Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, has nothing to do with the heart. It occurs when the muscles of your lower esophagus fail to work properly. This causes food and acids from the stomach to flow back or reflux into your esophagus. Although it is quite hard to live with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a few lifestyle changes can help you control the symptoms.
Here's a list of simple lifestyle changes that will help you keep heartburn in control-
Don't go to bed with a full stomach-
You should have your meals at least 2 to 3 hours before lying down. By doing this, you are giving more time to your food to get digested. It also ensures that the acid level of your body is down, thereby preventing the chances heartburn. Specific food like peppermint, spicy foods, chocolate, coffee, fried foods, and carbonated beverages trigger acidity. However, the trigger food for every person differs; you should limit foods that set off reflux.
Don't sleep flat on your back
Even if you lay down only after three hours of eating, you may still find that your heartburn symptoms are worse at night. If this happens, you should use an incline wedge pillow and keep your head elevated while sleeping.
Instead of having three large meals, you should consider eating four to five small meals. Have small bites, chew slowly as it can improve digestion and aid in preventing heartburn.
Drink enough water
Water is the 'go-to' solution. The more water you have, the better to fight the symptoms of heartburn.
Reduce excess weight around the midsection
The risk and severity of acidity increase for those who have higher body weights. Shedding some pounds can ease the pressure on the stomach, hence reducing the chance of food contents going back to the esophagus.
Wear looser clothes
Wearing loose-fitting clothes can ease the pressure on the stomach, which can worsen heartburn and reflux.
Smoking cigarettes cause numerous health problems- deteriorating heartburn symptoms is one of them. Smoking spikes the production of stomach acid and reduces the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. A sphincter is a muscle that keeps acid and other stomach content from re-entering the esophagus. Smoking decreases the amount of saliva, thereby neutralizing acid produced by the body.
Keep a journal
You should maintain a food log and record the symptoms that come with acidity. Tracking your food intake and symptoms can help you learn what sets your body off. You can find specific food that causes the trigger.
Everyone suffers heartburn at some point in their life. Some people face it every day whereas some have it once in a while. No matter whichever bucket you fall into, you should take heed if heartburn happens more than occasionally to you. Chronic heartburn could be an indication of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The said condition, when left untreated, enhances the risk of esophageal cancer. Hence, it is advisable to buy a health insurance policy that serves as a shield against the ever-increasing medical costs. Concerning the increasing number of people falling ill, a health insurance policy is not an option; it's a must-have!