How to Prevent Heartburn

Previously published in Examiner

Conclusion of the Heartburn series

Many Montrealers suffer from GERD, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease. This disease is chronic, meaning people suffer from it for many years. Perhaps you suffer from it yourself of you know a person or two who is drinking pepto bismal like it is soda pop.

Montrealers will go to their family doctors or walk in clinic if they are concerned about GERD. The doctor will then refer them to a gastroenterologist. If you prefer a private clinic you can try: The Montreal Clinic J.S. Benhamron for Gastroenterology, the consultation is covered by medicare. Children will be seen by their pediatricians who may refer them to a specialist after the initial consultation.

We spoke about Gerd – gastroesophageal reflux disease in detail in previous articles, but we never really explained how it is different from simple heartburn. This article will explain some of the differences.

Tests for heartburn continued

Proton pump inhibitors

A third kind of medication such as Prevacid 24 HR will block the acid production and help to heal the damaged esophagus.

Note: Proton pump inhibitors are not recommended for people over 50. They have been associated with risk of fractures of the hip, wrist and spine.

Lifestyle changes that can quell the symptoms of heartburn Maintain a healthy weight Wear loose clothing Avoid onions, garlic, mint, chocolate, tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard, vinegar, alcohol, caffeine, fried and fatty foods. Eat smaller portions Don’t eat before going to bed, wait at least three hours after eating to go to bed. Raise your head when sleeping, or put a wedge under your mattress; but don’t try to raise your head with pillows that does not work. Don’t smoke

Stress and anxiety often trigger heartburn, try to relax if that is possible. Take aromatherapy baths, try relaxation techniques such as guided imagery, hypnosis, tai chi and exercise. Living a healthy less stressful life can reduce many physical symptoms of many different medical conditions.


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