Heartburn (Reflux) (cont.)
In this Article
- Heartburn facts
- What are the symptoms of heartburn?
- What causes heartburn?
- Dietary causes of heartburn
- Lifestyle causes of heartburn
- Medical causes of heartburn
- What is the treatment for heartburn?
- Tips to alleviate heartburn symptoms
- OTC heartburn treatments
- Prescription heartburn treatments
- When is heartburn surgery necessary?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
- Being overweight
- Wearing tight-fitting clothing or belts
- Lying down or bending over, especially after eating
- Bulging of part of the stomach into the chest cavity, also called
- Taking certain medications, especially some antibiotics and aspirin.
Treating heartburn requires adjustments to your lifestyle, medications, and possibly surgery if your heartburn is due to GERD or a hiatal hernia.
Tips to Alleviate Heartburn Symptoms
- Raise the head of your bed about 6 inches to allow gravity to help keep the
stomach's contents in the stomach. (Do not use piles of pillows because this
puts your body into a bent position that actually aggravates the condition by
increasing pressure on the abdomen. Instead, put books under the legs of the bed
to raise it up.)
- Eat meals at least three to four hours before lying down and avoid bedtime
- Eat smaller meals.
- Maintain a healthy weight to eliminate unnecessary intra-abdominal pressure
caused by extra pounds.
- Limit consumption of fatty foods, chocolate, peppermint,
coffee, tea, colas,
and alcohol -- all of which can relax the lower esophageal sphincter -- and
tomatoes and citrus fruits or juices, which contribute additional acid that can
irritate the esophagus.
- Give up smoking, which also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Wear loose belts and clothing.
Heartburn can be treated with medicine. Medicines used to treat heartburn can range from over-the-counter remedies to medicine requiring a doctor's prescription.
Next: OTC heartburn treatments
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