When you suffer from chronic heartburn, whether it's caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hiatal hernia, or some other digestive disorder, it's important to know how to treat the heartburn. Untreated acid reflux may lead to complications, including esophageal cancer. Listed below are the ten most often used treatments for acid reflux. It's important that you discuss any treatment options with your doctor.
As part of your acid reflux treatment, your doctor will most likely suggest one or more lifestyle changes.lifestyle changes first, before considering any medications. If these modifications in your lifestyle habits do not effectively prevent acid reflux (heartburn) symptoms, then your doctor may discuss with you other treatment options, including the use of H2 blockers or Proton Pump Inhibitors. Heartburn symptoms can often be relieved if sufferers make a few of these lifestyle changes.
There has been some debate as to whether food can cause heartburn. However, approximately 94 percent of sufferers can link their heartburn symptoms to specific foods. Therefore, it is important that heartburn suffers manage their diets as a way to treat their heartburn. There are foods least likely to cause heartburn and a list of foods that can be eaten only in moderation, while other foods should be avoided as some foods cause heartburn.
Histamine Receptor Antagonists (H2 blockers) - Over-the-counter Remedy
This type of drug works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces, and is used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid and conditions in which acid comes up into the esophagus and causes heartburn, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or (also known as acid reflux disease).
Antacids - Over-the-counter Remedy
When used properly, antacids are useful in relieving the occasional heartburn and indigestion. The active ingredient in antacids neutralizes stomach acid, which is what is causing the pain. However, it is much better if you prevent the heartburn from occuring in the first place, rather than treating the heartburn after it happens.
Proton Pump Inhibitors - Prescription Medications
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of prescription medications that prevent the release of acid in the stomach and intestines. Doctors prescribe PPIs to treat people with heartburn (acid reflux), ulcers of the stomach or intestine, or excess stomach acid (Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome).
Home Remedies for Treating Heartburn
For many chronic acid reflux sufferers, they want an alternate, natural way of treating their acid reflux, especially if they have been on heartburn-relieving medications for some time. These range from folk and homeopathic remedies to healthy diets to lifestyle changes.
The laparoscopic surgery for treatment of GERD, fundoplication, involves constructing a new "valve" between the esophagus and the stomach by wrapping the upper portion of the stomach (the fundus) around the lowest port of the esophagus. This site details that procedure, and it's aftermath.
The Stretta procedure is an approved technique for acid reflux disease. The Stretta procedure uses radiofrequency energy delivered to the lower esophageal sphincter and gastric cardia (uppermost part of the stomach) which inproves the function of the LES.