Who has not one day been confronted with burning sensations in the pit of their stomach? Whether occasional or frequent, these symptoms are fortunately mostly mild and can be relieved by self-medication. You can also follow several Heartburn Relief tips that might be helpful. A medical consultation is recommended to verify the absence of complications or to rule out a more severe pathology such as an ulcer. It is the same in the event of difficulty in swallowing, associated cough, or loss of weight.
Which Medicine to Choose for Heartburn?
For Occasional Heartburn
If you are looking for quick action, an “antacid” based on aluminum, magnesium, calcium, or sodium salts, which reduce the acidity of the gastric contents, is suitable. It works quickly but not for long, usually 1 to 2 hours. You should take them as soon as you experience pain or for prevention, just before a heavy meal. These drugs are well tolerated, but transit disorders are possible, especially at high doses (more than six times per day). Those that provide sodium should be avoided in cases of heart failure or high blood pressure.
In the Event of Troublesome Acid Reflux
This is to protect the lining of the esophagus. The most widely used compound is alginate: it forms a viscous gel around the gastric contents and isolates the esophageal mucosa from reflux acidity. Well tolerated, it is commonly prescribed for pregnant women. More recently, a gel-based on hyaluronic acid has proved its worth: protective and healing. It reduces the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux. These compounds have a fast but relatively short action (2 to 4 hours). They are taken after meals for optimal effectiveness and, if necessary, before bedtime.
In Case of Frequent Symptoms (More Than Once a Week)
A drug that decreases acid secretion in the stomach called a “proton pump inhibitor” (PPI) is the treatment of choice. Due to its powerful and prolonged action, it requires only one daily intake. In the long term, these treatments can lead to a decrease in the absorption of magnesium, especially if they are combined with diuretic drugs. Other undesirable effects are increased risk of stroke, gastric cancer, osteoporosis, renal, cardiovascular, and pulmonary complications, justifying their prolonged use only on medical advice.
In self-medication, do not exceed 3 to 4 weeks of treatment. It is taken before a meal, the evening meal, if the symptoms predominate at night for optimal action. Allow 2-3 days for it to be fully effective. In the meantime, you can combine it with the drugs described above. If the symptoms are not relieved in the long term, it is better to inform your doctor. Additional examinations may be necessary.