Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a common condition among people that affects the muscles of your lower esophagus, causing food and digestive acids from the stomach to come back into the esophagus. Certain foods and medications can make this worse. This condition is extremely uncomfortable and causes a burning sensation in your chest, and has an impact on the rest of your life, like going out to restaurants, for example.
Many people get used to living with this and ignore the symptoms and just wait for it to disappear, but there are a few things you can do to reduce the symptoms. In this article, we will give you eight ways to make your life easier if you have heartburn.
Eat in a Heartburn-Smart Way
Heartburn is often triggered by certain foods, such as spicy food, it is important that you know what your trigger food is and avoid eating it. Additionally, heartburn is more likely to occur when you have a stuffed stomach as this adds way too much pressure on the organ. Evidently, the more food you eat, the longer it will take for your stomach to digest the food and increase the likelihood of acid reflux. Do not overeat – you do not have to starve, but you can eat fewer portions more frequently during the day and eat slowly.
Avoid Late-Night Eating
Acid reflux can be more occurring at night time when you go to bed – this is worsened if you eat a lot just before bed. You must give a space of at least two hours between your last meal and bedtime to avoid heartburn. This will give your stomach enough time to digest all the food.
Do Not Exercise Right After Meals
Exercising after meals is a big no-no when it comes to heartburn, just like going to bed straight after. When you suffer from this condition, your diet and your movements after eating are something that you may have to overthink. Ideally, you should go for a walk as this can help with digestion, and reduce acid reflux.
As we mentioned previously, sleep time can indeed increase heartburn. You should not eat large portions of food before bed and you should also sleep in particular positions to ameliorate the symptoms. Doctors suggest that sleeping on your left side can significantly reduce acid reflux – it can be difficult to stay on your side on a bed because you can either get a recliner or sleeper chairs, which will make your sleeping position adequate to lessen heartburn. This will most likely make your life easier, particularly if you suffer greatly from acid reflux in your sleep.
Chew Sugarless Gum After a Meal
Believe it or not, chewing gum after a meal may actually help you reduce the symptoms of heartburn. This is because it increases salivation and neutralizes acids. However, they should be flavorless as some flavors can have the complete opposite effect. Make sure you do this after every meal, particularly at night after your last meal of the day.
Rule Out Medication Side Effects
Heartburn is caused by different factors, one of them is medication. Some pills that you take may have this symptom as a side-effect. If you are currently on medication and only just started experiencing acid reflux, this could be the reason. Make sure that you read the side-effects of the medication, and discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist so that they can prescribe you something different.
Lose Weight if You Need To
As we discussed above, diet is important as acid reflux is caused by food. Additionally, it is important that you have a healthy and balanced diet to ensure that you do not suffer from weight issues. Being overweight means that a lot more pressure is put on the stomach, making its contents being pushed into the esophagus. If you are seriously overweight, this could result in various health issues, therefore, discuss this with your doctor so that further measures are put into place to help you with weight loss.
Wear Loose Clothing
Not many people think about this, but what you wear can have an impact on heartburn. Tight jeans are fashionable, but they can put a lot of pressure on your stomach and worsen acid reflux. Do not wear tight clothing, especially around your waist, this includes belts. Wearing something comfortable will definitely make your life easier if you have heartburn.
Suffering from acid reflux can be very uncomfortable for you, and it may be difficult to manage the horrible symptoms. However, make sure that you do some of the tips discussed above to make your life easier if you have heartburn.