What Is The Best OTC Heartburn Treatment?

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heartburnIf you’re frequently suffering from heartburn (it happens more than twice a week), you should know that there are several known OTC heartburn treatments like antacids and acid reducers.

For quick relief from the symptoms of heartburn, nothing can beat the two. What are antacids?

They are OTC medicines that neutralize the acid inside the stomach to relieve upset stomach, acid indigestion, sour stomach and yes, heartburn.

Some known examples of antacids include Alka-Seltzer and Milk of Magnesia. Use antacids as prescribed by the doctor or the manufacturer to prevent side effects. Acid reducers can either be histamine antagonists (also known H2 blockers or H2 antagonists) and proton pump inhibitors or PPIs.

Examples include Pepcid AC and Zantac 75. These OTC heartburn remedies can be sued to treat frequent heartburn for two weeks. In order to understand how they work, we must first understand what heartburn is. Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart and everything to do with gastric acid.

Heartburn is that burning sensation that rises to your chest and that usually moves to your neck, throat and jaw. It is caused by gastric acids flowing from the stomach to the esophagus.

Many people who frequently experience heartburn suffer from GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease, although it is not always the case. If acid reflux is a common experience for you, you should go to the doctor’s clinic and have yourself tested for GERD.

But if you suffer from heartburn just because, there are many ways that you can treat it. As we said earlier, antacids and acid reducers provide quick relief, but did you know there are other remedies you can try?

Drinking plenty of waterDrinking plenty of water at the first sign of heartburn will wash gastric acid back down to the stomach, providing you with relief before the heartburn worsens.

Ginger tea can also help by relaxing the muscles along your esophagus. Add ginger in boiling water and steep it for ten minutes.

While ginger can help relieve motion sickness, it’s also known for its relaxing effect. If your muscles are relaxed, it’s highly unlikely for gastric acid to move up. You can also use anise, caraway, fennel seed to make acid reflux tea.

Choose one and add two teaspoons to one cup of boiling water. Then steep for ten minutes before straining and drinking. Another OTC acid reflux remedy is vinegar. It might sound unusual to counter acid reflux with another acid, but this actually makes sense.

Regurgitating gastric acid isn’t always the culprit – sometimes it can be caused by the esophagus not closing properly. Did you know that even a slight opening of your esophagus can make even normal pH levels acidic to the taste? With vinegar, the burning sensation will cause the esophagus to close.

apple ciderIf vinegar tastes too strong, mix the vinegar in one glass of apple cider. Better yet, use only minimum amount of apple cider that you can take. The classic Juicy Fruit gum can also be a great OTC remedy for heartburn.

Chewing gum causes you to generate large amounts of saliva which can neutralize gastric acid. You can also neutralize the acidity by drinking a glass of milk.

If this doesn’t work, mix 1/2 teaspoon bicarb, a few drops of lemon and 1/2 cup warm water. This mix can short circuit the production of stomach acid. Another mix that you can try is one that involves sodium bicarbonate or baking soda.

Mix baking soda with water and drunk up. Sodium is an alkaline base which can neutralize the effects of the highly-corrosive hydrochloric acid, which is what the stomach produces to break down food.

The OTC remedies we mentioned above are effective and, with the exception of OTC meds, have no known side effects. But don’t take our word for it. You should try them and see what happens.

But all these remedies, even the really good ones, are really nothing more than band-aid solutions to heartburn. If you want your heartburn to be gone for good, you should identify your heartburn triggers. It could be a type of food or something else. Eating a high-alkaline diet will also help. Eat more raw vegetables and ripe fruits. Juice up.

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