Finding Heartburn Relief through Available Treatment Options

Sep 26 06:50 2008 Krishan Bakhru Print This Article

For most of us, heartburn is a painful but infrequent problem that usually begins shortly after a large meal and continues for a few hours or until heartburn relief is given.

It is characterized by a burning pain in the chest area and may also include a sour taste in te throat as the stomach acids work their way back up the digestive tract. There are many treatment options available for this annoying condition,Guest Posting and the right remedy for you will depend on the frequency and severity of your symptoms. Over the counter medications are where most people usually begin searching for heartburn relief, but if these products don't work effectively for you, your doctor has other options available.

Over the Counter

There are numerous medications for heartburn relief that are sold over the counter, beginning with the tried and true antacids that work for many people. Sold under commercial names like Tums and Rolaids, these chewable tablets that include active ingredients like calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide can neutralize the stomach acid and stop the painful burning associated with it. The advantage to antacids is that they can work quickly to alleviate the symptoms; the downside is that the relief may not last as long as you would like.

Another good option in heartburn relief is an H-2 receptor blocker like Tagamet or Pepcid. These medications used to only be available by prescription, but are now offered at a lower strength over the counter. These medicines provide heartburn relief by reducing the acid production in your body. This type of remedy will bring longer lasting relief than the antacids will, but more time is required for the medications to take effect. The recommendation is to take an H-2 receptor blocker an hour before eating a meal that you know will give you heartburn for the most effective relief.

For those who suffer from frequent bouts of heartburn or acid reflux disease, it may not be enough to simply provide heartburn relief from the painful symptoms. Sometimes the back up of acids into the esophagus can actually damage the lining, and the acid must be kept at bay in order for healing to take place. This is where proton pump inhibitors come into play, because these medications can actually block acid production and give the esophagus time to heal. The most common type of proton pump inhibitor is Prilosec, and this medication is now available over the counter for short term heartburn relief.

If you suffer from an occasional bout of heartburn, over the counter antacids and H-2 receptor blockers are usually enough to bring effective heartburn relief. However, if you experience heartburn more than once a week, it is a good idea to talk to your doctor about other treatment options.

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