Gastroenterologist Questions Heartburn

What should I do about my frequent heartburn?

I feel like I have heartburn constantly, and I'm only 30 years old. My heartburn is worst at night before I go to bed. What can I do for this?

5 Answers

Use anti acid medicines like pepcid or prilosec, don't lie down within 4 hrs after eating. See a GI doctor to get evaluated. An EGD should be done to make sure that you don't have damage to the esophagus from acid reflux.
If you have had these symptoms for over 4 to 6 weeks then the first thing you should do is go see a GASTROENTEROLOGIST.
Don’t self treat and worsen the condition please.
Heartburn is bad for you because it can lead to burning of the esophagus, your 'swallowing tube'. To decrease heartburn, eat fewer spicy or fatty foods, nothing fried, and no alcohol. For you more than most, diet is medicine and you cannot just eat anything you want, or you may suffer.

Going for a walk after dinner helps move the intestines, which is good to help empty the stomach. So try putting on your walking shoes and see if you sleep better, too.

If a bland diet does not help enough, or on particularly bad days, you can use something like ranitidine to stop stomach cells from producing more acid. TUMS also works on changing the pH in your stomach.

The best thing is to reexamine what you ate for dinner, and avoid foods that may have triggered acid.

Other contributors to heartburn include having a large waistline, because when you lie down, gravity pushes the stomach onto the diaphragm or breathing muscle, emptying it upward to the esophagus. Keep some handy by your bedside and hope this helps.
It is common for people with heartburn issues to have some idea of which foodstuffs are tolerated and which worsen your heartburn. Look to your diet first and foremost. There are basically two options for a solution. One is to start out with a very bland diet and continue this for a week or so until your stomach has quieted down. Then start by adding slowly various foodstuffs until you feel your heartburn coming back. That will give you a fair picture of what you need to avoid. The other option is to start taking antacids. The best of these are proton pump inhibitors, and some of them are over-the-counter while others need a physician prescription.
Avoid fatty and irritant foods during the day. Take a proton pump inhibitor 30 min before breakfast (Prevacid, protonix, nexium, Prilosec). Don’t eat too late before bedtime. Take an antihistamine 2 blocker (like ranitidine or Pepcid) at bedtime if the heartburn continues. Anti-reflux measures, Gastro for endoscopy.