Heartburn is never fun, and even less so when you have frequent heartburn. If
this is a condition that you suffer from, you may think that medication is the
only way to stop the pain. That is sometimes not the case. There may be an
underlying condition that is contributing to symptoms that a doctor can
diagnose. If, however, you have a simple case of acid reflux, there are some
changes you can make to your lifestyle to help keep heartburn to a minimum, or
possible eliminate it all together.
Eating smaller meals more frequent meals is a good place to start. What happens
is when a large meal is ateen, your stomach expends, putting pressure on the
esophageal sphincter, making it hard to keep it closed. Eating smaller meals
does not put that pressure on the area, which lowers the possibility of getting
Another option is to limit the number of foods and drinks that stimulate the
amount of acid that is produced. So, try to include more foods that do not cause
excess acids and steer clear of the ones that will come back to haunt you. If
you are unsure which foods you can have and which ones you should not, and
because everyone is different, try experimenting. Coffee, tea, other
caffeinated and alcoholic beverages are some triggers as well as spices,
peppers, tomatoes, citrus fruits and peppermint.
Eating later in the evening and not having snacks before bed is another idea
that may help curve heartburn. Also, try to not lie down for three hours after
you eat. What happens is that after you eat, your stomach produces acid to break
down the food and when you lay down, the acid may creep up, causing heartburn.
Also, by elevating your body slightly while sleeping, you can relate symptoms.
To do this, you can buy a wedge pillow that will elevate your head, neck and
torso. Doing this will help keep pressure off the lower esophageal sphincter.
Laying flat adds pressure to this area. Also, being overweight creates pressure
on the abdominal area, which pushes your dinner back into the esophagus. To help
with this, losing as little as ten percent of your body weight will reduce this
pressure and you will feel better.
Smoking can also increase heartburn symptoms. This is because the smoke reduces
saliva production. Salvia helps to neutralize stomach acid. The longer and more
often you smoke, the less saliva is produced and stomach acid is allowed to go
Another culprit of causing heartburn is alcohol. This is not to say that you
can not enjoy an adult beverage in moderation, but it is something to be avoided
if you suffer from acid reflux.
Relaxing is also something you can do to ease symptoms. Stress triggers behavior
that leads to heartburn, even though stress itself is not directly linked to it.
For example, the more stress you are under, the more likely you are to smoke,
drink and eat foods that are not good for you and the less likely you are to
exercise and eat right.
One thing you may not have thought about is your clothes. If your belt is too
tight or you are otherwise constricted in the clothes you wear through the
day, the symptoms of heartburn may increase. This is because the stomach can not
comfortably stretch around the foods you eat and the tightness forces food up,
causing acids to cause heartburn.
If you want to really pin point the cause of the heartburn, keep a record of it.
Write down what you eat, how much you eat and when you eat for seven days. Then,
if you have a bout with heartburn, write down the times and intensity of each
symptom. If the pattern is not clearly obvious to you, take the diary to your
doctor and get their insight in to the problem. Work with your doctor to
determine what changes need to be made to best suit your lifestyle.