Did you know that antacid sales increase twenty percent the day after the Super Bowl each year? The enormous feasts and high level of fatty or caffeinated foods ingested during holidays and even sporting events can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to chronic heartburn sufferers. It is estimated that more than fifteen million Americans suffer from acid reflux disease symptoms and some of those folks will have a more severe form of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder, which frequently causes food to either come back up or produces restrictive chest pains. However, there are several treatments for acid reflux.
If you want to find the best treatment for acid reflux, then change a few bad habits. Most folks do not realize that all the kitchen cleaning after the meal contributes to acid reflux, or that laying down within three hours after eating can create a whole world of problems.
More than half of the folks who suffer from chronic heartburn also have some form of “supine reflux,” which affects folks in their sleep. For supine acid reflux disease sufferers, the symptoms can sometimes be subtle. They may toss and turn, have difficulty breathing, sweat profusely, have coughing fits and wake up feeling hoarse (from breathing in the stomach acids).
Most folks also know that greasy and fatty foods are terrible for the digestive tract. Often the stomach needs to produce more acid to break down the greasy layers and protein-based food. Then, on top of that, some fatty foods are simply insoluble and they putrefy in the stomach, rotting and causing a build-up of “unpleasantries,” from gas to reflux. It can come as a big shock to folks when they have been able to eat certain foods throughout their lives but as they age, it is those self same foods that cause acid reflux. Citrus fruits like oranges, tomatoes, spearmint, peppers and red wine can all be nasty triggers for attacks.
The most common treatments for acid reflux are antacids. This heartburn medication will help sufferers treat the immediate symptoms of acid reflux for fast-acting relief. Hardcore antacids include Reglan and Gaviscon, which aim to improve overall digestive coordination, speeding up the digestive process and creating foam barriers to prevent acid from seeping up unexpectedly. There are often over-the-counter options that work just fine or prescription-based variants for the folks with severe GERD symptoms.
The second category of heartburn medication is the Histamine 2 Receptors. Histamine 2 Receptors, like Pepcid AC or Zantac, work by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, which is sometimes cited as a contributing factor.
For preventative measures, a third treatment includes Proton Pump Inhibitors, which suppresses excessive acid production during those big feasts. Drugs like Prilosec or Nexium are said to work best.
For the occasional sufferer, any drug store will carry a calcium carbonate like Tums, Rolaids or Maalox. These bind to and neutralize acid for immediate reprieve. A fourth treatment are the effervescent products (like Alkaseltzer), which comes in handy when that restrictive feeling in the chest and intense abdominal pain signals real digestive trouble.
Treatments for acid reflux cover dietary changes, behavioral changes and heartburn medication. If you are finding that these treatments do little to help you, there may be a larger gastrointestinal problem. Kidney stones, gallbladder issues, lactose intolerance, esophagus damage and diabetes are all health hazards to which your GERD symptoms are calling your attention.