Certain foods such as chocolate;
coffee; cola and other carbonated
drinks; acidic or sugary food and
drink (specifically, citrus fruits and
juices); foods containing tomatoes,
including spaghetti sauce and
ketchup; fried, fatty and spicy foods;
garlic and onions; mint; mustard;
Eating large meals
Too much exercise (especially
Wearing tight clothes
Bearing down hard when you go
to the bathroom
Other diseases may cause heartburn as
well, including pancreatitis and H. pylori
ARE HIV MEDS TO BLAME?
They might be the cause -- especially
regimens containing Norvir. Other
medications may cause heartburn, such
as aspirin and many pain medications;
certain antibiotics; certain medications
for allergies, anxiety or erectile
dysfunction; calcium blockers; cancer
treatments and corticosteroids; and
certain supplements (including iron,
potassium and vitamin C).
About 10% of adults get heartburn (aka indigestion or reflux) at least once a week, but when it is severe, it can be dangerous.
WHAT IS IT?
Heartburn is a burning,
sour feeling in your mid-chest.
Known as acid
reflux or GERD, it may
come and go, and can last
from a few minutes to a
Food travels down the
esophagus, which leads
from your mouth to your
stomach. At your stomach,
a valve opens up to let the
food through, and then
closes so your stomach
can digest it. Your stomach
mixes some pretty strong
acids with the food to help
break it down. Sometimes,
the valve doesn't shut
properly, and the acids
in your stomach back up
into your esophagus. This
is known as heartburn
because the sensation is in
the area near your heart.
HOW TO TREAT HEARTBURN
Acid-reducing medications (also called
antacids), such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox
and Rolaids, can help. But if you are
currently taking HIV meds, talk to your
doctor or pharmacist before taking
them. These medications may weaken
the ability of some HIV meds to fight
the virus, especially Aptivus, Complera,
Edurant, Reyataz, Stribild and Videx EC.
DR. KEITH HENRY University of Minnesota School of Medicine
Treatment Tips: "I initially try
antacid tablets such as Tums,
followed by an acid-reducing drug
such as ranitidine, cimetidine or
famotidine, especially at night.
Raising the head of the bed can
help. If symptoms persist, I look
for contributing problems (taking
aspirin, ibuprofen, caffeine,
alcohol, spicy foods, late-night
snacking) and health conditions
(such as peptic ulcer disease or
H. pylori infection). I may refer
patients to a gastrointestinal doc
for further evaluation."
Usually, heartburn is
minor and doesn't
last long. But if it
becomes a burden
or affects your
quality of life, call
your health care
is often easy to
treat, but if left
untreated, it has the
potential to cause
more severe health
problems over time.
Talk to your doctor
or call an ambulance
your heartburn is
or comes with any
of the following
or squeezing in your
in your stomach
or chest area,
especially if any
by your doctor or
pharmacist don't get
rid of it
This article was provided by TheBody.com. It is a part of the publication HIV & You: Managing Gut Symptoms.
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