From time to time I browse news to search for new promising treatment options for heartburn. Today I found quite an interesting one called LINX.
This procedure is only at the very beginning of its trials but an idea sounds very smart and also significantly less invasive than everything else available at the moment (in my opinion).
The idea of the procedure is to place a bracelet with magnetic beads at the very bottom of your esophagus. The magnetic force of the bracelet will help your esophagus to close and won’t let acid back into your stomach.
I like this idea a lot because instead of trying to anatomically change esophagus by putting scars or staples on it LINX adds some force to your esophagus without doing anything bad to it.
Another positive side of LINX is that if magnetic bracelet doesn’t work due to some reasons you can remove it and completely reverse the procedure! None of other anti-reflux procedures give you that.
The one possibly negative side is that to insert the bracelet a minimally invasive surgical technique, called laparoscopy is required. At the same time this surgery technique is one of the safest available and lots of surgeries are performed using it nowadays since laparoscopy considerably minimizes infection risks and hospital stay.
I really hope that trials would go successfully and we’ll see high success ratios for this procedure.
If you’re interested in this procedure here is LINX official page http://www.toraxmedical.com/patients/linx.php. On this page they also have a link to a site where you can find information on how to participate in LINX trials.
Based on my conversation with a friend who is a doctor I compiled a simple strategy on how to manage nighttime heartburn symptoms occurring every day for prolonged period of time.
Option 1: Use PPIs – if it works you’re done. Most people stay with this option until it stops working (I have no idea why – but I heard from lots of people that PPIs stop for them working after several years). Just make sure to read recent safety reports about PPIs – there were some changes in it in 2010.
Option 2: Use plan below to get rid of constant nighttime heartburn.
1) Find all food triggers for your heartburn and remove them from your diet. This included but is not limited to alcholol, chocolate, caffeine, acidic food (if you have doubts about any food acidity just exclude it – you can also use acidity database on this site). It is better to exclude all foods that you have doubts in rather than suffer nighttime heartburn.
2) Make your last meal very simple and plain. I use steamed rice with butter in this case. Simple meal will make your stomach produce only tiny amount of acid before the night and reduce irritation.
3) Last meal should be at least 3 hours before going to sleep.
4) Make sure you’re not hungry through the day and especially before going to sleep. This doesn’t mean you need to eat right before going to bed. It means that you have to eat through the day to get all the calories you need. Since your last meal is going to be simple you will need to consume more food during the day. Just eat some snacks to compensate loss of calories.
5) As a bonus you should get anti heartburn propup pillow. It will help you a lot in your efforts.
Plan above works like a clock to me. It just takes willpower to stick to it.
You can also learn how to stop heartburn at stopheartburnguide.com.