If you’re one of 15 million who suffer from heartburn on a daily basis, you’ve come to the right place. While it is quite common, there are several things you can do to minimize the symptoms and find relief.
According to WebMD, more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month. Heartburn is the most common symptom, but it isn’t the only one
While it doesn’t actually affect your heart, the most common symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation in your chest. It can be mild or so severe it’s difficult to breathe. The pain is caused by stomach acid inflaming the soft tissue of your esophagus.
Regurgitation, more widely known as GERD, is when the contents of your stomach back up into your esophagus. It tastes just like you would expect hydrochloric acid to taste and it can be quite painful.
This isn’t as much a symptom as it is a syndrome. Dyspepsia includes pain in your stomach, frequent burping after eating, and nausea.
While heartburn and reflux can strike at any time, they’re generally worse when you lie down, after you eat certain foods, or if you’ve overeaten. Pregnant women also often suffer from reflux symptoms due to the added pressure on their abdomen. Some of the most common triggers are
- Spicy foods
- Tomato-based foods
- Caffeinated beverages
- Bending over after eating
- Other health issues such as ulcers, Celiac, or Crohn’s Disease
In general, there isn’t really a cure for acid reflux, but there are several things you can do to minimize or avoid symptoms
● Drink lots of water
Water is beneficial for your overall health, but when hiccups or reflux strikes, drinking a large glass of water can help neutralize the acids in your stomach.
● Avoid certain foods
Spicy, deep-fried, and tomato-based foods are all high in acidity. Since your stomach already has a high acid content, eating these foods will only increase it and likely lead to heartburn. It doesn’t mean you need to avoid eating these things altogether, but be sure to have something on hand for relief if you indulge.
● Side Sleeping
Sleeping on your left side encourages the natural process of digestion. Stomach anatomy is arranged in such a way that laying on your back or right side can cause you to regurgitate stomach acid, leading to increased pain from heartburn.
● Calcium tablets
One of the most common methods of treating heartburn is by taking TUMS. So long as calcium carbonate is the only ingredient and directions for use are followed, calcium supplements are a safe treatment option.
Milk and yogurt contain helpful probiotics that can soothe digestive issues and offer relief provided your heartburn isn’t related to dairy intolerance. Obviously, if your symptoms worsen from eating or drinking dairy, you should reach out to your doctor as there may be an underlying condition.
● Peppermint, coconut, ginseng
Adding one or more of these to your regular diet can combat symptoms of heartburn effectively. They can be consumed in a tea form or added to foods as an oil. Take note that even though peppermint is a good treatment option, consuming too much of it can actually have the reverse effect.
● Potassium-rich foods
Consuming foods that are rich in potassium, such as melons, nuts, and bananas, can be great for avoiding heartburn. These foods are alkaline in nature and neutralize stomach acids.
● Quit smoking
Smoking is a significant heartburn trigger as it damages the esophageal sphincter. When the sphincter, which is a small opening that connects the stomach and the esophagus, is damaged, contents from your stomach can more easily back up into your throat. When you stop smoking, your body can repair itself, leading to reduced inflammation in your esophagus as well.
● Prescription or OTC medications
If you suffer from severe heartburn or GERD, your doctor might recommend medications like Pepcid AC or Famotidine.
Zantac or ranitidine, on the other hand, have been pulled from the shelves and banned in the US due to their strong link to cancer. In 2018, the FDA discovered high amounts of a cancer-causing agent known as NMDA (N-Nitrosodimethylamine). This chemical becomes unstable over time and is currently linked to several lawsuits alleging users were subsequently diagnosed with cancer. For more information visit rosenfeldinjurylawyers.com/zantac-cancer-lawsuits.html.
While most cases of heartburn and acid reflux are no cause for concern, if you experience frequent symptoms or pain that won’t go away when you change your diet or try other forms of relief, it’s best to schedule an appointment with your doctor. They can help you rule out other more serious causes for indigestion and prescribe you a safe treatment plan for optimum relief.
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