Treating heartburn

August 24, 2007 RENU

It has nothing to do with heart, but can feel like a burning pain/pressure near the heart. It is caused when stomach acid flows backward/refluxes into esophagus, the tube that runs from throat to stomach. This acid is kept in place by a muscular valve called LES valve, between esophagus & stomach. If valve relaxes too much/doesn’t work right, acid can flow backward into esophagus, causing burning pain, irritation, & sometimes tissue damage. What you eat, lifestyle you choose are the most likely chances of getting heartburn. Also hernia etc health problems & some medicines can weaken the LES valve. Luckily, it is only a minor problem for most people unless occurs several times a week.
Ways to prevent heartburn are-
  • Sit straight during meals, stand up/walk around after eating, don’t lie down/go to bed for 2-3hrs after eating.
  • Eat small meals & slowly, as if too much food, may leak through LES valve.
  • Loosen up tight clothing/belts, loose weight if obese.
  • Avoid greasy/fatty foods, spicy or acidic foods (like tomato), chocolate, peppermint, caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, smoking as increase acid production & relax the LES valve.
  • Raise your head & upper body by putting a foam wedge(from health stores) under head & shoulders.
  • Avoid medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, motrin, naproxen or other anti-inflammatory drugs as cause heartburn. Try acetaminophen(tylenol) instead.
  • Reduce stress, as can increase acid production & slow down the rate at which stomach empties. This increases the risk.
  1. 1st drink 1gl water to wash acid back down your throat.
  2. Steep some ginger grate in boiling water 10mts, drink. Good for digestion.
  3. Drink milk. Ca will counteract some of the acid & fats coat throat to protect from burns.
  4. Sliced radish, cucumber counteract spicy foods, provide cooling effect.
  5. Drink carrot juice as highly alkaline.
  6. Remain straight as much as possible. Use extra pillows to sleep
  7. Lay down on ur left side where ur stomach is located, lowering it away from oesophagus to prevent acids from moving back up oesophagus.
  8. If u’re h.burn prone, avoid eating right before bedtime.
  9. If occurs often & keeps u from sleeping at night, could be sign of acid reflux disease.
  10. If skin turns blue or pale & clammy while suffering h.burn, can be h.attack.
  11. Antacids neutralise acid & prevent stomach contents flowing back into oesophagus. Ex: tums, maalox, etc.
  12. Acid blockers reduce the production of stomach acid. Ex: Pepcid AC, zantac etc.
  13. If difficult to ctrl with antacids, try H2 blockers which reduce amount of acid stomach produces.
  14. Increase fiber, absorbs excess acids.
  15. Drink green tea.
  16. Drink herbal tea with sm equal amounts, chamomille, ginger, licorice root, catnip after dinner.
  17. If regular, may have GERD(gastroesophageal reflux disease) which can lead to other health problems.
  18. Call doctor if symptoms last for more than 2wks despite home treatment, if there is blood in vomit or stools, have pain swallowing solid foods.

Entry Filed under: Home t.ment

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