How to Get Rid of Heartburn

Are you experiencing discomfort after meals or a night out with friends? That warmth in your esophagus or burning sensation in your stomach might be heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Let’s explore how to identify these conditions and discover effective strategies to alleviate them.

Is it Heartburn?

Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to close properly, allowing stomach acid and other contents to flow back into the esophagus. This reflux causes irritation and a burning sensation in the chest, often referred to as ‘heartburn.’ Certain medications and supplements can also exacerbate this condition.

Do I Have GERD?

While heartburn may occur sporadically, GERD is characterized by frequent symptoms, occurring more than twice a week. Signs of GERD include repeated heartburn, trouble swallowing, bloating, chest pain, and regurgitation of food and stomach acid.

Managing Heartburn and GERD:

Dietary and lifestyle changes play a crucial role in managing heartburn and GERD symptoms. Avoiding trigger foods such as alcohol, caffeine, spicy foods, and acidic items can provide relief. Lifestyle modifications like weight loss, wearing loose clothing, stress reduction, and elevating the head while sleeping can also help alleviate symptoms.

Heartburn and GERD-triggering foods:

  • Alcohol
  • Spicy and deep-fried foods
  • Peppermint and spearmint
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated drinks
  • Whole dairy products
  • Chocolate
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based sauces
  • Coffee
  • Acidic foods and drinks
  • Spices like chili powder, pepper, cayenne
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fatty foods like fast food and meats like bacon and sausage
  • Cheese and pizza
  • Potato chips and other processed snacks

How much of these triggering foods you eat and how often can really affect how you feel because they can relax the LES, slow and make digestion take longer, or increase stomach acid production.

Over-the-counter Medications:

For additional relief, over-the-counter medications like antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can neutralize stomach acid or reduce its production. Combining melatonin supplements with omeprazole has shown promise in alleviating GERD symptoms.

When to Seek Medical Advice:

If symptoms persist or worsen, consulting a doctor is advisable. Untreated GERD can lead to complications such as esophageal ulcers, strictures, or an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Medical supervision ensures proper diagnosis and effective management of reflux issues.

Identifying heartburn and GERD symptoms empowers individuals to take proactive steps toward relief. By making dietary adjustments, adopting healthy lifestyle habits, exploring over-the-counter remedies, and seeking medical guidance when needed, you can effectively manage heartburn and GERD, enhancing your overall well-being and quality of life.

Don’t let reflux issues disrupt your daily activities – take control and find relief today by visiting AFC Urgent Care for prompt and professional care!