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Heartburn Relief Tips

If you’ve ever felt like your chest was on fire after eating a big or greasy meal, then you’re probably familiar with heartburn. Whether it happens to you occasionally or more often, you can take simple steps to soothe the burn. Learn more about why heartburn happens, who’s at risk, and how to stop -- and prevent -- the pain.

Video Transcript

Mayo Clinic: ""<br>Cleveland Clinic: ""; AudioJungle; bhofack2; Dimitri Vervitsiotis; iStock.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

Heartburn Basics

What is heartburn?

Heartburn, sometimes called acid indigestion, is a painful, burning feeling in the middle of your chest or the upper part of your stomach. The pain, which can also spread to your neck, jaw, or arms, can last just a few minutes or stick with you for hours.

What causes heartburn?

There’s a muscle at the entrance of your stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), that acts like a gate: It opens to let food move from your esophagus to your for 1 last update 2020/07/08 stomach, and it shuts to stop food and acid from coming back out.There’s a muscle at the entrance of your stomach, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), that acts like a gate: It opens to let food move from your esophagus to your stomach, and it shuts to stop food and acid from coming back out.

When the LES opens too often or isn’t tight enough, stomach acid can rise up into the esophagus and cause the burning feeling.

What triggers heartburn?

Triggers vary from person to person, but you may be more likely to get heartburn when you:

  • Overeat
  • Eat spicy, fatty, or greasy foods
  • Lie down after you eat
  • Are under stress

Who for 1 last update 2020/07/08 gets heartburn? Who gets heartburn?

Some people have a higher risk of heartburn, including those who are:

How for 1 last update 2020/07/08 should I change my diet to avoid heartburn? How should I change my diet to avoid heartburn?

You might have noticed that your heartburn gets worse when you eat or drink certain things. Here are a few that can trigger heartburn:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Fatty or fried foods
  • Greasy foods
  • Onions
  • Oranges, lemons, and other citrus fruits and juices
  • Peppermint
  • Sodas and other bubbly drinks
  • Spicy foods
  • Tomatoes and tomato sauce

Big meals can also set off heartburn. Instead of eating three big meals a day, try to eat several small meals throughout the day.

Continued

What else can I do to prevent heartburn?

What Does Chamomile Tea Help With Treatment (☑ Foods To Avoid) | What Does Chamomile Tea Help With Foods That Fight Hearbturnhow to What Does Chamomile Tea Help With for Here are a few steps to try:

  • Lose weight if you’re overweight. Extra pounds put pressure on your stomach, forcing more acid up into your esophagus.
  • Wear loose clothing. Tight clothes that press on your stomach can trigger heartburn.
  • If you smoke, quit. Cigarette smoke relaxes the muscle that prevents acid from backing up into the esophagus. It also may increase how much acid your stomach makes.
  • Check your medicines. Regular use of anti-inflammatory and pain medicines (other than acetaminophen) contributes to heartburn.
  • Avoid high-impact exercise.

If heartburn bothers you at night:

  • Eat a light dinner and avoid foods that trigger your heartburn.
  • Don’t lie down for at least 2 to 3 hours after you eat.
  • Use blocks or books to raise the head of your bed by 4-6 inches. Or put a foam wedge under your mattress at the head of the bed. Sleeping at an angle will help stop acid from backing up into your esophagus.

Can exercise cause heartburn?

Exercise has more than a few health perks. Among them is weight loss, which can help you avoid getting heartburn in the first place if you are overweight. But some types of exercise can trigger the burning sensation. You’ll be less likely to reach for your heartburn medicine if you avoid crunches and inverted poses in yoga. You may need to find alternatives to high-impact workouts. For example, bicycle or swim instead of going for a run.

What is GERD?

Everyone has heartburn from time to time. But the 1 last update 2020/07/08 when you have it frequently (at least twice a week for a few weeks), or when it begins to interfere with your daily life or damage your esophagus, your doctor may tell you that you have a long-term condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It’s also known as acid reflux disease. Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD.Everyone has heartburn from time to time. But when you have it frequently (at least twice a week for a few weeks), or when it begins to interfere with your daily life or damage your esophagus, your doctor may tell you that you have a long-term condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It’s also known as acid reflux disease. Heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD.

What are other symptoms of GERD?

Besides the frequent burning in your chest, you might also have symptoms like:

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Is it GERD or something else?

Frequent heartburn is a symptom of GERD, but it may also signal a more serious condition, like an ulcer or irritation of the stomach lining. It’s important to get help if you have heartburn frequently so you can avoid complications from GERD and uncover any other problems. Call your doctor or make an appointment with a gastroenterologist, who specializes in digestive illnesses.

Many of the symptoms of heartburn sound like a heart attack. If you’re not sure, call 911.

What are the complications of frequent heartburn and GERD?

Over time, heartburn that isn’t treated or controlled well by lifestyle changes or medicine may cause serious problems, including:

  • Breathing problems like asthma, nighttime choking, and repeated pneumonia
  • Changes in the cells that line the esophagus, called Barrett’s esophagus. This can lead to cancer of the esophagus.
  • Painful inflammation of the esophagus called esophagitis
  • Narrowing of the esophagus, called esophageal stricture. This can cause problems swallowing.

What medicines can I take to treat heartburn?

What Does Chamomile Tea Help With Foods To Eat And Avoid (👍 Foods That Can Help) | What Does Chamomile Tea Help With Heartburn Reliefhow to What Does Chamomile Tea Help With for Several types of over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medicines can help with heartburn. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you find the one that’s right for you.

Over-the-Counter Heartburn Relief

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Type of medicine

How they work

How fast they start working

How long the effects last

Side effects

for 1 last update 2020/07/08 Antacids Antacids

 

What Does Chamomile Tea Help With Help Relieve (🔴 Tests) | What Does Chamomile Tea Help With 10 Drinks To Avoidhow to What Does Chamomile Tea Help With for They neutralize stomach acid.

Within for 1 last update 2020/07/08 secondsWithin seconds

Up to 3 hours

Some cause constipation and diarrhea.Some cause constipation and diarrhea.

H2 Blockers

 

They lower the amount of acid your stomach makes.

In about 30 minutes

Up to 12 hours

They may cause constipation, diarrhea, headache, nausea, or vomiting.

 

Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

 

They lower the amount of acid your stomach makes.

Up to 4 days

Up to 24 hours

They may cause diarrhea, headache, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

the 1 last update 2020/07/08   

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Continued

Antacids

What type of antacid should I choose?

Soothe occasional, mild heartburn with an antacid that contains calcium carbonate or magnesium. They help neutralize stomach acid. Some prevent acid reflux. Those that contain magnesium may also help heal stomach ulcers. They come in liquids and pills and are fast-acting.

What are the side effects of antacids?

Antacids can cause constipation and diarrhea. Look for brands that contain calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, and aluminum hydroxide to reduce these side effects. Don’t take antacids with magnesium if you have chronic kidney disease. Some antacids have a lot of salt, so you should take them only for occasional heartburn.

H2 Blockers

H2 blockers help relieve and prevent occasional heartburn by lowering the amount of acid your stomach makes. Though they don’t work as fast as antacids, their effects last longer. Your doctor may tell you to take an antacid and an H2 blocker together. H2 blockers are for short-term use -- less than 2 weeks. You can take them before your meals to prevent heartburn, or at bedtime. They come in liquids and pills.

All H2 blockers work about the same. So if one doesn’t help with your heartburn, switching to a different one isn’t likely to help. Switching to a higher-dose prescription version of the drug might help, though. Talk to your doctor if over-the-counter H2 blockers aren''s causing the problem:

  • pH test. This measures the acidity of your esophagus. The doctor will either attach a small sensor to your esophagus or place a thin tube down your esophagus.
  • Endoscopy. A long, thin tube with a light on the end is put down your esophagus so your doctor can look inside your esophagus and stomach. Endoscopy can look for problems such as an ulcer or narrowing inside your esophagus.
  • X-ray. You’ll drink a liquid that coats the inside of your digestive tract. Then X-rays are taken, which will allow your doctor to see the outline of your digestive system.

What Does Chamomile Tea Help With 6 Ways To Get Relief During (👍 Natural) | What Does Chamomile Tea Help With 9 Ways To Relievehow to What Does Chamomile Tea Help With for Continued

When is heartburn an emergency?

Heartburn is usually a minor problem that goes away over time. But if you also have other symptoms, it could be a sign that something more serious is wrong. Call your doctor or go to the emergency room if:

  • It hurts to swallow.
  • You feel like you’re choking.
  • You have black, tarry-looking bowel movements.
  • Your mouth or throat hurt when you eat.
  • Your voice is hoarse.
  • Your vomit contains blood or what looks like coffee grounds.
  • You have trouble breathing.

Is it heartburn or a heart attack?

Heartburn doesn’t affect your heart, but it can feel a lot like the chest for 1 last update 2020/07/08 pain that happens during a heart attack. Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain, even if you’re not sure that you’re having a heart attack:Heartburn doesn’t affect your heart, but it can feel a lot like the chest pain that happens during a heart attack. Call 911 if you have any of these symptoms along with chest pain, even if you’re not sure that you’re having a heart attack:

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by James Beckerman, MD, FACC on May 02, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

AHRQ: “Treatment Options for GERD or Acid Reflux Disease: A Review of the Research for Adults.”

American Academy the 1 last update 2020/07/08 of Family Physicians: “Heartburn.”

American College of Gastroenterology: “Acid Reflux.”

American Gastroenterological Association: “Understanding Heartburn and Reflux Disease.”

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: “Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.”

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: “Cimetidine.”

Brahm, N. The Consultant Pharmacist, April 2011.

Cleveland Clinic: “GERD and Asthma.”

FDA: “Possible Increased Risk of Bone Fractures with Certain Antacid Drugs.”

Hye-kyung J. Journal of Neurogastroenterol the 1 last update 2020/07/08 Motility, January 2010.Hye-kyung J. Journal of Neurogastroenterol Motility, January 2010.

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Exercise & GI Symptoms.”

Katz, P. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2013.

NHLBI: “What are the symptoms of a heart attack?”

NIDDK: “Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults.”

Thompson, W. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Sources

SOURCES:

AHRQ: “Treatment Options for GERD or Acid Reflux Disease: A Review of the Research for Adults.”

American Academy of Family Physicians: “Heartburn.”

American College of Gastroenterology: “Acid Reflux.”

American Gastroenterological Association: “Understanding Heartburn and Reflux Disease.”

American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy: “Understanding Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.”

American Society of Health-System Pharmacists: “Cimetidine.”

Brahm, N. The Consultant Pharmacist, April 2011.

Cleveland Clinic: “GERD and Asthma.”

FDA: “Possible Increased Risk of Bone Fractures with Certain Antacid Drugs.”

Hye-kyung J. Journal of Neurogastroenterol the 1 last update 2020/07/08 Motility, January 2010.Hye-kyung J. Journal of Neurogastroenterol Motility, January 2010.

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders: “Exercise & GI Symptoms.”

Katz, P. American Journal of Gastroenterology, 2013.

NHLBI: “What are the symptoms of a heart attack?”

NIDDK: “Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) in Adults.”

Thompson, W. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.

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