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Acid Reflux causes and Treatment

Choosing the Right Heartburn Treatment – The PrilosecOTC Heartburn Video Series

Choosing the Right  Heartburn Treatment – The PrilosecOTC Heartburn Video Series

Lots of people experience
occasional heartburn. And many of us simply dismiss it. It’s the price you pay for eating a big
meal or spicy food, isn’t it, right? But what if your heartburn
keeps coming back? Hi, I’m Dr. Frank
McGeorge for Prilosec OTC. And today, we’re going to talk about
heartburn treatments, the third video topic in this series. First, here’s what’s going on. Heartburn involves a
ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. It acts like a valve, allowing
food into the stomach, but not out. When the LES relaxes or
stops functioning properly, harsh stomach acid refluxes or
backs up into the esophagus, irritating its sensitive lining. That’s why it hurts. Treatments for heartburn vary,
depending on the severity and frequency of symptoms. So it’s important to determine
what category best describes you. Now, episodic or
occasional heartburn refers to infrequent flare ups that are
fairly predictable– for example, after that all you can eat buffet. This kind of heartburn is
usually treated with antacids. Treatment with antacids alone
is purely symptomatic, though, and only justified for minor symptoms. By neutralizing the acid
in your stomach antacids can provide fast, short-term relief. Now, at the other end of the spectrum
is severe or persistent heartburn. This describes painful, long
lasting episodes of heartburn that may occur most days,
if not all the time. Persistent heartburn should be assessed
and treated by a medical doctor. Now, for many of us, it’s frequent
heartburn that’s the problem. This means that you’re experiencing
heartburn symptoms at least two or more days a week. If you’re having
symptoms that often, you should consider preventing the
problem rather than treating heartburn symptoms every time they occur. Now, there are a number
of heartburn medications available to treat frequent heartburn. H2 blockers reduce the
volume of acid produced by the millions of tiny
pumps in your stomach. They take an hour or
so to begin working, and they can be temporarily
effective for up to 12 hours. Now, this used to be the best
treatment for frequent heartburn until proton pump inhibitors,
or PPIs, were discovered. Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs,
like Prilosec OTC, work differently. They actually shut
down some of the pumps, preventing the stomach from producing
excess acid in the first place. PPIs like Priloec OTC are the
most commonly recommended product for frequent heartburn. They may take one to four
days to reach full effect. But one pill a day will
prevent the acid that causes frequent heartburn for a full 24 hours. Now, medication is just one of the
important parts of heartburn treatment. You can also help yourself by
reducing stress, not smoking, exercising regularly, eating smaller
portions earlier rather than later in the evening, and
avoiding certain foods that you know will bring on the burn. Now, if you’re interested
in learning more about how heartburn medications work, and whether
they treat or prevent heartburn, Prilosec OTC has a
printable chart that allows you to compare characteristics
of the most commonly available types of medications. Use the chart to help
decipher which medication best fits your individual needs. I’m Dr. Frank McGeorge for Prilosec OTC.

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