Heartburn is a common digestive health problem that affects millions of people regardless of where they live. Some are affected as they get old, while others suffer even when they are still young. When it comes to treatments, there are various remedies for heartburn which a patient can try. Of course, sometimes it is a matter of trying which works to get rid of it, and some so-called treatments are not equal.
Remedies for heartburn can be natural, surgical or in the form of medications. So as you can see, you will not run out of so-called cures - it is just a matter of choosing which works for you. Also, it is best to ask for your doctor's advice when it comes to taking medications because they might have side effects on you, specially if you are taking other medications which might interfere with your treatment.
Here are some common remedies which you can try and what they do.
1. Dietary changes
Heartburn happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, the passageway where the food travels to the stomach, weakens. Because of this, acids from the stomach can reach the esophagus, irritating its lining. If left untreated, it can lead to more serious complications, which might be a lifelong ordeal.
Every heartburn patient is told to avoid certain food and drinks that can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. These include fatty food, tomato-based products, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, oil, butter high in fat, fried food citrus fruits and citrus drinks. On the other hand, you are advised to eat fiber-rich food, food high in complex carbohydrates, legumes and low fat dairy products, fish and meat.
When you eat, chew your food slowly and eat in small amounts. You should also keep a food journal to keep track of anything you ate and drank, and to help determine which of them caused your heartburn.
2. Avoid other heartburn triggers.
There are many factors that can trigger your heartburn, which you should avoid. These include smoking, lying down after eating, obesity and wearing tight apparels. These causes too much pressure on the abdomen and eventually weaken the lower esophageal sphincter.
Smoking deteriorates heartburn and is not at all good for you. On the other hand, if you will lie on your back, you better use a heartburn wedge to elevate your torso and avoid the stomach contents from flowing upwards.
There are surgical procedures to try if you want to treat heartburn. These include:
Laparoscopic Nissen Fundoplication. This is done by tightening the walls of the esophagus in the area next to stomach and increasing more pressure to the LES, in order to prevent acids from entering it. Another way this procedure is performed is by having the esophagus valve tightened in order to seal the esophagus and prevent gastric acid to enter.
Intraluminal endoscopic surgery. This is done by inserting a small instrument inside the part of the patient's body which needs to be operated. Many patients want this procedure because it is quick, has a faster recovery rate, and no post-operatory treatment is required.
Over all, remedies for heartburn can be natural applications done at home, medications or surgical methods. All of them have their own risks involved, so it is up to you to decide if they are worth trying.