If you are one of the millions of Americans who suffer from painful heartburn, you know how important it is to find a way to relieve heartburn pain. If you are a frequent sufferer, heartburn relief becomes even more crucial, since chronic heartburn can affect your quality of life.
While the actual causes of heartburn are unknown, there are a number of diet and lifestyle elements that can exacerbate your symptoms. Sometimes a simple avoidance of these key elements is all that is required to give you a reprieve from the pain. Other times it may be necessary to move to medications, such as over the counter antacids for help in heartburn relief.
Why Does Heartburn Occur?
Heartburn is the result of stomach acids backing up into the esophagus. Since the esophagus is not lined to protect itself from the acids like the stomach, pain and inflammation can result from the esophagus being exposed to the stomach acid. The pain that is felt is usually located around the breastbone, which is why it is called heartburn even though the heart is not involved in any way.
This pain can become quite intense and radiate into the back, which is why it is sometimes mistaken for a heart attack. One of the compelling reasons for seeking heartburn relief is so that it does not mask the symptoms of a true heart attack. If you are ever in doubt as to the source of the pain you are experiencing, call your doctor or head to the hospital to be sure.
Heartburn Relief can come from Lifestyle Choices
One of the first things you can do for heartburn relief is to stop smoking if you are a smoker. You can also maintain a healthy weight, since obesity can contribute to pressure and resulting heartburn problems. Other things you can try for heartburn relief are to wear loose fitting clothing, especially around your middle, avoid eating right before bed, and refraining from particular foods that seem to make your problem worse.
If basic lifestyle changes aren’t enough to bring the heartburn relief that you are hoping for, over the counter antacids are usually safe and effective to use on a regular basis. If heartburn relief is still slow to come, your doctor can prescribe medication that will relieve your toughest heartburn symptoms. Heartburn is rarely a serious problem, but it can be difficult to deal with if you are experiencing pain and discomfort on a frequent basis. Fortunately there are many avenues you can explore to find satisfactory heartburn relief.