What You Should Do, If You Have Heart Burn

Heart burn, most commonly is due to GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) and most important remedy for GERD; hence heart burn is taking prescription medicines from a doctor or taking over-the-counter (OTC) antacids. In severe cases of GERD, surgery may also be required. But whatever treatment you may select for your problem, it is important to make some lifestyle modifications and change in eating habit and start eating healthy food, instead of foods you like. Stick to the following and minimize GERD symptoms , including heart burn.

Eat small and frequent meal:

Eat small meal frequently, instead of two or three heavy meals. Because, overeating is one of the most common cause of GERD and heart burn. Overeating or eating full to the stomach can cause food content from stomach (including gastric acid) to regurgitate to esophagus and lead to GERD symptoms, by causing inflammation in the esophageal lining. Do not take last meal of the day, too late in the night. Because eating just before sleep can trigger GERD symptoms and heart burn.

Quit smoking:

There are too many bad health effects of smoking (including GERD and heart burn), to continue smoking. It is best to quit smoking for the sake of your health and your family’s health as well as for your financial health. So, quit smoking, now, for your own good.

Stop drinking alcoholic beverages:

If you are suffering from heart burn and GERD, alcohol is very bad for you, especially if you drink regularly and in large quantity. Alcohol can weaken gastro-esophageal sphincter or LES (lower esophageal sphincter), which allow gastric acid to enter into esophagus from stomach and cause inflammatory reaction leading to GERD. The risk of GERD and heart burn is high among individuals who drink regularly, especially those having more than seven drinks per weak (regular drinkers).

Cut down certain foods:

Certain foods are well known to trigger GERD symptoms, such as chocolate, spicy foods, fried foods (French fries), high fat red meat, raw onion, raw tomatoes, citrus fruits and caffeine. Hence, cut down consumption of these foods, if you have GERD.

Head up while sleeping:

If you suffer from GERD, you should raise your head six to eight inches while sleeping, to GERD symptoms during sleep. Elevating head during sleep does not reduce entry of gastric acid into esophagus, but helps stomach acid drain faster into intestine. Raising head with help of pillows may not be effective, because you need to raise the head end of the bed and not just the head for GERD.

Do not wear tight clothing:

Tight clothing at midsection may put pressure on the abdomen and stomach and push the gastric contents up into esophagus and cause GERD symptoms. Hence, wear well fitted cloths, especially pants and avoid using tight belts or any other clothing that can put pressure on abdomen.

Reduce body weight:

Yes, reduce body weight, if you are obese or overweight and suffer from GERD and heart burn. GERD and heart burn is another reason to shed pounds. Several studies have shown that, high BMI is associated with higher risk of GERD. So, shed pounds for good.

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