Heartburn is familiar to almost all of us..

This unpleasant feeling occurs when acidic gastric contents come in contact with the mucous membrane of the esophagus..

Heartburn is often accompanied by burning behind the sternum or in the neck, a change in taste, cough and hoarseness.

Heartburn, which occurs regularly and worries for several hours, may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It is characterized by frequent bouts of heartburn, damage to the mucous membrane of the esophagus, blood loss and weight loss..

Although many diseases and conditions that cause heartburn require a doctor's consultation and examination, today we will offer you 10 simple ways and means of getting rid of heartburn at home.

Remember that none of them will replace your call to a specialist!

1. Refusal of active and passive smoking.

2. Wearing spacious clothing that does not create excessive pressure on the stomach.

3. Over-the-counter antacid heartburn medications.

Classic OTC drugs for heartburn include almagel, maalox, rennie, etc. If they are not enough to relieve symptoms, be sure to consult a doctor without continuing self-medication.

4. Weight Loss.

Normalizing body weight and improving the diet sometimes helps get rid of heartburn. To do this, you can connect a physical exercise program, but each person reacts to loads differently, especially with heartburn.

5. Prescription drugs.

If OTC drugs do not work, your doctor may prescribe ranitidine, famotidine, or proton pump blockers (lansoprazole, esomeprazole).

6. Headboard lift.

If heartburn hurts you mostly at night, then let gravity do the trick, and just lift the head of the bed. Gastric contents will become more difficult to get up the esophagus, and you can get rid of heartburn. Will require an adjustable bed or special blocks - soft pillows are ineffective!

7. Herbal remedies for heartburn.

The experience of using medicinal plants for heartburn is thousands of years old, and in recent years, Western evidence-based medicine has begun to recognize many of them. So, Mayo Clinic (USA) recommends liquorice, chamomile, red elm and marshmallow for heartburn. It is not worth taking herbs without consulting a doctor.

8. Acupuncture.

The impact on the reflex points of the body has a limited evidence base, but continues to be prescribed by many foreign and domestic specialists..

9. Relaxation.

It is known that the work of our digestive system is under the control of the brain, and therefore doctors advise more rest, relaxation and avoid stress. Special methods and techniques of progressive muscle relaxation can save you from heartburn.

10. Diet Correction.

Last by number, but not by value. Nutrition changes should open your fight against heartburn: avoid spicy, fatty, chocolate, coffee, tomatoes, garlic, peppermint, alcohol, cola and similar drinks!

People who regularly complain of heartburn are advised to sit or walk for at least 3 hours after eating. So do not rush to fall on the sofa after a hearty dinner.

By the way, it’s better to eat in small portions, trying not to eat up 2-3 hours before going to bed.

When you need to see a doctor for heartburn

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases recommends that people with heartburn urgently call a doctor in such situations:

• Profuse recurring vomiting

Vomit green, yellow, red or coffee grounds

• Shortness of breath after an attack of vomiting

• Sore mouth and throat while eating

• pain when swallowing

Possible complications of heartburn

Heartburn complications - inflammation, esophageal ulcers, bleeding, and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Over time, changes may appear in the cells lining the esophagus; this leads to esophageal cancer and Barrett's esophagus. There are areas of narrowing of the esophagus, called strictures.

Possible respiratory complications.

Risk factors that increase the risk of developing GERD:

• Pregnancy

• The presence of hiatal hernia

• Active or passive smoking

• Overweight and obesity

• Violation of gastric emptying

• Scleroderma

• dry mouth

• Asthma

The risk of developing GERD is increased in individuals taking drugs for asthma, allergic diseases, chronic pain, hypertension, depression and insomnia.

Adverse effects of heartburn include alcohol, caffeine, energy drinks, chocolate, sour foods and juices..

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