I haven’t written anything for almost a year. Have had some security issues and finally got resolved.

This post is about ‘heartburn’ or acid reflux. There are many causes of this symptom. Some of the causes are very serious and need to be treated by a health care provider – not just an over the counter remedy.

How can you tell is this is serious or not? Does it happen frequently? Does it last more than a few minutes? Have you ever vomited blood? Have you ever seen blood in your stool or black tarry stools? Do you take over the counter pills with no relief? If you answer yes to any of those questions, this is not something you should ignore. Tell your health care provider about your symptoms.

Often a simple change of lifestyle will improve your symptoms. Loosing weight and exercise will help with digestion and aid in the natural movement of your food. Eliminating certain foods will also help – caffeine, chocolate, all carbonated drinks and alcohol especially red wine.

If you decide to try some of the over the counter remedies, start with antacids like tums. If that does not completely control your symptom, try the H2 inhibitors like ranitidine. Long term use of the PPI eg Prilosec is a very bad idea.
If you find you need H2 inhibitors or a PPI, be sure and discuss this with your health care provider.

Eating small meals throughout the day rather than three big meals will also help with digestion. If you suffer heartburn at night, be sure to stop eating at least five hours before you go to bed.

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