How to Deal with Frequent Heartburn
Frequent heartburn can impact your quality of life. Find out what frequent heartburn is, what causes it, and how you can help manage the symptoms.
Frequent Heartburn Discomfort
Heartburn is not uncommon. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month.1 However, if you’re noticing heartburn two or more days per week, you may want to seek treatment.
The term “frequent heartburn” refers to heartburn that occurs two or more days per week.2 Frequent heartburn can be uncomfortable, and in some cases, painful. If you’re experiencing frequent heartburn, try taking Nexium 24HR, the #1-selling frequent heartburn treatment brand. If you have additional questions and concerns about your frequent heartburn, schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to help determine the best path forward.
What Causes Frequent Heartburn?
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux.3 Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux, occurs when stomach acid comes back up into your esophagus.3 Generally, your lower esophageal sphincter works to prevent acid reflux.3 However, our bodies aren’t perfect, and many people experience acid reflux every once in a while. If you experience acid reflux often, frequent heartburn may result as a symptom.
Frequent Heartburn Triggers
What you eat on a daily basis can trigger heartburn. Foods that trigger heartburn include:
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Tomato-based products
- Fatty or fried foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Caffeinated beverages4
How Do I Know if I Have Frequent Heartburn?
People with frequent heartburn may experience one or more of the following symptoms two days per week or more:
- A burning pain in the chest that occurs after eating
- Pain that worsens when lying down or bending over
- Bitter or acidic taste in the mouth4
Experiencing these symptoms two days per week or more is considered frequent heartburn.4 If you’re experiencing symptoms which are uncomfortable enough to interfere with your daily activities, then it may be time to have a conversation with your doctor.
Ways to Prevent Frequent Heartburn
Frequent heartburn management can be divided into two categories: prevention and treatment. There are numerous lifestyle changes and habits you can implement to manage your frequent heartburn over time, and those changes can include:
- Avoiding going to bed with a full stomach. Try to eat meals at least three to four hours before you lie down to allow ample time for digestion.
- Eating healthy portions. Cutting down on the size of your portions can lower your risk of getting heartburn.
- Eating slowly. Eating too quickly can put you at risk for experiencing heartburn.5
- Maintaining a healthy weight. People who are overweight may be at higher risk for experiencing heartburn.4
- Avoiding trigger foods and beverages like the ones listed above.
- Minimizing stress.
- Wearing loose, comfortable clothing. Tight clothing and belts can sometimes cause heartburn by impeding your digestion.
- Sleeping with your head and torso elevated. You can place small blocks or books under your bed posts at the head of your bed to elevate your head and chest over your feet.5
- Quitting or avoiding cigarettes.6 Nicotine can relax your lower esophageal valve over time, causing heartburn.5
Certain medications and supplements can also cause heartburn by irritating the lining of your esophagus. Always read product labels and talk to your doctor before taking any new medications if you’re experiencing frequent heartburn.7
If you follow the recommendations above and still experience frequent heartburn, treatment may be required. Most often, frequent heartburn is treated by medicine, like Nexium 24HR.8 Nexium 24HR is a PPI that stops acid before it starts. Just one pill a day for 14 days gives you 24-hour protection.* Explore Nexium 24HR products now.
*It's possible while taking Nexium 24HR. Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn. Do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor. Not for immediate relief
- Acid Reflux. American College of Gastroenterology. https://gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/. https://gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/.
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Rush System. https://www.rush.edu/conditions/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease-gerd.
- Symptoms & Causes of GER & GERD. NIH. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults/symptoms-causes.
- Heartburn. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/symptoms-causes/syc-20373223.
- Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/9617-heartburn-overview.
- 10 Tips to Prevent Reflux Disease. John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/international/_downloads/JHI130231%20Tipsheet%2010%20tips%20to%20prevent%20Reflux%20Disease-5%20JHMI.pdf
- GERD: Can certain medications make it worse? Mayo Clinic https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/gerd/expert-answers/heartburn-gerd/faq-20058535.
- Treatment for GER & GERD. NIDDK. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults/treatment.