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5 Tips to Help Your Heartburn Without Medications

Updated: Sep 7

Do your heartburn symptoms interfere with your ability to sleep or work?


Antacids, Histamine2-receptor antagonists, and Proton Pump Inhibitors are medications that can be used to treat heartburn. You can find these over-the-counter and some are available with a prescription from your doctor.



Since all medications have a risk of side effects and drug interactions, here are some tips to help your heartburn symptoms without medications.


Tip #1 - Avoid food and beverages that increase the frequency and severity of your symptoms

Coffee

Tea

Chocolate

Citrus fruit or juices

Fatty Foods

Spicy Foods

Salt and salt substitutes

Garlic or onions

Mint

Alcohol

Caffeinated beverages

Carbonated beverages

​Tomatoes/tomato juice/tomato paste

Tip #2 - Avoid, if possible, medications that may make your symptoms worse

Medications that can cause heartburn

Bisphosphonates

Aspirin/NSAIDs

Iron

Potassium

Quinidine

Tetracycline

Zidovudine

Anticholinergic Agents

Alpha-adrenergic antagonists

Barbiturates

Beta2-adrenergic agonists

Calcium channel blockers

Benzodiazepines

Dopamine

Estrogen

Narcotic analgesics

Nitrates

Progesterone

Prostaglandins

Sildenafil

Theophylline

Tricyclic Antidepressants

Chemotherapy


"Heartburn can often be avoided through changing certain habits." – American Gastroenterological Association

Tip #3 - Avoid activities that can contribute to heartburn symptoms

  • Exercise (weight lifting, cycling, sit-ups)

  • Stress

  • Supine (laying horizontally, face-up) body position

  • Tight-fitting clothing

  • Smoking

  • Eating large meals

  • Bending over


Tip #4 - If you have symptoms at night:

  • Avoid lying down or going to bed within 3 hours of a meal

  • Elevate the head of the bed using 6-inch blocks or use a foam pillow wedge (symptoms may be worse if you use traditional pillows because it will cause you to bend at the waist and this can increase the pressure in your stomach)


Tip #5 - Lose weight if overweight and not pregnant


Being overweight contributes to heartburn symptoms because direct pressure is being applied to the intra-abdominal (stomach) area.


If you are pregnant, please do not self-treat your heartburn symptoms. See your OB/GYN for treatment recommendations.

 

I hope these tips help relieve the frequency and severity of your symptoms.


If you have tried all of these tips, but you still experience heartburn symptoms, let's meet to talk about other things that you can do. We can also discuss over-the-counter and prescription medication options, adverse effects to look out for and potential drug interactions with other medications you may be taking.


Click the button below to book a call with our pharmacist.

 

Learn more here:


Beradi, R., Ferreri, S., Hume, A., Kroon, L., Newton, G., Popovich, N., Remington, T., Rollins, C., Shimp, L. and Tietze, K., 2009. Handbook of nonprescription drugs. 16th ed. Washington, D.C.: American Pharmacists Association, pp.231-245.

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