Published February 12th, 2020 by Stephanie
Living with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or experiencing acid reflux after eating some types of foods can reduce a person’s ability to enjoy a feast during an event or a party. Most people tend to use the terms GERD and acid reflux interchangeably. However, they are technically not the same. Acid reflux is a common medical condition and can range from mild to severe. Meanwhile, GERD is more severe and is the chronic form of acid reflux.
Despite being different conditions. There is one thing these two conditions have in common. Both medical conditions have the symptom that we usually hear – heartburn.
Contrary to its name, heartburn is not something that affects a person’s heart. It happens in your digestive system, more specifically the esophagus. It involves pain in the chest area. You normally feel the sensation when your stomach acid creeps up into your esophagus. If left untreated, acid reflux or GERD can lead to other complications.
Feeling that unpleasant and uncomfortable sensation during an enjoyable event can ruin an experience for you. That is why you should be ready to take care of the problem as soon as possible. Follow some simple steps to minimize the symptoms of heartburn to enjoy a special occasion fully.
• Prepare your stomach. As much as possible, do not go to a dinner table with an empty stomach to avoid overeating. Having a belly working at maximum capacity can increase the pressure, which may lead to acid reflux.
• Choose your clothes wisely. Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight. Your best choice would be clothes that are loose-fitting in the abdominal area. This way, you can avoid adding additional pressure to your stomach.
• Know what triggers your heartburn. Your experience will be your best teacher. Monitor what type of foods trigger your heartburn, and do not take a chance with them when you go to an event or party. If you are the host of the party, you can research for alternative ingredients that will not affect the taste but will keep your belly safe.
• Stay upright for at least one hour. After having a big meal, do not lie down or hit the couch. Gravity will help your stomach acid and the food to travel downward. You can try to do some minimal activities with the kids, do the dishes, or chat with friends and family around the dining table.
• Always bring heartburn medication. There are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs that can help reduce the production of acid production. Others can block the production of acid while healing your esophagus. You can also ask your doctor if you need a prescription drug. If this is the case, you can get your hands on a discount medical card to save money when you purchase the medicine you need.
If you have been trying do deal with your heartburn problem, you have to find out first which treatment route is right for you. To be sure, you may have to talk to your doctor to know if you need a stronger fix. But if you wish to understand your condition more, you can do your research too. Generally, you have two choices – OTCs or prescription drugs.
If you have never experienced heartburn before or only have mild acid reflux, you can try using OTCs first. Your condition may be more manageable if you feel that burning sensation in your chest that sour taste in the back of your throat only sometimes, especially after eating a huge amount of spicy or fatty meals.
To neutralize the acid in your stomach, go for antacids. These medications can provide quick relief for people who have mild heartburn. They come in liquid forms and chewable tablets. Usually, people find liquid forms to work faster.
For moderate symptoms, choose a low dose of OTC H2-blocker. This medicine reduces the amount of acid that the glands in your stomach lining produce. The logic behind it is simple. If you have less acid in your stomach, there will be less acid to travel up the esophagus. If you cannot help but eat foods that have previously caused you heartburn symptoms, you can take the H2-blocker with your first meal to prepare for possible symptoms.
If you have severe heartburn or experiences it at least twice a week, you may find that the standard dose of antacids or H2-blockers no longer works. Do not worry. There is another OTC option for you. You can check out the proton pump inhibitor (PPI). There are common PPIs available in various stores. However, you may have to take consistent doses for several days for PPIs to take full effect and reduce the acid in your stomach.
• Prescription Drugs
In more severe cases, patients would need something stronger. If you have tried taking OTC PPIs for more than 14 days and the heartburn symptoms are still there, talk to a medical professional. There is a possibility that you are already dealing with GERD. If this happens, you will require a prescription medication that will not only relieve that burning sensation but will also heal damages that acid has caused in your esophagus.
Typically, these prescription drugs have the same active ingredients as the OTC versions. However, they have higher doses and are suitable for longer durations. So, if you have been experiencing acid reflux for more than two weeks, consult a medical professional immediately. You may need to undergo an evaluation to determine your condition and rule out other possible issues. Additionally, using an OTC drug continuously without the approval of your doctor can lead to unwanted side effects.
If you find out that you will need prescription medication, you may be looking for ways to save money without sacrificing your health. To help with your problem, USARx came up with a discount medical card. Get one now to enjoy its benefits.