Causes of severe heartburn
Most frequent cause of severe heartburn is reflux of acid from stomach to esophagus or GERD. To make sure this is the case please go to your doctor and talk to him about your symptoms.
First of all you have to make sure that it is actually heartburn - not a heart attack. Your doctor is a definite source for this information. If you're sure it is heartburn then there are several methods you can use to soothe it. Methods are sorted in the order they should be applied.
Severe heartburn treatment
Go to your doctor and get some PPI (nexium, protonix, prilosec, etc.). This will give you almost immediate result and you'll be able to sleep. Usually it is the best way to go until you figure what else works for you.
Adjustable bed or wedge pillow
Rise the head of your bed 10-20 inches so gravity will fight with your heartburn. Alternatively you could by wedge pillow which will give the same effect but with more comfort.
Change your diet. Start eating 5-6 small meals per days instead of 3 you usually have. This will give your stomach less work and it will produce less acid.
Add more fiber to your diet. I usually do it in the form of oatmeal cereal. You can use anything else you like. Fiber absorbs stomach acid and helps to relieve the fire.
Stop eating at night or right before the sleep. Allow 2-3 hours before going to bed.
More information on heartburn:
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