Treating Heartburn at Home
There are two different groups of people in Macon who suffer from heartburn. There are those who experience heartburn every once in a while as a result of a poor dietary choices, and then there are those who cope with the lingering pain day in and day out. Those in this later group are often dealing with more than simple heartburn. Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is a common disorder in which the lower esophageal sphincter or LES becomes dysfunctional, allowing acid to backwash out of the stomach repeatedly. While making changes can sometimes alleviate the symptoms of GERD, the only real treatment available is through your GERD surgeon.
For those who are not suffering from GERD and are looking for ways to cope with their irregular heartburn, or regular heartburn that is not bothering them more than once a week, then it may be possible to find relief at home through supplements, lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.
How Can One Treat Heartburn at Home?
Although there are many ways to begin treating heartburn at home, contact your GERD doctor in Macon for an advanced treatment like Nissen fundoplication if symptoms do not go away or worsen.
- First, change your diet. Instead of overwhelming your stomach by eating two or three large meals throughout the day, break it down into five smaller meals throughout the day. This not only helps prevent heartburn, but also facilitates weight loss.
- Avoid foods that can exacerbate heartburn. These include alcohol, chocolate, mint, coffee, spicy foods, and highly acidic foods, such as oranges and tomatoes. Pay attention to your body’s reaction to the foods you eat and avoid those that tend to make symptoms worse.
- Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Smoking can be one of the worst enemies of heartburn, and can often eliminate your ability to enjoy otherwise heartburn-friendly foods.
- Try over-the-counter medication to prevent and treat heartburn. Popular brands of medication include Tums, Mylanta, Maalox, Pepto Bismol, and Gaviscon. These medications should only be used for occasional treatment. If your symptoms call for more frequent treatment, consult a medical professional to receive the extensive medical treatment your condition might call for.
- Try supplements: Certain herbs are noted for their ability to aid in digestion, including ginger and many teas. There are also supplements available over-the-counter at many food stores that are known to calm stomach acids.
Before you start making any diet changes or add any supplements or medications to your daily routine make sure to consult with your GERD surgeon.