Heartburn is very common and brings discomfort to millions. The condition is the result of stomach acid backing up into the esophagus, and it can produce a burning sensation in the throat or chest. Other common symptoms include sore throat, coughing, hoarseness, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing.
If you suffer from frequent heartburn, it is important to draw connections between certain behaviors or foods that seem to trigger the condition. Identifying these can be key to treating your case effectively. For most patients, successful heartburn relief includes some or all of the following:
Make Dietary Changes to Prevent Heartburn
Foods that are high in acid such as citrus, fruits, and tomato products are often contributors to heartburn, as are fatty foods and alcohol. Sufferers may also find that eating large meals triggers their symptoms. In this case, eating smaller meals throughout the day and taking care to not eat too quickly may help.
Know When Not to Eat for Heartburn
While heartburn can strike at any time, there are some specific times throughout the day when you may find the symptoms to be at their worst. Eating just before exercise or periods of increased physical activity, for instance, can often prompt the familiar burning sensation. Likewise, eating just before bedtime can make for a long and uncomfortable night. Before hitting the gym or lying down, give your body a full two hours to fully digest your most recent meal. You may also find it helpful to sleep in a slightly elevated position with pillows to support you.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum after Meals
Gum increases salivary gland production which can help to neutralize the acids in your stomach and digestive tract.
Rule out Medications as the Heartburn Culprit
Several medications including anti-depressants, hormone therapy, antibiotics and many more can cause symptoms that may include heartburn. If you notice heartburn begins when you start using a certain medication, make sure that your healthcare provider is aware of your side effects.
Manage Your Weight to Prevent Heartburn
Individuals who are overweight are at a higher risk of experiencing acid reflux. In many cases, weight loss can make a significant positive impact in a patient’s symptoms.
GI Alliance gastroenterologists can help diagnose and treat chronic heartburn. If you are exhibiting symptoms and want help keeping them under control, contact us today to schedule an appointment.