Heartburn and acid reflux can really spoil your mood. However, you usually do not have to resign yourself to your complaints because some vigilance and adjustment of your diet, in combination with mild chewable tablets, can often provide significant relief from the problem. Consult your pharmacist or GP for the correct approach. Because, among other things, the esophagus can be affected.
What is heartburn
Everything we eat and drink arrives in our stomach via the esophagus. The stomach produces stomach acid to digest food. But sometimes the stomach produces more stomach acid than is necessary to digest the food. However, this can irritate the mucous membrane lining our stomach. We then speak of heartburn. Some of the stomach contents may also flow back into the esophagus, which is experienced as acid reflux.
How does it arise?
Heartburn can occur as a result of:
- Eating too much, too fast and too fatty. Or eating at strange or irregular times, for example in the middle of the night. Not chewing enough.
- If you eat a lot of spicy herbs, or citrus fruits and chocolate. But also with foods that are difficult to digest, such as legumes and cabbage.
- Drinking a lot of tea and coffee or alcohol and carbonated drinks
- But the stomach is also sensitive to psychological complaints such as stress and tension: Nervous, busy, thin people used to be popularly referred to as ‘ulcer types’.
How can you combat heartburn?
You suffer from heartburn if you produce too much excess stomach acid. If you were to combat this with something to eat, the effect would be counterproductive, because the stomach would then produce even more acid. The only thing that often helps to get rid of the burning sensation is taking a stomach acid product. You will usually have relief within a few minutes. But if you often have complaints, try to change your eating and drinking habits in a positive way. For example, try to discover which foods lead to heartburn. Perhaps you should be a little more careful with kale and sausage, or capuchins with bacon.
Remedies for heartburn
You can take a medicine that contains the ingredients calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, known under the brand name Rennie. The combination of these active ingredients ensures that excess stomach acid is neutralized and then converted into water and other body substances. This will quickly bring the stomach back into balance. So if you often suffer from heartburn and you have no control over your diet, for example because you have been invited to a dinner party, make sure you have such remedies on hand.
Are those substances safe?
You may use these relatively harmless remedies several times a day without objection, even during pregnancy if the growing uterus is the cause. A pleasant feature of these remedies, because during pregnancy the stomach can sometimes become upset, via heartburn or belching. And because these are chewable tablets, you can take them without water.
Side effects of Rennie
Rarely : diarrhea or constipation; only if there is already a peptic ulcer bleeding; kidney stones with long-term use.
Sometimes : belching; taking many tablets per day actually has the opposite effect.
Sometimes you experience stomach contents flowing back into the esophagus, which manifests itself as acid reflux. When using Rennie Duo, for example, you not only combat heartburn, but also the rising stomach acid because this drug places a protective layer on the stomach wall, as it were. As a result, it soothes the burning pain in the esophagus.
Especially in the evening
If you go to sleep relatively soon after a (heavy) meal and therefore lie down in a horizontal position, excess stomach acid production can more easily travel to the esophagus. Your night’s sleep will not improve and you may also wake up unpleasantly. Having such a remedy on hand on your bedside table often does no harm. But also remember not to eat large amounts if you go to bed shortly afterward. Allow three hours of sunshine for this. Sometimes it can also help to elevate your head (extra pillow, for example) so that the acid can flow less easily into the esophagus.
Consult your doctor if the complaints persist and become persistent. For example, if you have stomach problems almost every day for weeks and the burning sensation or pain increases, see the doctor for further advice. Even if you are taking other medications, ask your doctor whether you can use Rennie because unpleasant interactions can sometimes occur when used simultaneously.