Heartburn treatment – this is information that is given freely over the internet. However, not all information that can be taken from online are reliable or backed by scientific studies or proven through some sort of experimentation that involved a number of people or participants from different backgrounds.
Many of us rely on the World Wide Web these days for solutions to all sorts of problems even medically related. And why not – the internet is free and is very easy to access and there are some really useful tips that can be taken from there as well.
When it comes to something as common as heartburn though, one must be careful when taking treatment advice from a stranger on the internet. Anyone can pose as an expert and share his ‘expertise’ but the information he provides may not be useful and can even put you at greater risk. When looking for heartburn treatment, it is always best to speak personally to a physician. Your doctor can provide the right information you need about heartburn and the options available for you to treat it.
What Doctors Say about Heartburn Treatment
Heartburn, that burning pain you feel when reclining after eating or which keeps you awake at night is a major problem for millions of people especially in western countries.
There isn’t just one type of heartburn as many believe. This condition which is caused by stomach acid flowing up into the esophagus has three main types:
- Episodic heartburn – occurs infrequently and is often predictable and manageable in the short term.
- Frequent heartburn – occurs two or more days a week. People suffering from this type of heartburn often take multiple over-the-counter medications more than twice a week in order to get relief.
- Persistent heartburn – this is a more severe form of this condition which does not respond to over-the-counter medications and keeps on recurring. Persistent heartburn could be an indication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and must be evaluated by a doctor.
If you know the type of heartburn you have, then it’ll be easier to find a suitable heartburn treatment. Your physician will likely tell you that heartburn medications are effective but knowing the differences between them can increase the chances of keeping heartburn episodes at bay.
The stomach is lined with millions of pumps that produce acid and these pumps rely on 3 chemical signals that tell them to produce acid. The main point of difference between OTC heartburn treatments occur at a cellular level within the stomach.
Heartburn Treatment and Their Differences
- Histamine-2 receptor antagonist (H2RA) – this blocks one of the chemical signals thus reducing the amount of acid produced. One dose of H2RA works rather quickly and can generally last up to 12 hours.
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) – these work by shutting down the active pumps themselves and when taken as directed, one dose can block acid production for 24 hours.
- Antacids – these don’t affect acid production at all however they work to neutralize existing stomach acid. Antacid as a heartburn treatment is really fast however the relief it provides lasts only for a couple of hours.