How To Stop Heartburn Simple Steps To Soothe The Pain

In most cases, a sumptuous meal at a gala feast does not end happily for everyone. All the greasy and spicy food may sometimes end up causing a very intense burning sensation in the chest and upper stomach. This is what heartburn feels like.

What Is The Cause?

Heartburn is caused when the acid in your stomach surpasses the sphincter muscle. It is meant to separate the food pipe from the stomach. This acid causes irritation and burning sensation as the food pipe is not used to its strong chemical nature.

Who Is The Culprit?

Consumption of spicy or oily food can cause heartburn. In such cases, the usual level of acid in the stomach cannot break down the food, forcing excess secretion of the acid. The excess acid sometimes escapes the limiter muscles of the stomach, and enters the esophagus, and causes heartburn.

Frequent episodes of heartburn may indicate a more chronic cause. Reasons may point to irritable bowel syndrome or gastroesophageal reflux disorder. In most of these scenarios, the stomach loses its normal ability to detect the stimulus of food and react to it in the right way.

What Is The Cure?

One of the most permanent cures on how to stop heartburn is to change the way you go about your daily life.

A Better Way of Life

Change in diet and daily habits is a very important aspect of how to stop heartburn. Some suggestions are:

Avoid foods that might cause acid reflux:
Caffeine, citrus foods, chocolates, soft drinks, alcohol, greasy, and spicy food are either difficult to digest or are already too acidic.

Eat at the same time every day and never sustain hunger pangs:
Being hungry and still not eating can be one of the biggest triggers of acid reflux. Your stomach gets used to a routine, and when you stray away from it, you feel hungry. In anticipation of food, stomach starts secreting acid. Staying hungry for too long causes this acid to move upward and cause heartburn.

Break down meals into slots with a difference of two hours:
This makes digestion easier and robust. This also prevents the secretion of excess digestive juices due to hunger.

Take a light dinner and don’t sleep immediately after a meal:
Walking for some time after a meal can aid digestion and avoid acidity.

Exercise daily:
This strengthens the digestive system and keeps it active, enabling it to break down even the most complex foods.

Lose weight:
If obesity is one of the reasons for your condition, shedding a little weight can be a good idea. Excess weight can put extra force on your stomach, which may push the extra acid into the food pipe.

Wear loose Clothes while you eat:
Wearing tighter clothes can also result in heartburn. So always loosen up your belts before a meal.
Keep Upper Body Elevated While Sleeping: Elevating upper body while sleeping can prevent the acid from rising.

Some of the instant ways on how to stop heartburn are:

A mix of baking soda and water:
It effectively neutralizes the acid in your esophagus, and eliminates the toxic pain.

Milk of magnesia:
It is also an alkali that has the same effect as mixture of baking soda and water.

Antacids:
Over-the-counter antacids, just like the two options above, neutralize the acid in the stomach.

Ranitidine:
This medication works by reducing the secretion of acid. A popular brand is Rantac or Zantac. This drug falls under the category of medication that goes by the name of an H2 blocker. They may cause side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea. It may also interfere with medications such as blood thinners and anti-seizure meds.

Proton pump inhibitors:
They work by inhibiting the secretion of acid in the stomach. However, they work better than the H2 blockers. A common OTC medicine called Omez falls under this category.

Prokinetics:
This range of medication fastens up the movement of food through the stomach and is you need to take these at bedtime. This is a stronger option than any of the above and needs to be taken only on the advice of a physician.

Diagnosis
It is best to see a doctor to rule out serious conditions. When there are prolonged incidents of acid rising into the esophagus, it can cause physical damage to the walls of the esophagus. This is when you may start complaining of breathing problems like asthma, tooth decay, nausea, sore throat, and vomiting. These can be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD). To detect it, the doctor may prescribe an endoscopy or a biopsy.

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