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Tips for dealing with heartburn

For some people, heartburn is because of overindulgence in greasy and cheesy food right before bedtime. Super spicy food may also feel so good in the moment, till the regret in form of acidity manifests.

Heartburn basically stems from the upward movement or backing up of the food from the stomach to the esophagus. As stomach contains acid, therefore, this backtracking brings it along with itself, causing the burning from the acid in the chest.

In some people, heartburn is a temporary condition that stems from poor food choices, or not giving food enough time to digest before reclining or laying down. With gravity not pulling the food down, backing up in the GI tract occurs.

However, for some people, heartburn is a perpetual condition, as they suffer from GERD. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a state of chronic acid reflux. This occurs due to lack of proper closing of the sphincter muscles that connect esophagus to the stomach. Consequently, acidified food can creep back up.

People suffering from GERD therefore suffer from heart burn with movement that might jolt the food upward. It also leads to pain in the chest, irritation in the throat and can also cause coughing. Lack of treatment leads to complications like damaged esophagus and cancer of the esophagus. Thus, it is imperative for such patients to follow the instructions of the Best Internal Medicine specialist in Lahore for disease management.

Remedies for heartburn

In other instances, a little heartburn is not a matter of grave concern. When accosted with acidity, you can do the following remedies to get better:

Change position

If you are laying down during an episode of heartburn, you are aggravating your condition. Therefore, always sit up or be in an upright position so gravity can do its magic and pull the food and thus acid down.

Moreover, when you lay down, the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter increases, therefore allowing food to move up. Hence, changing posture has two-pronged benefits.

Baking Soda

One way to kill the burn from the acid it by neutralizing it. Baking soda is alkaline in nature. In layman terms, it’s an antithesis of acid, and therefore helps in countering it. Simply mix some baking soda in water and take slow sips of the concoction.

H2 blockers

An OTC medicine for heartburn, H2 blockers work by decreasing the amount of acid secreted by the stomach. It does not provide instant relief, but the impact is more profound. You can work the dosage with your doctor.

Change your clothing

Tight clothing puts pressure on your stomach, causing the acid reflux. Therefore, avoid tight clothes especially during mealtimes. And if you are already having heartburn, change out of your attire into something loose to ease off the pressure, and therefore, the symptoms.

Be careful about what you eat

Some foods are more likely to cause heartburn, like mint, greasy and fatty foods, coffee, tea, chocolate, spicy food, vegetables like garlic, onion, tomatoes etc. Hence, if your heartburn makes more than an occasional appearance, you ought to moderate the intake of these foods

A good approach to ascertain the most likely culprit is by cutting all out, and then gradually adding these to the diet.

Do not work out after eating

Let your food digest properly before you vigorously move your body, as that increases the chances of food backing up in the esophagus. Hence, wait at least a couple of hours after eating before you exercise or go into hyperactive mode.

Carbonated beverages should be quit

Carbonated drinks like sodas and sparkling water cause burping, and hence reflux. Therefore, cut out of these drinks.

Weight loss

People who are obese and overweight are more likely to have heartburn. This is because the belly fat puts so much pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), resulting in hiatus hernia. This then causes heartburn and acid reflux.

Thus, weight loss is imperative to get rid of heartburn, amongst other conditions. Even losing few pounds is said to produce tangible results.

Stop smoking

Smoking leads to all sorts of complications in the body, including heartburn. Nicotine in the cigarettes prevents LES from functioning better, leading to heartburn. Hence, quit smoking, and quit being around smoke as well to prevent passive smoking.

Eat slowly

Portion control is always a good idea, especially when acid reflux is a recurrent theme in life. Rather than eating too much in one sitting, eat small and intermittent meals to prevent stomach from becoming too full, and the subsequent reflux.

Similarly, it is important to eat slowing, and chewing food properly.

Antacids

These work on a principle similar to baking soda; they aid in the neutralization of the acid. Some also are effective at countering reflux. Best ones are those that contain calcium carbonate or magnesium; others might lead to stomach issues like constipation.

However, people suffering from kidney stones should not be taking antacids with magnesium in them. Thus, it is better to approve heartburn medication from the Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Islamabad in case of such complications.

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