Saturday, November 8, 2008

Managing Heartburn

First, try over-the-counter medications along with lifestyle changes: 

Don't lie down for 3 hrs after eating.

Avoid foods, drinks or medicines that aggravate heartburn, such as fried or fatty foods, chocolate, coffee, sodas, citrus fruits, tomato products and alcohol.

Eat smaller portions at mealtimes.

Wear loose fitting clothing.

Maintain a normal body weight.

Stop smoking.

If over-the-counter medicines and lifestyle changes don't eliminate your heartburn, see your doctor.  There are now several prescription medicines that may help.  These are generally in 2 classes:

  • H2 Receptor Antagonists - these decrease the flow of stomach acid.

  • Proton Pump Inhibitors - these decrease the flow of stomach acid to a greater degree.