, don't eat them without taking an H2 blocker at least one hour before to stop the symptoms even before they occur. If you did but you still got the heartburn, it's a must to see a doctor.

Slowly But Surely
When you eat, take time to chew your food thoroughly. A good practice would be to put down your fork in between bites so you can give yourself ample time to break down the food particles inside your mouth before you swallow.

Nicotine Habit
Nicotine, which is one of the main ingredients in cigarettes, weakens the muscle that controls the opening between the esophagus and stomach. This is called the lower esophageal sphincter and it prevents the acid from the stomach from getting into the esophagus. If you smoke, you're more prone to acid reflux.

 


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