Have you ever had a delicious meal, only to feel a sensation of burning or tightness in your throat or chest?
This common condition is known as heartburn, and it’s an issue many of us will experience at one point or another. Research suggests that a fifth of U.S. adults have occasional heartburn, with 10% experiencing it every day.
However, what happens when your heartburn doesn’t seem to go away?
When you suffer from chronic heartburn, figuring out the cause and best form of treatment can be frustrating. If this sounds familiar, don’t stress: we’ve got you covered. Here’s what you should know about heartburn, from the basics of this condition to your best course of action.
First and foremost, what is heartburn?
You might hear the common term “heartburn” used interchangeably with medical terms like “chronic acid reflux” or “gastroesophageal reflux disease.”
Heartburn happens when the contents of your stomach, including various acids, leak back into your esophagus, which is the tube that connects your throat and stomach. This leakage happens when the valve at the bottom of your esophagus doesn’t close all the way.
This can lead to an irritation of your esophagus. Many people experience this irritation as a burning sensation, which gives heartburn its name.
There are a few common causes of heartburn:
If you experience heartburn for a long period of time, your doctor may diagnose you with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
As stated above, one of the most common sensations associated with chronic heartburn is a burning sensation in the throat, chest, or esophagus. This often happens after eating, and it may also happen at night when you’re in bed.
However, there are several other symptoms you should keep an eye out for if you believe you may have this condition.
Because the symptoms of heartburn can be so similar to those of a heart attack, it’s crucial to know the difference between the two.
If you’re suffering from this chronic condition, there are a few key things to know about heartburn treatment.
In most cases, you can treat mild to moderate heartburn with over-the-counter medications. These medications can help relieve most heartburn symptoms in a few key ways:
However, if you find that these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, you should reach out to your doctor for help. They may recommend X-rays, an endoscopy, or an ambulatory acid probe test to see whether your chronic heartburn is a sign of GERD.
Whether or not this is the case, a doctor can help you find prescription-strength versions of the medications you need.
As stronger versions of over-the-counter formulas, these medications can provide additional relief and even help manage any specific symptoms you’re struggling with.
In addition, talking to a doctor can help you decide whether you need multiple types of medication to address your symptoms, as combining multiple options may be your best bet.
It’s worth noting that medications shouldn’t be your only plan of attack when it comes to addressing your chronic heartburn. In fact, a few simple changes to your daily habits can be a great help in easing this condition.
Certain foods trigger heartburn more often than others, so it’s a good idea to cut them out of your diet where possible. Every person will experience slight differences in trigger foods, but there are a few common culprits to watch out for:
Some people with heartburn can eat these foods in small quantities, while others find they need to avoid them altogether. In addition, many people find relief in eating smaller meals more often instead of larger meals, as the latter can contribute to more stomach acid production.
Lying down can feel like a major trigger for people with heartburn, but it’s important to consider when and how you do so. Avoid lying down right after eating, and make sure to eat dinner a few hours before bed. It may also help to elevate your head and chest while sleeping by using a foam wedge.
Certain medications can trigger heartburn. These include painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen as well as certain blood pressure drugs. Check the labels of any medications you’re taking, and check with your doctor about finding alternatives.
Chronic heartburn doesn’t have to be a problem you live with day in and day out. If you’re struggling with this frustrating condition, it’s time to get the relief you need. With a few simple lifestyle tweaks and access to the right medications, you can take the burning pain out of your diet completely.
That’s where we come in. At Kiwi Drug, we offer low prices and easy, secure ordering for a huge range of medications, including heartburn treatments. Check out our selection to get heartburn relief fast!