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How to Treat & Prevent Heartburn

Learn how to treat and prevent heartburn from gastroenterologist Lisa Ganjhu, M.D. in this Howcast video about stomach problems.


How do you treat heartburn effects that you're feeling? Basically, you have to treat what's causing the symptoms, which is acid washing up from the stomach into the esophagus. So, anything that's going to neutralize that acid is going to help you with your symptoms.

You can try anti-acids such as Maalox and Mylanta, H2 blockers such as Pepcid or Zantac, or proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid or Prilosec. Any of those medications or any of those products can reduce the acid so it will reduce the reflux up into the esophagus and reduce your heartburn symptoms. So, some natural remedies for heartburn are simple things as water, because the water can dilute the acid. You can try apple cider vinegar concoctions, so just putting a little bit of apple cider vinegar about two to three teaspoons into some water, and drinking that down, may help to neutralize the super high acids so that you don't have that burning sensation. So, there are some foods that actually more acidity or increase the acid in our stomach.

And that's just by its chemical nature. So, there has been some thought that spicy foods, because it increases the histamine, the cayenne of the spice actually increases the histamine and causes an increase in acidity, and thereby increasing reflux. Alcohol can lower the lower esophagus sphincter, so that you have more reflux. Citrus by nature, because citric foods and citric juices have low acidity, can also increase your symptoms. And tomato based products as well, can worsen reflux. Again the same way, by increasing acidity in your stomach.

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