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Heartburn is a common problem for many people and is increasingly prevalent with age. It is an uncomfortable sensation of burning, pain, or discomfort in the chest. If you are experiencing heartburn for the first time, it may be worth speaking to your doctor about what might have caused it and how to prevent future episodes. However, if you suffer from chronic heartburn and have already spoken with a medical professional, there are a few things that you can do yourself, which will help both reduce symptoms and shorten the duration of each episode.
10 Tips to Prevent Heartburn
Eat Smaller Portions and Avoid Over Eating
Eating smaller portions and avoiding overeating is one of the best things you can do to reduce the risk of heartburn. When you eat a large meal, your stomach has more work to do than when it's working on a small snack. Therefore, the chances of experiencing some indigestion are higher if you just ate a huge plate rather than having had several snacks throughout the day.
Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking plenty of water can be very effective when it comes to reducing heartburn. Water is excellent for keeping the digestive system moving and counteracts some medications that cause constipation.
Do not drink more than your stomach can handle because this can increase indigestion and other symptoms such as pain. The best time to drink water is before or just after meals so that you do not get any side effects from drinking excessive amounts of water at once (such as burping).
Click here to read our post - Helpful Hydration Tips and 8 Reasons to Drink More Water!
Avoid Lying Down Right after the Meal
It is not a good idea to lie down right after you have eaten your meal. Instead, try sitting on the sofa or in bed with some books and allow some time before lying down for best results. This way, gravity is working in your favor and helping to prevent heartburn. If you are trying to reduce heartburn, eating at least 3 hours before lying down is recommended. If you find yourself experiencing heartburn more than once per week, this might be something that can help quite quickly. It will allow time for your food to digest properly, which should reduce symptoms if done regularly.
Avoid Triggers Such As Spicy Food
Spicy food items are a very common cause of heartburn. If you know certain foods seem to trigger an attack, then try to avoid them. This can be hard if you have developed a taste over your lifetime for spicy food, but it is something that you should do to improve your health and prevent heartburn. Other triggers can include citrus fruits, onions, and tomatoes.
Limit Alcoholic Beverages
The more alcohol you drink, the higher your chances of experiencing heartburn. This can be caused by many reasons, from stomach irritation to increased acidity in stomach fluids. As such, limiting your intake will help reduce symptoms and make it easier for your body to heal if an attack occurs.
Another great tip to avoid heartburn is to quit smoking. This may be difficult to do, but it will help you in several ways, including improved heart health and reduced symptoms of heartburn. Smoking also has a very negative effect on the digestive system. It can lead to increased acidity, inflammation, and irritation, leading to pain when eating or drinking liquids, including water. Quitting your smoking habit could prove invaluable if you are suffering from chronic heartburn. This alone should significantly improve symptoms within weeks after stopping completely.
Try to Lose Weight
If you are suffering from heartburn, it may be a good idea to try and lose some weight. This helps reduce your stress levels and reduces pressure on the stomach, which can help relieve pain or discomfort in many cases. Try to perform a combination of eating well and working out. However, it is recommended to be very careful about both. It is important to make the right food choices when you are suffering from issues like heartburn. And try to start slow with your workout and gradually increase over time. Talk to your doctor about your goals and ensure you are starting a plan that will be healthy for you.
Check out our post - Caloric Balance: Some Practical Ideas for Weight Loss
Improve Your Diet
Improving your diet is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent or reduce the effects of heartburn. This will allow you to make sure that you are eating foods that are both good for your body and digestive system and reduce heartburn symptoms if done correctly. It's a good idea to avoid fried, greasy, spicy, or highly acidic food until your condition improves. These types of foods cause an increase in stomach acidity, which causes pain when suffering from heartburn. Of course, if possible, it would be best to remove them altogether, but this may not always be practical, so limiting how often they enter into the equation could prove very beneficial.
Go Easy On the Coffee
Coffee is a great way to feel active in the morning, but it can also increase your chances of heartburn. If you are suffering from this condition, try limiting the amount of coffee you drink during the day. Or, even try cutting out drinking coffee altogether. In addition, you should avoid any highly caffeinated beverages as they could prove more irritating than beneficial when dealing with issues like heartburn.
Sleep on Your Left Side
If you are experiencing issues with heartburn, it may be a good idea to sleep on your left side. This can help reduce the amount of acid which refluxes up into the esophagus and helps promote proper digestion by keeping food moving throughout your body properly. Learn more about the pros and cons of various sleeping positions - click here!
If these tips seem difficult at first, it is recommended to consult with your doctor about what you can do that might work best based on your diet and stomach health. You will be able to find something that works if you keep trying because regular heartburns can make you feel agitated throughout the day and disturb your entire day's schedule.
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