Heartburn generally occurs when the stomach is producing too much acid. There is always a certain amount of acid in your stomach, but too much acid can lead to heartburn. Some foods and beverages can have a tendency to increase the amount of stomach acid, so the first step to treat heartburn would be to take a look at what you eat and when.
There are certain foods that can be problematic. These can include tomatoes and foods prepared with tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods and citrus fruits. Beverages that can be hard on your stomach can include alcohol, beverages with caffeine and orange juice or other juices made from citrus fruits.
Medications to Treat Heartburn
The most wide available over-the-counter medications to treat heartburn are antacids. These usually come in tablet form, but can come in a liquid form as well. Antacids treat heartburn by neutralizing the excess acid present in your stomach. They are quite effective for most people, except perhaps those who suffer from chronic heartburn or have problems with acid reflux. Some chronic problems with acid reflux will not be helped by over the counter medications, but for minor problems, they will usually help to a certain degree.
Other over-the-counter medications to treat heartburn are known as histamine receptor antagonists. Generally, these work by decreasing the daily production of stomach acid, and can also be used to help with acid reflux. To treat heartburn with these medications, you should be able to find them at any pharmacy or discount store. Some of these are available by prescription only, but have been shown to be safe enough for over-the-counter use.
If you treat heartburn constantly and nothing seems to work, you will probably want to make an appointment with your doctor. Sometimes acid reflux disease can cause damage to your stomach and esophagus which will need something a little stronger to help the affected areas to heal.
For most people, the way to treat heartburn can be as simple as watching what you eat. The next step if that does not work is over-the-counter medications. Finally, if you can’t find anything to permanently treat heartburn, you will want to speak with your doctor and get professional advice. The good news is that fortunately heartburn is very treatable and generally isn’t a detriment to your health. However, it can be an annoyance at the very least.