Heartburn Worry: Serious or Not?
What you need to know about heartburn -- when to worry, when not, what to do.
How Is Heartburn Treated?
If you have uncomplicated heartburn from acid reflux, your doctor may
prescribe over-the-counter or prescription medicines. These include common
antacids such as Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Tums. Your doctor may also
prescribe more powerful medications called proton pump inhibitors, such as
Aciphex, Nexium, Prilosec, and Protonix. These medicines are considered very
effective and help heal the esophageal lining. Other drugs like Tagamet and
Pepcid reduce acid production, while still others like Reglan help empty the
Lifestyle modification, such as cutting down on foods that trigger your
heartburn, can help. So can avoiding heavy meals, not eating a big meal within
two hours of bedtime, and not lying down soon after a meal. Stress reduction
may help reduce heartburn incidents. If you smoke, you should quit, as it can
be a heartburn trigger.
If you get exercise-induced heartburn, "try to exercise on a relatively
empty stomach," Katz says. Take medication for heartburn before your
If none of those steps help enough, surgery can help. Surgery can be done to
strengthen the LES muscle or to repair the hiatal hernia.