Heartburn and Acid Reflux Help

 

 

Heartburn, Acid Reflux and GERD

 

If you’re reading this, you know the feeling … that sensation of burning in the chest caused by stomach acid backing up into the esophagus. 

 

The burning is usually in the upper and central part of the chest, just behind the sternum (breast bone). The burning can worsen or can be brought on by lying flat or on the right side.

 

Many people experience heartburn and there are a large number of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and home remedies available to treat heartburn or the symptoms of heartburn.

 

In most cases you will not need to see a health-care professional, except if the symptoms are frequent (several times a week) or severe.

 

Due to physiological changes that occur with aging, elderly people are more apt to suffer from heartburn (also called acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux – GERD).   People over age 65 are often prescribed medications that alter the GI tract and can lead to senior GERD.

 

Often, over-the-counter medications can remedy modest acid reflux or GERD. However, an individual should see his primary care physician if he frequently takes antacids; if he has symptoms more than three times a week; if symptoms occur for more than a few years; or if over-the-counter medications do not ease pain.

 

Common symptoms include:

 

  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Non-exertion chest pain when lying down or waking up
  • A bitter taste in the mouth
  • Food regurgitation in the mouth
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Food getting stuck while swallowing

 

GERD occurs when the esophageal tube between the mouth and stomach is being damaged. Usually the muscular valve at the bottom of the esophagus-called the lower esophageal sphincter or LES-keeps stomach content inside the stomach. When a person swallows, the LES opens, letting food and beverages into the stomach; then the LES closes.

 

If the LES weakens or relaxes abnormally, episodes of reflux ensue. The stomach contents-be it acid, food or enzymes-causes injury to the esophagus lining, leading to a burning sensation.

 

 

This feeling is a common occurrence: more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month.

 

See the bottom of this post for my best heartburn and GERD treatment recommendation: Heartburn No More

 

 

Causes include:

 

  • Certain foods and beverages, including tomato sauce; carbonated beverages; alcoholic drinks; caffeine; chocolate; mint; onions; and spicy, greasy, fatty, or fried foods

 

  • Lying down within two hours of eating

 

  • Some medications, including calcium channel blockers, sedatives, tranquilizers, and asthma medications

 

  • Cigarette smoking

 

  • Eating large meals

 

  • Wearing tight clothing

 

 

Risk factors associated with the GI tract also cause senior GERD:

 

  • being overweight
  • suffering from a hiatal hernia
  • asthma
  • peptic ulcer
  • delayed stomach emptying
  • connective tissue disorders such as scleroderma, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

 

Often a primary care physician will prescribe a strong antacid for senior GERD, and symptoms ease. If this doesn’t happen or manifestations are severe, a patient undergoes further testing under the guidance of a gastroenterologist. A gastroenterologist can help severe GERD sufferers navigate the numerous treatment options.

 

Likewise, people with mild or moderate symptoms should consult with their primary care physician if over-the-counter remedies don’t alleviate symptoms. Although reflux is a common problem, relief is usually readily available.

 

If your GERD is mild to moderate, there are a variety of heartburn medicines available over the counter to relieve symptoms. If these fail to relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about other available heartburn treatment options. Your doctor may want to evaluate you for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

 

 

See the bottom of this post for my best heartburn and GERD treatment recommendation: Heartburn No More


 

 

Antacids For Heartburn

 

 

Antacids neutralize stomach acid to help relieve heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and stomach upset. Some antacids also contain simethicone, an ingredient that helps eliminate excess gas.

 

 

Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Relief Tablets- Lemon Lime, 36-Count Boxes (Pack of 4)

Examples of antacids include:

 

 

Phillips Milk Of Magnesia liquid mint 200ml

Gaviscon Extra Strength 100 Tablets
Rolaids Softchews, Strawberry, 12 Count (Pack of 6)
Pepto-Bismol 5 Symptom Relief Including Upset Stomach and Diarrhea Liquid, 12 Ounce (Pack of 3)

 

 

You should take antacids exactly as directed by your doctor, or according to the package label. If you are using the tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief.

 

Be aware that some antacids contain ingredients that can cause diarrhea, such as magnesium, or constipation, such as aluminum.  You may have to experiment a bit to see which ones work best for you without causing side effects.

 

 

Acid Reducers (H2 Antagonists or Blockers) For Heartburn

 

There are two types of drugs that work to reduce the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists (H2 antagonists or H2 blockers) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Examples of H2 blockers available over the counter include:

Nizatidine (Axid AR)

Famotidine (Pepcid AC)

Cimetidine (Tagamet HB)

Ranitidine (Zantac 75)

Tagamet Acid Reducer, 200mg, 30-count Tablets, 30 Count

 

Zantac 75 Regular Strength Tablets, 80 Count

 

 

Proton Pump Inhibitors

The FDA has approved the proton pump inhibitors lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), and esomeprazole (Nexium 24HR) for over-the-counter use to treat frequent heartburn (two or more times per week) for 14 days. All of these drugs are also available as prescriptions. Take these drugs according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.

Prevacid 24HR, 15 mg Caps 42-CountNexium 24HR Capsules, 84 CapsulesPrilosec OTC Frequent Heartburn Medicine and Acid Reducer Tablets, 42 Count

If these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or persist for longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor.

 

 

 

Combination Antacid/Acid Reducer for Heartburn

 

Pepcid Complete combines the acid-neutralizing capability of an antacid and the acid-reducing actions of an H2 blocker and Zegerid OTC combines a PPI with sodium bicarbonate.

 

Pepcid Complete Dual Action Acid Reducer and Antacid Berry Flavored Chewable Tablets 100 Count Bottle

 

Zegerid OTC Capsules, 42-count

 

 


 

Which drugstore medication is most effective?

 

All of these over-the-counter medicines, to a varying degree, can be effective in relieving the symptoms of heartburn. People who have more severe heartburn symptoms that aren’t relieved with these medications or who have been using these drugs for more than two weeks should contact their doctor. They may need a stronger prescription medicine and testing to see what is causing their symptoms.

 

 

My Best Recommendation:

 

Heartburn No More™ - Heartburn Cure Book

Heartburn No More – A Proven Drug Free Holistic System for Eliminating Acid Reflux and Heartburn

 

The Heartburn No More program is an original high quality product and one of the most comprehensive holistic acid reflux solutions I have come across in my research.

 

The Heartburn No More book contains over 180 pages of rock solid content and outlines never seen before clinically proven methods to cure and prevent acid reflux, and has a money-back guarantee.

 

Read my full review of the Heartburn No More System.

 

 

 

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