Heartburn is quite frequent, affecting various people in their daily life. It is a burning sensation in the chest after eating, lying down, or bending over. The discomfort is located in the center of the chest, at the bottom of the breastbone. The pain frequently rises and spreads. In cases of frequent heartburn problems, you can consult a gastroenterologist. Also, this blog will help you to know the causes and ways to prevent acid reflux & heartburn.
What are the common symptoms of heartburn?
Heartburn often shows itself as a burning sensation in the middle of your chest, behind your breastbone. The heartburn may show the following symptoms:
- A burning sensation in your chest that might last from a few minutes to several hours.
- When you bend over or lie down, you feel pain in your chest.
- A burning sensation in the throat.
- In the back of your throat, you may notice a hot, sour, acidic, or salty taste.
- Difficulty swallowing.
What are different ways to get rid of heartburn?
Many people get heartburn from time to time. Often, there is no evident explanation why.
It is sometimes usually triggered by:
- certain foods and beverages (for example, coffee, tomatoes, wine, chocolate, and fatty or spicy meals)
- being overweight
- Anxiety and stress
- certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory pain relievers (like ibuprofen)
- A hiatus hernia – occurs when a portion of your stomach protrudes into your chest
What are the tips to get rid of heartburn?
Several over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and lifestyle changes can help when heartburn strikes. Making changes to your daily routine can also help prevent heartburn symptoms from developing in the first place.
- Consume small portions and chew them slowly – High meals cause a large amount of acid to be produced. Stuffing your stomach raises abdominal pressure and acid reflux. If you usually eat super-sized portions, cut them down by at least 20%. One of the tried-and-true heartburn cures is to eat lesser meals. Eating less helps you lose weight, which helps to alleviate discomfort even more.
If weight isn’t an issue and your portions appear to be enough, consider dividing your three meals into five or six mini-meals. Instead of a sandwich, fruit, and salad for lunch, eat only the sandwich and salad and save the fruit for later.
- Add more fiber to your diet – Fibers rich meals help you feel full, which reduces your chances of overeating, which may lead to heartburn. Fiber-rich meals also include prebiotics, which feeds probiotics, so improving gut health and gut bacteria. Gradually increase your fiber intake to achieve the dietary fiber recommendations of 25 to 35 grams per day.
- Avoid late-night eating `– You should avoid eating two to three hours before night to lower stomach acid and allow the stomach to partially empty its contents before sleeping. Because large meals create pressure on your stomach, eat a smaller meal in the evening to help prevent heartburn.
- Opt for cooked onions instead of raw – Raw onions often cause heartburn. Heartburn, acid reflux, and burping were significantly increased when raw onion was eaten alongside a meal without onions. Onion’s high fermentable fiber content may be the cause of heartburn.
Also, raw onions are tougher to digest and may irritate the esophageal lining, creating heartburn.
- After eating, stay awake – Gravity alone helps keep acid in the stomach, where it belongs, while you’re standing or even sitting. You should be done with your meal at least three hours before going to bed. This means no afternoon naps, late dinner, or midnight snacks.
- Limit alcohol intake – Alcohol generates additional stomach acid and relaxes the esophageal sphincter, both of which contribute to heartburn & acid reflux. If you have heartburn after drinking alcohol, try drinking less of it.
- Avoid foods that cause heartburn – Foods that cause heartburn to vary from person to person. Alcohol, coffee, tea, chocolate, cocoa, peppermint, garlic, onions, milk, fatty, spicy, greasy, or fried foods, and acidic foods such as citrus or tomato products are examples of common foods and drinks that can cause heartburn and disturb sleep. Maintain a meal record to help you track which foods may cause heartburn.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Extra weight puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter. However, if you have too much belly fat, the pressure in your abdomen might rise to the point where the lower esophageal sphincter is forced upward, away from the diaphragm’s support. One of the finest things you can do for heartburn is maintaining a healthy weight.
- Consume mild veggies – Mild vegetables, such as lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and sweet peppers, are easy on the stomach and do not create gas. Less belching can aid in the relief of heartburn symptoms.
- Wear Loose clothes – Heartburn occurs when stomach contents move up into the esophagus, where stomach acids can burn the tissue. In other circumstances, heartburn may occur as a result of tight clothes compressing your stomach.
If that’s the case, the first thing you should do is relax your belt — or your jeans, dress, or anything else is keeping you in place.
Should I mix antacids and acid blockers to cure heartburn?
When you start taking acid blockers, your doctor may advise you to take antacids. Antacids will relieve your discomfort until the acid blockers work. If your doctor recommends an antacid, take it an hour before (or after) taking an acid blocker.
When to consult a doctor for heartburn?
Consult a doctor if you get heartburn two or more times per week and changes to your diet or eating routine haven’t helped. A gastroenterologist (a specialist who specializes in the digestive system) can run tests to determine the acidity in your stomach and whether or not regular acid reflux has caused damage to your esophagus.
GERD is frequently curable with a combination of lifestyle modifications and medication. However, chronic reflux symptoms necessitate a complete assessment by a gastroenterologist who can determine the underlying cause and discuss treatment options. You can visit a gastroenterologist in Chennai for frequent and severe heartburn issues for an accurate diagnosis.
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