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What is heartburn? It sounds like your heart’s on fire.. and sometimes, it actually feels like it.

Heartburn is an uncomfortable warm and burning sensation in the chest, usually just behind the sternum (breastbone) that typically comes in waves. The pain may start in the chest area and make its way up to the neck, throat and jaw. The pain usually gets worse when the patient lies down or bends over, and is more common immediately after eating. It feels like it’s radiating from the heart, and hence the name heartburn.

What causes it? 

Well, stress, being overweight, eating the wrong sorts of greasy and spicy food, snacking late at night, smoking, drinking alcohol, in pregnancy and even wearing clothes that are too tight, can all cause heartburn.

What are the treatment options for heartburn?

Lose weight – obese or overweight individuals may experience fewer bouts of heartburn if they lose weight, because there will be less pressure on the stomach.

Quit smoking – smoking irritates the digestive system and can worsen symptoms of heartburn and GERD

Eat smaller meals – people who eat more smaller meals each day rather than three large ones may find their heartburn symptoms either improve or go away altogether

The evening meal – have it at least three hours before going to bed

Avoid food triggers – some foods and drinks may trigger heartburn in some patients. Typical ones include coffee, alcohol, tomatoes, fatty or spicy foods, and chocolate. Identify your triggers and avoid them.

Your bed – if you raise the head end of your bed, your heartburn symptoms might improve


Symptoms of heartburn can usually be effectively treated with OTC medications, true, not not all work.

Most of the OTC medications, such as antacids, just alleviates the pain for a while, by neutralizing the acid. But they do not stop the acid completely. The only true treatment for heartburn or acid reflux disease is called the PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor). PPIs block the production of acid, giving damaged esophageal tissue time to repair itself. Patients over 50 should be careful not to use proton pump inhibitors for extended periods, they may increase the risk of hip, wrist or spine fractures. I find 20mg of Pariet (rabeprazole) or 40mg of Controloc (pantoprazole) the most effective for my heartburn symptoms. Now a days with so many generics on the market, the price has become much lower, which is a good thing!

2 Responses to Heartburn

  1. missyblurkit October 18, 2012 at 5:10 pm #

    Thanx for sharing…its so upsetting to get it especially it lasts quite a few hours whenever I get struck.

    • ciki October 20, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

      i try to nip mine in the bud before it gets there. otherwise, it takes forever to get better ..

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