- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
10 Ways to Get Rid of Heartburn Fast
Heartburn No More
The word heartburn sounds frightening; anything negative attached to the word heart causes one to worry and feel anxious. Imagine your heart burning in flames, sizzling and smoking, and you can’t do anything about it. Fortunately, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. The symptoms are just commonly felt in the chest area, which makes one think that there is something wrong with the heart. But don’t you worry; your heart’s perfectly fine.
All About the Esophagus
Have you heard about acid reflux? It’s when the contents of your stomach, including the acid, make their way back up the esophagus. What follows is a burning sensation in the chest area, sometimes felt up to the neck.
What Causes Heartburn
Many factors may cause heartburn. The common culprits are the foods you eat. Food and drinks that trigger heartburn include: spicy and greasy foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. Heartburn is also more common during pregnancy because of the added abdominal pressure. This is also the case for overweight individuals. Smoking and some medications also cause acid reflux to be more prevalent.
It is rare that heartburn is a sign of something serious. Small amounts of reflux is normal and the swallowing of saliva makes the acid flush down to the stomach before you even feel any pain or discomfort. However, there are some cases where heartburns occur on a regular basis or the burning sensation lasts for a long period of time. Consulting your doctor is, of course, always a good thing. But if you think your heartburn is nothing serious, try these tips to cool the flames and get rid of heartburn.
10 Tips to Get Rid of Heartburn Fast
1. Keep a heartburn diary.
In order to get rid of heartburn, you need to identify its cause. An easy way to do this is to keep a heartburn diary. Do not scribble here your daily experiences of getting snubbed by your crush. We’re talking about heartburn here, not heartbreak. What you need to jot down are the instances where you get heartburn. Take note of the time, your activities before the burn, and the food you ate. You will eventually see a pattern and determine the possible source of heartburn.
2. Watch your eating habits.
A quarter pounder plus large French fries can really satisfy your tummy; but you may suffer the consequences shortly after your scrumptious meal. Look at your heartburn diary and check if certain foods trigger your heartburn symptoms. Spicy and greasy foods usually get the blame here. However, it is not just about the food you eat; it’s also about how and when you eat. Try eating smaller meals instead of three large meals. Also, even if your wife cooked your favorite food, get a hold of yourself and eat slowly. Your stomach will thank you for it. Bedtime meals or midnight snacks can also cause heartburn. Doctors recommend eating meals at least 3 hours before going to bed.
3. Drinking habits.
As mentioned above, some drinks also trigger heartburn. Do a little experiment and see if cutting down your coffee consumption helps get rid of heartburn. Do the same for bubbly drinks like soda. It is also suggested that you drink before and after meals. Drinking during meals fills your stomach and increases the likelihood of pushing the contents and acid back up.
4. Elevate the head of your bed.
This is one way of protecting your esophagus while you are sleeping. It helps keep the contents of your stomach from slipping back up to the esophagus. You can put some books under the legs of your bed to elevate it. Note that piling pillows is not an alternative as it increases the pressure on the abdomen.
5. Don’t lie down after eating.
Resist the urge of lying down right after having a meal. It is better to let the stomach empty first. Wait at least an hour before you lie down.
6. Maintain a healthy weight.
Those extra pounds cause more abdominal pressure. It is also better for your overall health if you maintain your ideal weight. Eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
7. Wear loose clothing.
That gorgeous belt and tight pants may look good on you but they do no good to your stomach. Try to wear clothing that is not too tight so as not to put too much pressure on the stomach.
8. Watch your medication.
Some medications, especially painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen, can burn the esophagus. It is best to consult with your doctor first and seek for advice regarding which medications won’t harm your esophagus and stomach. On the other hand, there are over-the-counter heartburn treatments such as antacids and acid blockers. These medications neutralize stomach acid. While you can buy these without prescription and can help you get rid of heartburn fast, it is recommended to see your doctor first and ask for proper directions regarding the use of these treatments.
9. Don’t smoke.
Nicotine irritates the esophageal sphincter, the valve between the esophagus and the stomach. This makes the valve perform less efficiently, increasing the chances of getting heartburn.
10. Avoid stress.
One of the most neglected ways on how to get rid of heartburn is avoiding stress. Stress affects the esophageal sphincter and can increase acid secretion.
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