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My troublesome heartburn

I am a 45 year old man who has been having problems with heartburn and chest pains for the past five years despite all the kinds of medications doctors have placed me on. Kindly advise me on how I can get a permanent cure from this problem that has made life very miserable for me.

Chidoke (by SMS)

 

It is very important to first confirm if your heartburn is not actually a symptom of some other underlying disease. To know this, your doctor may recommend some investigations such as X-ray and Endoscopy, to check for abnormalities in your oesophagus or stomach. Many over-the-counter medications can help relieve heartburn. The options include Antacids, which help neutralize stomach acid. Antacids may provide quick relief. But they can’t heal an oesophagus damaged by stomach acid. Apart from medications such as antacids and others, it is important for you to avoid drinks containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea and colas which can trigger burning abdominal pains. Onions, garlic, tomatoes and citrus fruits may also be a bother while fatty and fried foods are also notorious for worsening heartburns. In addition, some lifestyle changes can help ease heartburn. These include the maintenance of a healthy weight as excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to back up into your oesophagus. It is also important to; avoid tight fitting clothing, which puts pressure on your abdomen and the lower oesophageal sphincter, avoid late meals as well as lying down after a meal. Wait at least three hours especially after taking large meals. It is also important to avoid smoking and alcohol. Both smoking and drinking alcohol decrease the lower oesophageal sphincter’s ability to function properly.

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