Heartburn Research Paper

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Heartburn is a common ailment across the globe that is unpleasant, and, if it is not treated, could potentially have severe negative effects on the body. The stomach is filled with a highly acidic fluid that assists in the breakdown of foods. The stomach is able to contain this acid because it has a special lining preventing the tissue from being burned by the low pH. The esophagus, a tube that connects the throat to the stomach, does not have that lining, and therefore is in danger of being burned if it comes into contact with the stomach acid. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a strong valve located at the bottom of the esophagus that prevents the acid from escaping the stomach and damaging the esophagus. Sometimes, the LES malfunctions …show more content…
H2 blockers are proactive in their approach to the reduction of acid reflux, rather than reactive, like antacids. They work to reduce the production of stomach acid, so that the fluids in the stomach already have a higher pH if and when they do leak in to the esophagus. Because this altered stomach fluid is significantly less acidic, it will not have as detrimental of an effect on the esophageal tissue. Some common brands of H2 blockers are Tagamet, Pepcid, and Zantac. The last category of acid reflux prevention is the category of proton pump inhibitors. Proton pump inhibitors are also proactive in their approach to eliminating heartburn. They work similarly to the H2 blockers in that they prevent the production of stomach acid; however, they are more effective than H2 blockers for severe and complex cases of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. They are often preferred by health care providers, and recommended to patients even above antacids. In this experiment, alkaline water is compared against antacids, rather than the other medications, because antacids work most similarly to alkaline water in the neutralization of acidic fluid. Moreover, alkaline water and antacids both neutralize stomach acid after it has been produced, rather than preventing the production

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