Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your throat or chest. It occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that takes food from your mouth to your stomach.
If you are experiencing heartburn more than two times a week, you might have GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) a digestive disorder that affects the LES (Lower Esophageal Sphincter).
Prescription medications and over-the-counter antacids are the most general treatments for GERD. For the majority part of severe cases, surgery might even be obligatory. However, apart from how terrible your GERD symptoms are, effectively fighting acid reflux or heartburn also need some changes in lifestyle, ranging from the food you eat to the clothes you wear.
Here are the 7 daily habits that can stop heartburn and can help diminish GERD symptoms.
Small, regular meals.
Meals are sometimes a trigger for GERD symptoms. Eating too much like in eat-all-you-can buffets can lead you to heartburn. A full stomach can cause the valve between your esophagus and stomach to relax, pushing stomach acids back up into the esophagus.
Eat several meals all over the day rather than the normal breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, don’t make dinner too late because eating close to bedtime can prompt GERD symptoms as well.
Cut the cake.
Be it caffeine, chocolate, certain drinks and foods are notorious for worsening GERD symptoms. The list includes French fries, chocolate, tomatoes, citrus fruit, spicy foods, peppermint, fatty red meat, raw onion, oil, butter and other fried foods.
Don’t drink alcohol.
Most people having GERD and drink too much alcohol or on a regular basis is a very bad idea. Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows stomach acid creep into the esophagus.
Overweight can contribute to acid reflux and heartburn. According to study, there is a strong link between the BMI (Body Mass Index) and GERD symptoms. Overweight people are almost 3 times more probable than people of ordinary weight to have acid reflux and heartburn.
Excess abdominal fat might place pressure on the stomach but it can also cause hormonal and chemical changes that make the body more at risk to acid reflux.
Don’t wear tight clothing.
Aside from excess belly fat, clothes that are a tight fit around the middle part can push against your stomach and push acid into the esophagus. Skip waistbands, undergarments, hosiery, and belts that might be too tight.
Head up, sleep better.
What does sleep have to do with acid reflux and heartburn? Well, more than you might think. Elevate your head 6 to 8 inches while you sleep and avoid eating before bedtime. Research shows that it helps stomach acid deplete from the esophagus more promptly.
Give up smoking.
Everyone knows that smoking is dangerous to your health especially in lungs and heart. But what about your digestive system? Yes, it can also put in danger.
Cigarettes have nicotine that can exacerbate GERD symptoms by soothing the lower esophageal sphincter. Also, smoking causes bile salts to transfer from the small intestine into the stomach and lessen the amount of saliva you produce. Saliva contains a natural acid-fighter bicarbonate and it also helps flush stomach acid out of the esophagus.