Using Acid Reflux Medicine To Get Rid Of Annoying Heartburn

The right acid reflux medicine will prevent or control your heartburn. I am living proof. My physician prescribed one of these and problem solved. If you already know what causes this affliction, skip ahead for the medicine, if not, let me explain what how heartburn happens.

Our gastrointestinal system is pretty amazing when it works correctly. I call it our sewer plant. We have the mouth, throat, stomach, intestines, and the outlet of the system - the anal outlet. Food and drink we love goes in one end, is processed, and, if all works well, waste comes out the other end. For those of us who suffer from acid reflux disorder, some of the system just doesn't work for us.

We feel this malady when the process fails. Acid bubbles up from the stomach, through something called the cardiac sphincter and on upward into the throat or esophagus. Basically we feel that burning sensation as the acidic gas and fluid rises through this plumbing system. The technical word for this substance is pepsin, if you care about such terminology. The problem occurs when the cardiac sphincter goes haywire. This is like a valve between the stomach and esophagus that is supposed to automatically open and close to control the pepsin produced by digestion in the stomach. We get into distress when this valve malfunctions.

Acid reflux or GERD can be a chronic condition, especially is we continue to eat and drink those favorites that always seem to trigger discomfort. Of course you should not eat or drink that stuff again because the result will always be the same for the rest of your life if you do. Now, medicine can help but changing habits ensures you will stop further damage. If your heartburn is a chronic condition, it will always be a problem, and, if you continue your bad habits, even further damage will occur and may result in surgery.

One of the traps with medication is that it makes you feel so good that you think you no longer need it and stop taking it. Been there, done that, and my heartburn returned with a vengeance. Don't make this mistake with acid reflux. Sure, you will feel great while taking the medicine and will continue to feel good for a couple of months after you stop taking it but, eventually, the hammer will fall and you will be worse off.

There are several over-the-counter medicines you can try. I tried them all and only one really worked most of the time. That one had the active ingredient - Famotidine. It's just one of several key ingredients found in medicines at your pharmacy. You need to find the one that works for you.

Armed with that information I went to my doctor and he prescribed a stronger dose to take once a day. This has solved my heartburn. Yes, I did get off it for two months because I felt so good and, Yes, my acid reflux returned. I now use it every day and I also avoid food and drink that I know are bad for my plumbing.

Foods Types That Triggers Heartburn

When trying to avoid foods that cause heartburn, the list can seem daunting. All the good stuff appears to be on these lists, but understanding why certain foods are on there may allow you to make choices that don't limit your diet to a large extent.

Most Common Foods that Cause Heartburn

The first thing to note is that there are some foods that are a problem for almost everyone. Those foods are citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, garlic, peppermint, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate. Not all of these foods that cause heartburn may affect you, but chances are pretty good that eating them will cause your symptoms to flare. You can experiment to determine which are problems by eating them one at a time and eliminating the food if symptoms occur soon after ingestion.

Foods by Mechanism of Action for Causing Heartburn

The foods that cause heartburn can be neatly divided into three categories: those that relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), those that stimulate acid production, and those that cause distension of the stomach.

In the first case, the LES is the muscle that keeps food (and acid) in the stomach and prevents it from backing up into the esophagus. Anything that causes this muscle to relax will make it easier for acid to back up. Foods that cause heartburn by this mechanism include:

- Fried foods

- High fat foods

- Butter

- Mayonnaise

- Creamy sauces

- Salad dressings

- Chocolate

- Peppermint

- Caffeine

- Alcohol

- Onions

In the second category of foods that cause heartburn are those that increase production of acid in the stomach.

- Caffeine

- Alcohol

- Carbonated beverages

- Spicy food

- Black pepper

- Citrus fruits

- Tomatoes

You will note that there are some repeats on this list that were on the previous list. Foods that show up on both lists are especially good at causing heartburn and should be avoided as much as possible.

In the final category of foods that cause heartburn are those that increase distension of the stomach. It is important to note that this can actually include any food if eaten in large enough quantity, which is why it is best to eat multiple small meals rather than a few large meals. For foods that create distension, the most common culprits are:

- Excessive salt

- Carbohydrate loads

- Broccoli

- Cauliflower

- Cabbage

- Onions

- Peppers

- Fried foods

Once again, you will see some foods that appear on multiple lists. Avoid these at all costs and especially avoid eating them near bedtime. As a final note, coffee can cause heartburn, partly through the caffeine it contains and partly because of its own innate properties. A little coffee each day, particularly in the morning, is fine. However, you should limit your total consumption and avoid it before bed altogether. Remember that 1 to 2 cups in the morning is okay. Also remember that Starbucks cups are more like 3 cups, so one of those is all the coffee you should consume in a day.