Heartburn affects many people and can cause extreme discomfort interrupting your daily routine. Heartburn can also lead to other health issues if left untreated. There are several treatments available to manage heartburn and its symptoms.
Over the Counter Medications for Treatments for Heartburn
There are various medications which can be purchased over the counter to help relieve the painful symptoms of heartburn. Some offer quick relief and others not as quickly but the effects of the medication will last longer. You can also purchase over the counter medications to help reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. Many of these previously required prescriptions from your doctor but they have now been released to be sold without a prescription.
Antacids which help to neutralize stomach acid such as Mylanta, Maalox, Gelusil, Tums, and Rolaids provide quick relief of the burning pain.
Reduce Acid Production with medications including Tagamet HB, Pepcid AC, Axid AR and Zantac 75. These are H-2 receptor blockers and they do not act quickly like antacids but they provide relief for longer periods of time.
Control the Acid and help heal the esophagus using proton pump inhibitors. This type of medication blocks the production of acid and allows the time needed for the damage it has caused to the tissues of the esophagus to heal. Prevacid 24 and Prilosec OTC are included among these medications.
Treatments for Heartburn for your Lifestyle and Home
You can make some changes at your home and in the actions you take to help treat your heartburn.
Elevate the head of your bed if you are having heartburn at night. Place blocks under the headboard of your bed to elevate it about 6-8 inches, you can also use a wedge under your mattress to accomplish this if your bed is not able to be lifted.
Avoid wearing clothing that fits tightly around your waist area. This places extra pressure on your stomach.
Monitor your weight – Excessive body weight means excess pressure on your stomach, increasing your heartburn.
Stop smoking cigarettes which are known to aggravate heartburn
Stop alcohol consumption or at least limit it to avoid heartburn.
Diet Changes as Treatments for Heartburn
Change the way you eat your meals. Relax and enjoy your food, eat it slowly and in smaller more frequent meals. Avoid foods that are highly acidic or extra spicy and those that you know aggravate your heartburn. Make sure you eat your final meal of the day several hours before you go to bed to avoid lying down soon after eating.