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Ways to Treat and Prevent Heartburn
You knew better. Still, you could not pass up the Fiesta Feast at your favourite Mexican restaurant. Now, after eating every last morsel of cheese-laden burrito and jalapeno-laced salsa, your gut has begun to protest in earnest. All that hot and spicy fare has ignited a four-alarm blaze right beneath your rib cage. That fire-in-the-furnace feeling is the calling card known as heartburn. Acid has backed up from your stomach into your esophagus, producing a burning, gnawing sensation that may spread from the middle of your chest to your throat and even to your face. It is not yet known for sure what makes the stomach acid head north in the first place. But we are sure that it has a lot to do with what and how you eat.
Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to ease your heartburn.
1. Mind Your Medication
Some prescription drugs can contribute to heartburn. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), for example, damage the lining of the stomach, so you may need to coat your stomach before taking one of these drugs. If you are taking medication for a chronic condition and are experiencing heartburn, consult your doctor.
2. Hold Your Head High
If your heartburn is severe, it is recommended to keep your head level elevated while you are in bed. Get gravity to work in your favour. You can use a few pillows or, even better, put wooden blocks under the bedposts at the head of your bed.
3. Don't Eat The Whole Thing
A large, heavy meal distends the stomach, which in turn spreads the esophagus muscle. This allows the contents of your stomach to creep back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
4. Create A Relaxing Repast
Emotional distress increases the secretion of stomach acid. It is important to maintain a sense of calm, especially during and after meals.
5. Give Up Pre-Sleep Treats
It is recommended that you do not eat anything within three hours of your bedtime. And do not lie down for a snooze after dinner. The reason is that acid reflux is more likely to occur when you are lying down than when you are sitting or standing. When you are upright, gravity tends to clear the esophagus of acid. Also, while you are awake, you are making saliva and swallowing it, which helps wash acid from the esophagus.
6. Avoid Aggravating Foods
It is recommended not to consume foods and beverages that trigger heartburn. These include fatty and spicy dishes, chocolate, alcohol, coffee, tea, milk, orange juice, and tomato juice.
7. Stay Hydrated
It is recommended to drink plenty of water, especially after a meal. Water soothes the irritated lining of the esophagus by flushing the mixture of food and acid back into the stomach.
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