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Many people experience digestive issues at some time in their life, whether it's heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation. For some people, these can be a frequent or chronic problem. If you suffer from frequent indigestion and nausea, heartburn or bowel irregularities, see your doctor. These can be symptoms of a more serious health problem. Your doctor may recommend over the counter products to manage your issues. There are formulas available to help you get relief from minor digestive problems.
Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in the center of the chest caused by backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. Chronic heartburn is called gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. It happens because the flap that separates the esophagus and stomach is weak or becomes relaxed because the stomach is distended. GERD is a very common problem, affecting up to 20% of the population. If you have heartburn frequently, your doctor may recommend making certain lifestyle changes. If lifestyle and diet changes don't work, they may recommend taking an antacid or another type of medication that blocks acid production to help relieve the symptoms.
Formulated with an ingredient that neutralizes stomach acid, antacids can offer fast relief of occasional heartburn. There are chewable tablets available in different flavors. Effervescent tablets are also available. To use them, simply dissolve the tablets in water. Always follow the directions in the package insert. Because the tablets are dissolved in water, they start working quickly to relieve the symptoms of heartburn.
Extra-strength tablets are also available for relief of occasional heartburn. These tablets contain ingredients like aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate that help neutralize stomach acid. They work quickly to soothe heartburn and digestive upset due to too much acid. The tablets can offer hours of heartburn relief.
For frequent heartburn, doctors sometimes recommend omeprazole acid reducer tablets. Omeprazole is similar to a prescription medication used to treat acid reflux. Omeprazole reduces the amount of acid your stomach produces so you experience less heartburn. Talk to your doctor before taking it. Omeprazole can have side effects in some people, particularly if used for long periods of time.
Constipation can make you feel full and uncomfortable. In many cases, dietary changes can help - adding more fiber to your diet and drinking more water. But what if you need faster relief?
Laxatives give your bowels the extra stimulation they need to produce a stool. They offer relief from occasional constipation in as little as six hours. Be aware - some people experience abdominal cramping with laxatives. Only take laxatives with your doctor's approval.
Your doctor may recommend stool softeners for your constipation. These products make it easier to pass a stool. It usually takes between twelve hours and three days for stool softeners to work.
Other types of laxatives are also available including fiber supplements to help you have more regular bowel movements.
If you have frequent constipation, see your doctor, especially if it's a change from your normal bowel habits. A variety of health problems can cause constipation including some medications. Your doctor can help you find the source of your problem as well as an appropriate solution.