Treating Your Heartburn: When Is It Time to Ask for Help?

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Contrary to its name, heartburn doesn’t affect a person’s heart at all. Rather, it’s the burning sensation that’s caused by your stomach acid that goes directly up the path behind your heart, which is where your esophagus is located. Acid reflux is a typical chemical reaction that occurs in the body when the stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, irritating tissues along the way.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a more severe form of acid reflux that has similar starting symptoms to heartburn, which can lead to complications in the body when misdiagnosed.

Taking OTC medicine for your heartburn

Over-the-counter (OTC) medication is a viable solution in dealing with moderate heartburn. Antacids, H2 blockers, and pump inhibitors each deliver different chemical reactions to treat the illness. However, know that it’s not advised to take such medication if you don’t have stomach conditions since suppressing your acid levels may affect your entire digestive process.

Antacids neutralize your stomach’s acid, while pump inhibitors and H2 blockers suppress your stomach’s production of it. OTC solutions usually have fast-acting effects, with more significant results in treating intermittent stomach problems with the addition of lifestyle changes to avoid experiencing heartburn.

Buying products like Tums, Zantac, and Nexium are a decent combination of OTC medicine that you can use to address your heartburn issues. If you experience heartburn regularly, then these medications might not be your best solution in treating it for the long term.

Looking for an underlying condition

Stomach acid plays a fundamental role in our bodies that helps protect us from infection when digesting food. However, it may be necessary to actively suppress our stomach acid to treat various complications that our body faces, such as heartburn.

OTC medicine’s main function is in relieving you of the symptoms while your body naturally corrects and heals its complications. If the symptoms persist, it may be a sign that you actually have a deeper underlying problem that needs to be looked at immediately.  Actively suppressing your body’s stomach acid without addressing the root cause may lead you to misdiagnose your condition as heartburn when a more severe body complication is preventing you from healing.

Assessing your need to seek a medical professional

If you’re experiencing regurgitation or heartburn for more than once a week, you should seek a medical professional as soon as possible. People who have chronic acid reflux need to get a proper diagnosis of their condition to assess the scope of the damage to their esophagus.

If medications don’t prove to be an effective solution, other treatment options can repair or replace a person’s valve, which is what holds the stomach and esophagus together. Depending on the person’s condition, however, they may be due for operations, such as Laparoscopic fundoplication or transoral incisionless fundoplication.

Conclusion

One viable solution to avoid dealing with expensive medical solutions in treating heartburn or GERD is by maintaining a healthy diet. Obesity is a major driver of acid reflux because abdominal fat creates structural changes to the valve connecting the esophagus from the stomach. The best way to avoid treatment is by following preventative measures as a habit and not as a response to a symptom.

Keep in mind that acid reflux can be a symptom of a more severe medical condition, which is why we provide safety tips and medical advice in curing and treating it. If you’re looking to find out more about treating your condition, check out our Heartburn No More website today!

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