How to Treat Heartburn

Heartburn, a discomfort that affects millions of people around the globe, is caused by the reflux of acid. This means that contents from your stomach flows back up into an oesophagus and leaves a trail of fiery pain just below the ribs.  A person that suffers from this at least three times a week suffers from what is known as GERD, or gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.


What does it feel like to suffer from heartburn? A burning sharp pain that causes great discomfort, and can lead to referred pain into the ribs, arms or throat. It may feel like someone lit a fire behind the ribs, and this typically occurs after eating. Sufferers from heartburn feel like passing out or throwing up when bending over while suffering from a bout of heartburn. 

Heartburn can be serious, but it will not lead to the sufferer dying. The complications occur when nothing is done to cure the heartburn. The chances of oesophageal cancer increase when heartburn is ever present. Common symptoms of GERD sufferers are chronic fatigue, a persistent cough and a bitter taste in the mouth. This condition completely drains people that suffer from it, leaving them sleep deprived as it worsens when they lie down. And we all know that sleep deprivation brings about erratic moods.


Here are a few ways to alleviate the discomfort: avoid using antacids. Contrary to belief, these types of medication makes the heartburn worse instantly. Also avoid eating foods containing any acidic items such as tomatoes, vinegar, spicy foods and believe it or not, chocolate. Tea and coffee also trigger heartburn. Absolutely avoid gassy fluids.

Eat less greasy foods. Fries, a much -oved snack, is like oil on fire because it relaxes the oesophageal sphincter to relax and thus the food reverses up the oesophagus and sets fire to your throat. Sufferers from heartburn also have digestive problems as their food remains in the stomach for longer, and often undigested food causes health problems. Meat is especially tough to digest.

Smaller meals eaten slowly will make the digestion process less painful. It is advisable that you are active immediately after eating a meal. Taking a brisk walk is ideal. The worst you can do is lie down after eating as it will just let the acid flow back to your throat instantly. When you do go to bed, do not sleep flat. Try to sleep in a slightly elevated position to prevent the acid from flowing in the wrong direction.

There are certain medications that also exacerbates acid reflux. If you need to take new medication, remember to inform your doctor or pharmacist about the heartburn problem. Medicines that worsen the acid in your stomach, are ibuprofen, certain medication used by asthma sufferers, some allergy pills, painkillers and sedatives.


If you do feel the need to take an antacid after a heartburn outbreak, there is no better remedy for it than ordinary baking soda. One teaspoonful of the powder in a glass filled with room temperature water will instantly neutralize the acid build-up in your stomach. Another remedy to assist with heartburn is to chew sugar free gum after you have eaten. This will soothe your throat and will help keep the acid reflux to a minimum.


Tobacco and alcohol rob your body of essential fluids, drying up saliva and dehydrating you, both things that bring on acid reflux. Overweight people also suffer more from heartburn in general. Obesity is listed as a cause of worsening GERD because the tube around the stomach area puts extra pressure on the stomach, making it easier for the acid to flow up the oesophagus.


There are some things you can do to help lessen the effect of the acid reflux on your body. Avoid wear clothing that is very tight. When you walk try not to slouch as this forces the valve in your stomach to open. Sip on ginger water when you feel the acid acting up, or if you cannot stomach ginger, chew on a piece of liquorice. Chamomile tea also soothes the acid. Try to avoid drinking milk as it may worsen the acid reflux.

fundoplication surgery

If all else fails, you may need an operation called fundoplication surgery.

During a fundoplication medical procedure, the upper bend of the stomach (the fundus) is folded over the oesophagus and sewn into place with the goal that the lower part of the oesophagus goes through a little passage of stomach muscle. This medical procedure fortifies the valve between the oesophagus and stomach (lower oesophageal sphincter), which prevents corrosive fluid from moving up into the oesophagus. This permits the oesophagus to recuperate.

This technique is done via the midsection or the chest. The direct chest approach is frequently used if an individual is overweight or has a short oesophagus. It is done via a laparoscopic method. Results are best when the medical procedure is performed by a specialist with experience in this field.

When an individual has a hiatal hernia, which can cause gastroesophageal reflux ailment (GERD) indications, it will be fixed at the same time during this medical procedure. During the open medical procedure (which requires an enormous cut) is done, you will remain in the emergency clinic for a few days. A general sedative is administered, which makes you sleep through the procedure.

In case of the laparoscopic technique being performed, you will remain in the medical centre for just 2 to 3 days. A general sedative is given here. You will have less discomfort after medical procedure, as there is no huge wound to recuperate from. After a laparoscopic medical procedure, many people can return to work in around 2 to 3 weeks.

After either medical procedure, you will need to change your eating habits by eating just soft meals until the wound has healed. Make sure that you eat slowly for the food to go down the oesophagus.

Fundoplication medical procedure is frequently used to treat GERD side effects that are probably caused partially by a hiatal hernia. The medical procedure may likewise be performed on certain individuals who do not have a hiatal hernia. Medical procedures might also be an alternative when:

-Treatment with drugs does not totally ease your illness, and the rest of the side effects are being brought about by reflux of stomach juices.

-You do not need, or you cannot take, prescriptions over a long timeframe to control your GERD side effects, and you are willing to forego the dangers of a medical procedure.

-You have side effects that do not satisfactorily improve when treated with medications. Instances of these indications are asthma, a raspy voice, or bouts of coughing combined with reflux.

In the vast majority who have a laparoscopic medical procedure for GERD, the medical procedure improves their situation and fixes the harm done to the oesophagus.

After some time, a few people may show the same indications again, develop esophagitis, need to take medication, or need another operation.

Medical procedures can cause new and problematic things. A few people experience great difficulty taking in food, remain bloated, or experience some difficulty belching.

Dangers following fundoplication medical procedure include:

-Trouble swallowing on the grounds that the stomach is wrapped excessively high on the oesophagus or it is wrapped too firmly.

-The oesophagus sliding out of the wrapped part of the stomach because the valve (lower oesophageal sphincter) is not, at this point held in place.

-Indigestion that returns.

-Swelling and distress from gas development because the individual cannot burp.

-Abundance of gas.

-Dangers of sedation.

-Dangers of significant medical procedure (disease or dying).

For certain individuals, the reactions of a medical procedure, -swelling brought about by gas development, swallow issues, a hurting wound-, are just as annoying as having GERD. The fundoplication methodology cannot be undone, and at times it may not be conceivable to lessen the side effects, even with a subsequent medical procedure.

GERD can be irritating and even excruciating. Be that as it may, it is not a perilous illness. For some individuals, particularly the individuals who have no issues taking medication, a medical procedure is not the right decision.

Yet, when a fundoplication medical procedure is effective, it might end the requirement for long haul treatment with medication. At the stage when you are ready to choose either a medical procedure or treatment with medication, consider the cost, dangers, and potential problems of the medical procedure against the expense and burden of taking medication.

Prior to any medical procedure, extra tests will normally be done to be certain whether a medical procedure was probably going to help fix your GERD and to analyse issues that could be aggravated by a medical procedure.

Medical procedure to treat GERD is seldom done on individuals who:

Are grown-ups that have other medical issues.

Have weak peristalsis in the throat. (These movements are essential to move food down the throat to the stomach. A medical procedure may exacerbate this issue, making food get stuck out in the throat).

Have side effects that may be exacerbated by any medical procedure.

All in all, this is not a disease and discomfort to be taken lightly.


This article does not constitute medical advice and should not be used to treat any type of health-related problems. If you suffer from any health issues, consult with your doctor as soon as possible.

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