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Heartburn Relief Options You Can Rely On

Oct 8, 2007
Heartburn relief is sought by the millions of people worldwide who experience the pain and discomfort of acid reflux. For the occasional and mild cases of heartburn, over the counter antacids may be sufficient to bring rapid relief. In severe cases, these antacids may be insufficient.

After dismissing the first few episodes of heartburn, all sufferers will consider the various heartburn remedies available. These can range from simple lifestyle and dietary changes to natural remedies to advanced pharmaceutical options. Information about these options can help one make the appropriate choices to get prompt relief.

Simple Heartburn Remedies

For the occasional heartburn episode, simple remedies will suffice. Understanding what triggers and why heartburns occur is the first step. The simple treatment plan for heartburn remedies involves a lot of common sense.

Since acid reflux is the main issue, attempts to dilute the acids should be taken first. This can be as simple as drinking a glass of water. Another simple thing to do is to chew gum. Chewing gum stimulates the generation of saliva which helps to neutralize the gastric acids.

The next most important step is to avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn. The common foods and drinks to avoid include the following:

1. Spicy dishes like those found in Indian and Mexican diets
2. Tomato rich dishes like those found in Italian pastas and pizzas
3. Chocolates, Donuts, Creamy desserts
4. Citrus based fruits and desserts; containing oranges and lemons
5. Certain forms of potatoes: mashed potatoes and French fries
6. Raw Onions
7. Caffeinated drinks, Alcoholic beverages
8. Some dairy products: sour cream, ice cream and cottage cheese

This is a common option to consider amongst the various heartburn remedies.

The pain of heartburn is usually at its worst when a sufferer lies down to sleep. The acid reflux unimpeded by gravity since the body is prone, regurgitates more caustic acids from the stomach thereby burning the esophagus and possibly the throat. The first thing to note is to avoid eating just before bedtime. As part of the common heartburn remedies to consider, have a reasonable sized meal avoiding the aforementioned foods and drinks at least two hours before bedtime. Next sleep with the head and upper torso raised - use additional pillows or raise the headboard. These two suggestions should help the heartburn sufferer get a more restful night's sleep.

Heartburn Remedies: The Pharmaceutical Options

In the case of people who suffer from chronic or a severe form of heartburn, medical practitioners will be able to suggest a course of treatment to bring about heartburn relief. Apart from lifestyle changes, certain medications may be part of the treatment plan.

H2-Receptor Blockers is a class of heartburn relief medication that reduces the secretion of acids in the stomach largely by blocking the actions of histamines. This type of medication has been around from the 1960s and was developed to bring relief for various ailments like heartburn, stomach ulcers and dyspepsia.

A distinct advantage of using H2-receptor blockers is that it can be taken before a meal to suppress the buildup of stomach acids and brings about heartburn relief for a chronic sufferer. An additional advantage is that the palliative impact of the medication lasts for than 6 hours. The heartburn symptoms are avoided and the singed esophagus gets an opportunity to gradually heal; especially in the case of chronic heartburn patients.

Currently, the most preferred medication; beating H2 receptor blockers, is another class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors work in a similar way to bring about heartburn relief but only more effectively. These drugs halt the secretion of enzyme generation in the gastric cells, instead of merely inhibiting the catalysts that cause the generation.

The inert inhibitors only become active when they enter the stomach. They block the generation of the caustic stomach acids and help the sufferer begin his or her road to heartburn relief. The proton pump inhibitors continue to work for more than two days.

Before any drugs are taken for heartburn relief, it is important to seek medical help to confirm the symptoms and the right dosages. While several options are available, it would be useful to note that the use of proton pump inhibitors have largely over taken the use of h2-receptor blockers in the treatment of chronic heartburn.
About the Author
Cindy Heller is a professional writer. Visit herbal heartburn remedies to learn more about natural cure for heartburn and other heartburn home remedies.
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