Suffering From Heartburn? Try These Effective Tips To Curb The Burning Sensation
Do you feel burning sensation in the chest? Does the pain get worse when lying down? Don’t worry, it’s not a sign of heart attack, you might be suffering from heartburn. Stomach problems are very common since a plethora of functions works after having a meal. Heartburn is one of those common stomach problems that affect millions of people.
What is heartburn?
The word heartburn is actually referred to acid reflux. It happens when the lower esophageal muscles don’t function properly. This often occurs after having a meal when food and acids flow back to the esophagus, the pathway of the food to the stomach. It can result in burning pain or discomfort that often radiates from abdomen to the chest or even up to the throat causing a bitter taste in the mouth.
Occasional heartburn can happen to each one of us and it’s not concerning, but for many people, it occurs more frequently hampering their daily activities. While the doctor is the best person that can guide you through the best treatment plans, some home-based lifestyle changes can make a world of difference. Let’s go through some simple tips to prevent heartburn.
Tips to prevent heartburn
Eating smaller, frequent meals
Consuming heavy meal is the major reason behind most of the heartburn cases. A tummy full of food can put extra load on the lower esophagus and increase the chances of acid flowing back into the esophagus. Eat smaller portions at lunch and dinner or try to have 4-5 small meals instead of three large ones.
Don’t go to sleep with a full stomach
Going to bed with a heavy meal can put pressure on the lower esophagus. Eat meals 2-3 hours before bedtime. This will give enough time for the food to get digested and get out of the stomach. This will automatically reduce the acid level before you lie down in a position when there are increased chances of heartburn.
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Know your food enemies. There is a vast band of foods that cause heartburn. A few examples are high spicy foods, onions, tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices and beverage containing caffeine.
Maintain proper weight
Extra weight puts pressure on the abdomen which can result in stomach contents flowing back into the esophagus. About 35 percent of overweight people experience digestive issues including heartburn.
But there is a pretty simple solution for these people. If they reduce 10 percent of their overall weight, it can not only improve symptoms of heartburn but also help them in preventing a number of other diseases. Start cutting down fatty foods and begin exercising.
Nicotine can weaken the lower esophagus sphincter (LES) that controls the opening between the muscles and esophagus. When this weakens, it let the acid and other contents to flow back.
Stop drinking alcohol
Instead of gulping a drink to bust stress, try meditation, exercising, walking and deep breathing to unwind your day.
Elevate the head of your bed
Many heartburn cases get worse on lying down after eating. If the head and chest are high above your feet, about 6 inches, the gravity can help lower pressure on the stomach. Place some wooden or concrete blocks or similar thing under the headboard of your bed to sleep in an inclined position.
Don’t wear tight fitting clothes
Clothes that tightly fit around the stomach can cause it to squeeze, allowing the food to flow backward. Avoid tight-fitting belts, waistbands, and weight reducing garments.
Keep a record
Jotting down medical problems is the first step to counter any disease. Keep a log of food and other things, how your body reacted and severity of heartburn episodes. This information will help the doctor to chalk out the perfect treatment plan for you.
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Heartburn during pregnancy
Pregnant women are most affected by heartburn. More than half of all the expecting mothers will complain of severe heartburn. This occurs due to change in the hormone levels plus the pressure of the growing fetus, which affects the muscles of the digestive tract. The symptoms are usually worse during the third trimester.
The prevention tips are the same for pregnant ladies as well. If these tips don’t help, meet the gastroenterologist who specializes in stomach problems. In most cases of acid reflux, over the counter medication works well. The doctor may also suggest antacid and other prescribed medicines which can give you respite from your symptoms.
Heartburn can affect your daily activities. So, don’t underestimate this condition, if you are experiencing heartburn for over a week, seek professional help.