What is Heartburn and What Causes It?
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a digestive condition, which causes an uncomfortable burning sensation at the back of your throat, your belly and/or your lower chest. Other heartburn symptoms include chest pains, long-term cough, sore throat, hoarseness, and fluid at the back of your throat that tastes hot, sour, acidic, or salty.Heartburn occurs when your stomach acid travels up your food pipe from your stomach. This happens when a muscle valve present at the bottom of your food pipe malfunctions and cannot limit the acid to the stomach.You’re at a higher risk of suffering from heartburn if you’re obese, you smoke/drink and/or lead a sedentary lifestyle. But a majority of patients also suffer from heartburn because they’re on some of the most commonly prescribed medications for conditions such as asthma, insomnia, depression etc which unfortunately act as common heartburn triggers.Are you on any such medication ? If so, how can you deploy an effective heartburn symptoms treatment? Find out what causes constant heartburn for you and how you can resolve the heartburn symptoms that affect you.Here are some common acid reflux causing medications and what you can do if they’re giving you GERD?
1. Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
Easily available over the counter, NSAIDs like diclofenac and ibuprofen are commonly consumed while suffering from pain, fever, and inflammation. What Can You Do?Talk to a doctor first and switch to safer substitutes that can lessen the side effects caused by NSAIDs.
2. Blood Pressure Medication
Blood pressure medication such as calcium channel blockers and beta-blockers are common heartburn triggers.What Can You Do?Talk to your physician about alternatives since there’s a plethora of blood pressure medication available, together you can usually find a substitute that works better for you.
Also touted as the “wonder drug”, the world’s most commonly prescribed drug is known as a cure-all for everything from headaches to heart attacks, but at the cost of significantly increasing the acid production in the stomach. What Can You Do?Ask your physician for safer substitutes to replace asprin incase of minor conditions such as headache, mild body ache or fever. If you are on long-term, low-dose aspirin for heart attack prevention, discuss substituting or supplementing the aspirin with natural antioxidant rich substances such as Omega-3-Fish Oil, dark chocolate, turmeric, etc. with your doctor.
4. Iron Supplements
Your doctor may prescribe you iron supplements for conditions ranging from anemia to ADHD to pregnancy. While iron supplements aid the body in producing more red blood cells, they also induce acid reflux.What Can You Do?Discuss the feasibility of alternative supplements with your doctor. You can also reduce the propensity of GERD by taking the pills standing up instead of sitting/lying down.
Commonly prescribed antibiotics such as tetracycline that treat a multitude of bacterial infections ranging from acne to malaria, may also cause you GERD. What Can You Do?Check if there are enteric-coated substitutes for the antibiotic that has been prescribed to you. Enteric is a substance that dissolves only in the small intestine thereby preventing excessive stomach acidity. Other drugs that may also cause GERD include anxiety medication, antidepressants, bone-strengthening medication, potassium supplements, etc. If you think your medication is causing you heartburn, do discuss the feasibility of substituting the medication with some other drug with your doctor. In case a medicinal substitute isn’t available, he may prescribe the best heartburn relief medicine for you which may include antacids, H2 Blockers and Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs).Moreover you could also follow the below lifestyle management tips by making use of certain home remedies for heartburn and staying away from acid reflux foods to avoid:
Lifestyle tips to prevent heartburn
- Incorporate apple, grapes, pineapple, cinnamon, and basil in your diet.
- Chew Sugarless Gum as it helps you form saliva which reduces stomach acid.
- Drink water! Especially pre and post workouts.
- Avoid chocolate, coffee, raw onion, citrus juice, cigarettes, and alcohol
- Choose Work-outs Carefully – Avoid routines that require you to hold inverted positions such as crunches and High impact exercises.
- Consult a medical practitioner for a permanent and holistic treatment plan. Remember, if unchecked for long, GERD can escalate into severe critical illnesses that can adversely affect your long-term health, wellness, and even your lifespan.
[av_promobox button='yes' label='Book Your Consultation on MediBuddy' link='https://www.medibuddy.in/?utm_source=blog_cta&utm_medium=blog' link_target='' color='blue' custom_bg='#f00' custom_font='#ffffff' size='large' icon_select='no' icon='ue800' font='entypo-fontello']Don’t delay GERD diagnosis. See a health expert right away to avoid GERD snowballing into severe illnesses. [/av_promobox]