Heartburn is a painful burning you feel in your chest or throat when stomach acid comes back up into your esophagus. And if you experience this acid created painful burning sensation more than a couple times a week, you may have GERD.
Typical causes that bring on heartburn are:
- certain foods
- some medications
It is very important to treat your heartburn because stomach acid has the potential to damage your esophagus. OTC antacids or medications that stop acid production can be extremely helpful in stopping the painful affects of heartburn.
Antacids neutralize the acid in your stomach and are usually the first drugs recommended to relieve heartburn and other mild GERD symptoms. Brand name examples are Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Riopan.
If your take Tums, Titralac, and Alka-2 antacids for stopping your burn, then you get an added bonus of a calcium supplement, plus possibly constipation.
Foaming agents work by covering your stomach contents with foam to prevent reflux. Gaviscon is an example.
H2 blockers decrease acid production, provide short-term relief and are effective for about half of those who have GERD symptoms. Tagamet, Pepcid, Axid, Zantac are examples in this burn pain relief category
Proton pump inhibitors are more effective than H2 blockers and can relieve symptoms and heal the esophageal lining in almost everyone who has GERD. Prilosec is a brand that is available in over-the-counter strength.
If your heartburn is experienced after eating, you may want to try taking an antacid along with a H2 blocker. The antacids goes to work right away neutralizing the existing acid in the stomach while the H2 blocker stops further production. Gives the one-two punch to the “present & future” painful burning producers.
And that is a quick blurb on how to get relief from the painful burning in your stomach, commonly referred to as heartburn!