When acids in the stomach rise the food pipe, it leads to heartburn. Heartburn is a digestion problem, as opposed to popular opinion of being a heart problem. Heartburn can also be termed esophageal disorder. Heartburn is a burning sensation in the esophagus. Heartburn pain may also be felt in the upper abdomen and chest area. There are three causes of Heartburn – poor food habits, sleeping postures, and tight clothes. One can prevent heartburn or lessen its intensity by following some simple rules related to food, sleeping, and clothes. One should be careful if suffering from heartburn. Many times, heartburn is supposed to be the cause of pain totally ignoring impending heart attack.
Heartburn can be treated either through medicines or surgery. The medical treatment starts with antacids. These antacids can be taken as tablets or liquid (syrup) form. Such medicines are easily available with all the druggists. Antacids are effective when the heartburn is present in its mild form. Antacids may not work for stronger cases of heartburn. The second level of medication includes the use of H₂ antagonists. H₂ antagonist is a medicine that reduces the quantity and flow of acids in the stomach. These medicines were popular till a couple of years backs. However, proton pump inhibitors have almost replaced this method of medication.
Proton pump treatment is prescribed to those patients who don’t respond to antacids or some acid blockers. The principle of proton pump inhibitor is as thus – it simply blocks the proteins and disables them. These proteins control the pH mechanism of the stomach. Once this is achieved, the medicine starts having an effect on the stomach and doesn’t let the acids from inflicting any damage on the digestion. These relieve the person from heartburn. Proton pump inhibitors control acid formation in the stomach and thereby reduce the chances of heartburn. Proton pump inhibitors are widely accepted as a better alternative than any other medication available. However, it is strongly recommended consulting your physician for any such medication. Some medical practitioners strongly recommend control of foods and their types while treatment is being given to the patients. History suggests that patients with diet control respond better to medication than those with no control over diet.
When medication doesn’t work, doctors prescribe surgery to the patients. This surgical operation can be carried out traditionally or with later day methods like laparoscopy.