Heartburn is an unfortunate sensation that usually consists of an uncomfortable burning feeling in the chest or the upper region of the stomach. Also known as acid indigestion, this phenomenon can spread to other parts of the upper body and last as little as just a few moments or as long as several hours.
Heartburn is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter does not operate properly and allows stomach acid out of your stomach and into your esophagus which causes that burning sensation. While heartburn can be incredibly annoying it is not usually terribly difficult to manage. However, if you are having trouble keeping your heartburn under control then you may want to consider the following tips to reduce your heartburn symptoms.
1. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Being overweight causes more pressure to be placed on your stomach which can aggravate and exacerbate heartburn symptoms. If you struggle with your weight, consider making an extra effort to get it under control. You just may reap the benefits when it comes to how much heartburn you have to deal with in addition to other widely recognizable health benefits such as increased energy and strength.
2. Quit Smoking
Smoking causes a host of health issues, but many people fail to realize that it can also increase heartburn symptoms. This is because smoking relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter and makes it much easier for stomach acid to travel back into one’s esophagus and cause problems. Quitting smoking will make your life better in a variety of ways, decreasing heartburn is just another thing to add to the list.
3. Alter Your Diet
Certain foods can trigger heartburn more than others. Try to not eat greasy, fatty, spicy, or fried foods as much as you can. It may also be beneficial to limit your citrus, alcohol, and caffeine intake as well. You may also want to rethink the way that you eat. Overeating often causes heartburn, so it may be a good idea to eat several small meals throughout the day instead of the customary three large meals.
4. Avoid High-Impact Exercise
Exercise is not by any means a bad activity to engage in; however, there are just certain exercises you may want to avoid if you are struggling with heartburn. Some of these exercises include crunches and yoga positions that place extra pressure on your abdominal region. Additionally, it may be a better idea to swim or go for a bike ride instead of running or playing contact sports because the former put less strain on your body including your stomach.
5. Do Not Lie Down Immediately After Eating a Meal
Lying down increases the likelihood that stomach acid will rise out of your stomach and into your esophagus simply because of gravity. Waiting to lie down until a significant amount of time has passed since you have consumed food is a very easy way to mitigate the effects of heartburn with very little effort.
Heartburn is generally not very serious and is often experienced by most people every once in a while. So, if you experience these symptoms rather infrequently then you really do not have too much to worry about. However, when heartburn becomes excessive and begins to affect your daily life then it is important that it is brought under control.
Try to implement the above tips as much as you can first, but if you are still struggling with heartburn then you may want to check out this interview with Dr. Mark Noar who discusses another option that sufferers from heartburn can take to improve their lives without the need for excessive medication or invasive surgery.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you do not have to tackle heartburn alone. While it may not be the most serious medical condition it still can keep you from living your best life and it deserves to be treated effectively just like any other issue.