Treating Heartburn with OTC Meds & Preventing Heartburn with Lifestyle Changes

Heartburn symptoms are becoming a common problem these days. According to a recent survey, it has been found that about 10% of total population around the world has heartburn symptoms at least once a week or once a month. If you are having problems related to heartburn, then it is important to relieve yourself from acid reflux. Even though the heartburn symptoms may not be that problematic, getting treatment and the right medication is important to manage the problem related to acid reflux from a local pharmacist or doctor. There are certain medicines available for heartburn problem but one can also use OTC Meds, various home remedies, and make changes in lifestyle that can also make a big difference to this daily heartburn nuisance.

It is important to know the symptoms related to heartburn so that you know when to get proper treatment of heartburn with OTC meds. Some of the heartburn symptoms are:

  • Pain and difficulty while swallowing food.
  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Dark or tarry stool.
  • Chest pain.
  • Shortness of breath and persistent hoarseness or coughing.

Treating Heartburn with OTC Meds

Treating Heartburn with OTC Meds

There are various changes which can be made in your diet and lifestyle that can also help in treating heartburn, but many experts believe that if you are having recurrent problem of acid reflux and heartburn, then there are various OTC meds available to ease the discomfort of heartburn. Many people choose treating their heartburn with over-the-counter medications along with the help of professional advice. Many people choose OTC meds such as antacids initially, which can give a short-term relief in reducing acid reflux and heartburn, but it is not a permanent cure. There is also a possibility that you may consume an OTC antacid one day and start having the same symptoms of heartburn after a couple of hours. There are various OTC heartburn medications available, such as antacids with H2 blockers. These drugs, such as Pepcid, work effectively as they are a combination of two medicines. There are various specific foods that you can think of in order to get rid of heartburn. One can also take OTC meds such as Zantac and Tagamet with H2 blockers just before taking a meal so that it can suppress the acid reflux generated while eating anything. If you are having one or two heartburn episodes per week then you can even plan to go for a different class of OTC meds, such as proton pump inhibitors. These over-the-counter medications can reduce the impact of acid production for a long period of time. It is important to consume these OTC meds for heartburn at least 30 minutes to one hour before the meal. However, one should also consult a doctor before taking any over-the-counter medicine for heartburn.

Preventing Heartburn with Lifestyle Changes

In various cases, it has been found that one can prevent the problem related to heartburn just before it starts. It is important to pay close attention to what you eat and what you should not be eating, so that you can understand what requires preventing heartburn from happening. There are certain lifestyle changes and tips that you need to apply in your diet apart from exercise.

  • Avoiding consumption of fatty products, such as cheese or oily products in your daily food intake can go a long way in preventing heartburn.
  • Another important thing to avoid is consuming citrus juices or fruits on a daily basis.
  • One needs to replace heavy meals with smaller meals in shorter interval of time so that your body can digest the food properly.
  • Don’t lie down or take a nap for at least 2 to 3 hours after eating in order to prevent heartburn. It is an important way to control what you eat and essential part of dietary change.
  • Avoid doing exercise immediately after eating, since it also impacts your body’s metabolism to break down food. Avoid doing bending and stooping exercises for around couple of hours after eating anything.
  • Fatty foods are one of the major reasons of acid reflux in your body and also causes heartburn, so one needs to control the consumption of fatty food along with spicy foods
  • Avoid taking caffeine and control your alcohol intake so that it doesn’t aggravate acid reflux and heartburn.

Most people are not able to identify what kind of food items can trigger heartburn related to acid reflux. They need guidance and support from professionals to change their dietary plans. If you are not sure then you can try keeping a diary to maintain what you eat in a week. You can pen down what you eat and when you have possible symptoms of heartburn. It is a good way to identify which kind of foods can trigger heartburn and what you need to do in order to prevent and treat the heartburn with OTC Meds.

Other Lifestyle Changes to Help Reduce and Prevent Heartburn Symptoms

  • If you are overweight, then it is a good idea to lose some weight to prevent and manage heartburn.
  • If you are a smoker, then try to quit, as smoking also triggers heartburn.
  • It is also important to reduce your alcohol intake to avoid heartburn.
  • Gravity can also do wonders while you sleep. You can try getting a wedge pillow for your bed and try to raise the entire head of the bed by using 5 to 6 pillows. 
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes since they constrict your body or stomach in the middle and can cause heartburn.

There are some medications which can cause heartburn. It is important to keep a check on what kind of medications you are taking. If you are taking a medication which seems to be causing acid reflux and heartburn, then you should ask your doctor to change the medicine.

Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:September 19, 2017

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