Heartburn is a medical condition in which the contents of the stomach move backward and upward into the food pipe. Heartburn is also known as gastrointestinal reflux.
The diaphragm and a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter usually prevent heartburn. However, this muscle can sometimes relax and leave the food pipe unprotected from stomach acid.
Heartburn is experienced when stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of the food pipe.
10 simple remedies for heartburn relief.
There are some things that people can do to prevent and treat the symptoms of heartburn. Not all remedies work or are safe for everyone, however. It is important for people to speak with their doctor about the best remedy for them.
Simple remedies for heartburn relief include:
Quitting smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke.
Wearing loose fitting clothing to avoid unnecessary pressure on the stomach.
Considering prescription medications: People with heartburn should also speak with their doctor to see if the use of prescription medications is right for them.
People who are in need of losing weight or are obese may want to consider a diet and exercise weight loss program. Each person reacts to these changes differently, however. It is important to speak with a healthcare provider about losing weight.
Raising the head of the bed:
There are many ways to raise the head of the bed to allow gravity to reduce the symptoms of heartburn. Placing blocks under the top bedposts, raising the bed by around 6-8 inches may work. Foam wedges can also be placed between the mattress and box spring to raise the angle of the head of the bed. Pillows are not effective in reducing heartburn symptoms.
Trying over-the-counter medications:
People with heartburn should speak with their doctor about over-the-counter medications to relieve their symptoms. They may be recommended to try antacids, acid reducers like famotidine or ranitidine, or acid blockers such as lansoprazole and omeprazole.