Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM
Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
In this Article
- Overview of Heartburn
- Heartburn Causes
- Heartburn Symptoms
- Heartburn Diagnosis
- Heartburn Treatment
- Heartburn Summary
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid eating before bedtime
- Avoid alcohol, aspirin, ibuprofen, and caffeine
- Stop smoking
- Elevate the head of the bed (or use two or three pillows) to allow gravity to keep acid in the stomach and avoid acid reflux.
Antacids may be taken after meals, at bedtime, or when needed, to bind excess acid in the stomach and to coat the esophagus.
Histamine H2 antagonists are a class of medications that inhibits the action of histamine (a chemical that stimulates stomach cells to produce acid) on the acid-producing cells of the stomach, which reduces stomach acid. They include drugs like:
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are another class of drugs that block the production of acid by the stomach. PPIs include:
- omeprazole (Prilosec,
- rabeprazole (Aciphex)
- pantoprazole (Protonix)
- lansoprazole (Prevacid), and
- esomeprazole (Nexium).
Surgery is an option for those patients:
- for whom intensive medical therapy does not provide adequate relief,
- with Barrett's
- with reflux so severe that it causes hoarseness, pneumonia, or wheezing.
Fundoplication is the standard surgical procedure for treating GERD.
Next: Heartburn Summary
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