Heartburn Pain Relief Heartburn is nothing more that pain in the chest from excessive acid in the esophagus.  Normally, the acid is kept in the stomach where it is better tolerated.  If the gastroesophageal sphincter (between the esophagus and stomach) is compromised or otherwise weakened, acid can travel up into the esophagus, causing the typical heartburn pain.

Fortunately, there are things you can do to relieve heartburn pain.  Some involve lifestyle measures, while others involve taking certain medications.  These are the best ways to have heartburn pain relief:

Heartburn Pain Relief – 4 Ways to Do It

Avoid Lying Down After Eating for Heartburn Pain Relief

If you lie down immediately after eating, the force of gravity allows acid to travel from the stomach to the esophagus. This leads to pain in the esophagus and the typical heartburn experiences that come out of having acid in the esophagus.

If you are prone to heartburn pain, you need to stay upright for at least 30 to 60 minutes after eating so that the food has a chance to digest and will pass through the pyloric sphincter (connecting the stomach to the duodenum) instead of the gastroesophageal sphincter.

Use Over the Counter Antacids

Antacids can be purchased at your local drug store or pharmacy.  They don’t prevent acid from getting into the esophagus but act to change the pH of the fluid that travels up the esophagus.  By changing the pH to become less acidic, there is less irritation of the esophagus and less heartburn pain.

Some typical over the counter antacids include Maalox and Mylanta (magnesium hydroxide), dimethicone, and TUMS, which contains calcium and a pH buffer that increase the pH of the fluid in the esophagus.  You can take just as much antacid medications as you need to in order to control the pain as they don’t enter the bloodstream and are safe at just about any dose.

Over the Counter H2 Blockers

H2 blockers are also called histamine 2 blockers.  They block the histamine 2 receptor in the stomach, which decreases the amount of acid in the stomach.  The fluid will still go up into the esophagus through the esophageal sphincter but the pH will be higher and the pain will be less intense.  Common H2 blockers include Tagamet (cimetidine), Zantac (ranitidine), famotidine and nizatidine.

Most H2 blockers are available over the counter and can be found at the supermarket or your local pharmacy.  These need to be taken as directed on the package as it is possible to take too much.  Cimetidine especially can have drug to drug interactions with other types of prescription and nonprescription drugs so you need to tell your doctor if you are taking cimetidine in order to prevent these types of drug interactions. Zantac (ranitidine) has fewer drug to drug interactions and is preferred over cimetidine.

Over the Counter Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors are somewhat stronger than H2 blockers.  They block the proton pump in the stomach, decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach.  They don’t change the gastroesophageal sphincter but keep the fluid from burning the inside of the esophagus.

Examples of proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid and Prilosec.  Take these medications as directed as it is possible to take too much of these medications.

Always consult your doctor before taking any of these suggestions.

Heartburn Pain Relief, what’s your best suggestion? Feel free to share in the comment section!