What is heartburn
Heartburn is a burning pain in your chest, just behind your breastbone. The pain is often worse after eating, in the evening, or when lying down or bending over.
Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm. Most people can manage the discomfort of heartburn on their own with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications.
Heartburn that is more frequent or interferes with your daily routine may be a symptom of a more serious condition that requires medical care.
The most common cause is food that’s acidic or high in fat—like citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, chocolate, coffee, cheese, and peppermint. Spicy foods or large meals can also be the root of distress. Other sources of heartburn include aspirin or ibuprofen, as well as some sedatives and blood pressure medications.
Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid backs up into your esophagus. Your esophagus is the muscular tube that connects your throat and stomach. The most common symptom of acid reflux is a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn. Other symptoms may include a sour or regurgitated food taste in the back of your mouth.
Heartburn current treatment
- Antacids, which help neutralize stomach acid. Antacids may provide quick relief. But they can’t heal an esophagus damaged by stomach acid.
- H-2-receptor antagonists (H2RAs), which can reduce stomach acid. H2RAs don’t act as quickly as antacids, but may provide longer relief.
- Proton pump inhibitors, such as lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR) and omeprazole (Nexium 24HR, Prilosec OTC), which also can reduce stomach acid.