What gets rid of heartburn fast

by | Apr 13, 2023 | Ailments, Medicine, Pain management

Do you occasionally feel burning in your chest, especially after eating?

You are not the only one! Heartburn is common, with many people explaining the associated burning pain felt. While the pain can be disrupting and feel persistent, it usually can be relieved with self-managed lifestyle changes and over the counter medicines.

If you experience heartburn occasionally, you may like to try over-the-counter medications such as antacids and also eliminate food or drinks that trigger heartburn. However if it is experienced frequently, it may be best to speak to your doctor to have further checks done.

How do I know if it is really just heartburn?

Heartburn is when stomach acid has been released up the esophagus when it shouldn’t. This can occur when the muscle ring at the lower end of the esophagus relaxes. This is also known as reflux and feels like a burning feeling rising from your chest up to your throat. For some, heartburn can be infrequent and mild, but others may have more severe heartburn that occurs two or more days a week.

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The symptoms of heartburn can include:

  • Burning pain in the chest behind the breastbone
  • Bitter or acidic taste in the mouth
    Pain that worsens when lying down or bending over.
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Burning feeling in the throat.
    Chronic dry cough

If you are experiencing a similar feeling to the above and it doesn’t subside after taking medications for heartburn, consider speaking to your doctor to have further examinations done.

It can sometimes be difficult to distinguish between heartburn, angina or a heart attack. If you experience any pressure, tightness, pain, or a squeezing or aching sensation in your chest or arms then contact 000 immediately.

Some symptoms of angina include pain centered beneath your breastbone, or a pain that radiates to both arms. These symptoms can get worse with exertion, but improve with rest. Consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms of angina

Common causes of heartburn

Heartburn can be felt most often after eating, in the evening, lying, or bending down. For some people, heartburn can occur regardless of what foods they consume. However, certain foods can trigger heartburn more quickly than others.

These include:

  • Large meals
  • Fatty or spicy foods
  • Caffeine products
  • Soft drinks
  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Acidic and citrus fruits/vegetables e.g. tomatoes and oranges.

What relieves heartburn fast?

There are a few over the counter medicines that can treat the symptoms of heartburn quickly. If it is your first time experiencing the condition, then it is useful to try these to see what relieves your heartburn most effectively.

You can order these medicines easily through the Chemist2U app or on our website.

If it is your first time taking this medication then you can also “Ask our pharmacist” for advice.

Two common heartburn medicines available are:
Antacids – Gaviscon is an example and provides quick temporary relief by increasing the pH of the stomach, and soothing stomach pains and indigestion in the form of liquid or oral chewable tablets. Shop for Gaviscon here.
PPIs – Also known as Protein Pump Inhibitors, are effective for mild to moderate heartburn providing relief for 30 to 45 minutes and are usually taken on a when-needed basis as they reduce the production of stomach acid. Nexium is an example – shop for Nexium here.

Side effects of these heartburn medications may include:

  • stomach cramps
  • constipation, headaches
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea

If you start developing a fever, irregular heartbeat, weakness or fatigue and a tight chest, you should stop taking them and contact your doctor immediately.

If you keep experiencing heartburn from time to time, it is a good idea to keep a food diary to try to identify foods that may be triggering the condition as well as understand what relieves heartburn.

Self-management treatments for heartburn:

  • Keeping a diary to record and identify diet and lifestyle triggers/changes
  • Avoiding trigger foods (listed above)
  • Elevating the head when sleeping
    Avoiding late-night meals
  • Eating smaller and more frequently
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Reducing your stress levels.

Shop our range of heartburn medicine.

Do you have a question about your medication?

Speak to us today

If it is your first time taking this medication then you can also “Ask our pharmacist” for advice.

Two common heartburn medicines available are:

  • Antacids – Gaviscon is an example and provides quick temporary relief by increasing the pH of the stomach, and soothing stomach pains and indigestion in the form of liquid or oral chewable tablets. Shop for Gaviscon here.
  • PPIs – Also known as Protein Pump Inhibitors, are effective for mild to moderate heartburn providing relief for 30 to 45 minutes and are usually taken on a when-needed basis as they reduce the production of stomach acid. Nexium is an example – shop for Nexium here.

Side effects of these heartburn medications may include:

  • stomach cramps
  • constipation, headaches
  • dizziness
  • diarrhea

If you start developing a fever, irregular heartbeat, weakness or fatigue and a tight chest, you should stop taking them and contact your doctor immediately.

If you keep experiencing heartburn from time to time, it is a good idea to keep a food diary to try to identify foods that may be triggering the condition as well as understand what relieves heartburn.

Self-management treatments for heartburn:

  • Keeping a diary to record and identify diet and lifestyle triggers/changes
  • Avoiding trigger foods (listed above)
  • Elevating the head when sleeping
    Avoiding late-night meals
  • Eating smaller and more frequently
  • Reducing alcohol consumption
  • Reducing your stress levels.

Shop our range of heartburn medicine.

To learn more, we recommend you search myDr for available medicines.

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Medically reviewed by Dr Matt Cullen
MBBS, FRANZCP

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