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How to Get Rid of Heartburn Fast

how to get rid of heartburn fast

Heartburn can be an unpleasant and even painful symptom to experience. It is typically characterized by a burning sensation or discomfort in the chest, often behind the breastbone, which results from stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus. Fortunately, there are several simple methods for stopping heartburn in its tracks or reducing your chances of getting heartburn in the first place. Read on to learn how to get rid of heartburn fast. 

How To Get Rid of Heartburn Fast

The best way to beat heartburn is to lower your chances of experiencing it all together. By taking proactive steps to make lifestyle changes, you can avoid triggers that may exacerbate acid reflux, which may cause heartburn.

If you’re looking to decrease the frequency of heartburn and take control of your symptoms, there are a few helpful tips you can follow. These simple strategies can make a real difference in managing heartburn more effectively.

1. Maintain good eating habits

If you’re prone to experiencing heartburn, it’s wise to steer clear of trigger foods, especially those that have previously caused heartburn symptoms. Some examples of problematic foods include:

  • Onions
  • High-fat fried foods
  • Citrus fruits like oranges
  • Tomato-based products
  • Alcoholic beverages

To lessen the likelihood of experiencing reflux or heartburn, it’s a good idea to avoid lying down immediately after eating. Wait two to three hours before lying down, and avoid heavy late-night meals. Opting for smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day decreases the chances of experiencing nighttime heartburn symptoms.

2. Consider weight loss

Losing weight can help lessen heartburn episodes. Studies have shown that being overweight increases abdominal pressure, which can cause stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus, causing the sensation of heartburn. Maintaining a healthy weight relieves extra pressure on the abdomen and helps prevent nagging heartburn symptoms.

3. Dress comfortably

Even your clothing choices can negatively affect your heartburn symptoms. It’s best to avoid tightfitting clothing as it adds pressure to the abdomen, increasing the risk of heartburn. Skipping tight belts and waistbands and opting for comfortable, loose clothing is a better choice.

4. Elevate the head of the bed

Elevating the head of your bed can help put an end to nighttime heartburn. The most effective approach is to place a wedge between your mattress and box spring or bed frame to achieve this. Relying on extra pillows is not recommended as they tend to shift around during the night and may not provide the necessary consistent head and upper body elevation.

When You Need Fast Relief

Over-the-counter and prescription medications can help relieve heartburn symptoms if you need immediate relief. These medications include antacids and acid blockers such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPI).

1. Antacids

Antacids like Pepto-Bismol and calcium carbonate neutralize stomach acid, promptly relieving heartburn symptoms. Antacids work right away, though they do not treat the underlying cause of heartburn.

2. H2 Blockers

H2 blockers such as cimetidine and famotidine reduce stomach acid production, delivering longer-lasting relief. They typically begin working within the hour and provide up to 12 hours of relief.

3. Proton pump inhibitors

PPIs like omeprazole and esomeprazole decrease stomach acid production and offer extended relief for heartburn. PPIs have a delayed onset of action and can take a few days to be effective, but they provide extended relief.

For severe cases of heartburn, a prescription may be required for more potent doses of antacid medications.

When To See a Doctor

You should see your doctor if you are experiencing persistent heartburn that doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes or medications or if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Chest pain
  • Worsening heartburn

Evaluating your symptoms to rule out more complicated conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD) is essential.

If nothing works to get rid of heartburn fast or you are bothered by chronic heartburn symptoms, schedule an appointment today!

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