Heartburn could be a burning pain within the chest, just behind the breastbone.

The pain is commonly worse after eating, within the evening, or when lying down or bending over. Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm.

The public can manage the discomfort of heartburn on their own with lifestyle changes non-prescription medications.

Heartburn that’s more frequent or interferes along with your daily routine could also be a signal of a more serious condition that needs treatment.

Symptoms of heartburn include:

  • difficulty swallowing,
  • chronic cough,
  • stomach pain or burning within the upper abdomen,
  • persistent pharyngitis,
  • regurgitation of foods or liquids with a taste of acid within the throat, and
  • persistent hoarseness or laryngitis.
  • A burning pain within the chest that typically occurs after eating and will occur in the dark
  • Pain when you lie down or bend
  • Bitter or acidic taste within the mouth

Causes

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid reflux into the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

Normally after swallowing, a band of muscle round the bottom of the esophagus relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into the stomach.Then the muscle tightens again.

If the lower oesophageal sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow to make a copy into your esophagus (acid reflux) and cause heartburn.

The acid backup could also be worse when you’re bent over or lying down.

Treatments

Many non-prescribed medications can help relieve heartburn. The choices include:

1. Antacids:

They help neutralize stomach acid. Antacids may provide quick relief, but they cannot heal an already damaged esophagus by stomach acid.

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2. H-2-receptor antagonists:

These may reduce stomach acid. H2RAs may provide longer relief, even though they don’t act as quick as an antacid.

Proton pump inhibitors, like lansoprazole and omeprazole, which can also reduce stomach acid.

If non-prescribed treatments don’t work otherwise you depend on them often, see your doctor. You’ll need prescription medication and further testing.

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