How to Stop Heartburn. Heartburn affects millions of people of all ages and walks of life. For some, heartburn is only an occasional occurrence. For others, however, heartburn is a frequent companion. Fortunately, heartburn is treatable. For that matter, it's possible to stop heartburn in its tracks. Before you reach for that chili dog or other spicy food, find out how to stop heartburn before it has a chance to start.
Remember that prevention is worth a pound of cure. To that end, give some thought to some of your dietary or lifestyle habits that may be contributing to your heartburn symptoms.
Stop smoking or using tobacco in any form. Nicotine causes the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to weaken, allowing stomach acid to wash back up to the esophagus.
Pay attention to your diet. Fatty foods, chocolate, whole milk, coffee, carbonated drinks, highly acidic fruits and vegetables (such as oranges and tomatoes) and spicy foods in general can irritate the lower esophagus and encourage heartburn.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day, which can help to neutralize excess stomach acid and stop heartburn before it begins.
Mind your manners, but let an occasional belch fly. Burping can often put a stop to heartburn symptoms by relieving trapped gas and air.
Stop heartburn with a step-up approach. There are several H2 blocker drugs that are available as over-the-counter medications, such as famotidine, cimetidine and ranitidine. These medications are better known by the trade names of Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB and Zantac 75, respectively. If these medications don't stop heartburn symptoms, then your doctor may suggest 'stepping up' to a more aggressive drug, such as omeprazole (Prilosec).
Talk to your doctor about any prescription medications you may be taking that are known to cause heartburn, such as blood pressure and asthma medications or antidepressants. Your doctor may recommend a different medication while treating your heartburn symptoms.
Consider the possibility that your heartburn is an indication of something more serious, such as advanced gastroesophageal reflux disease. If your lower esophagus is badly damaged or failing to function properly at all, then surgery to repair the muscle may be the only way to stop your heartburn symptoms.