The most popular treatments for heartburn are over-the-counter medications that relieve the pain. These include antacids that neutralize stomach acid, such as Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums; other medications, such as Zantac, reduce acid production; and proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid and Prilosec block acid production and heal the esophagus.
But what if none of these medications relieves your heartburn? “There are many lifestyle changes you can make that can also help with heartburn,” says Wilson P. Pais, MD, MBA, FACP, FRCP, gastroenterologist at Saint Francis Medical Center. “First of all, you should maintain a healthy weight, because extra weight puts pressure on your abdomen, causing acid to back up into your esophagus.”
Other alternative treatments include:
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing
- Eat smaller meals
- Elevate the head of your bed
If medications and lifestyle changes do not make any difference, talk to your doctor about whether you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
For more information, call 573-331-3000.