Also known as dyspepsia, heartburn can be extremely irritating. Day or night, it can cause burning sensations, gases and bloating that can disrupt your life. But don’t worry. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid heartburn altogether.
1. Eat sitting up
And don’t lie down right after eating, as that can cause or aggravate heartburn. Wait 45 to 60 minutes before your siesta and avoid eating at least 3 hours before bedtime.
2. Avoid eating to excess
Be careful not to eat too much at one time and try avoiding, as much as possible, foods known to cause acid reflux such as spices, mint, chocolate, citrus fruits, onions, garlic, etc. Eat more fibre instead.
3. Stop smoking
Smoking limits the secretion of saliva (which helps to neutralize acid reflux) and weakens the sphincter muscle that keeps stomach acid from entering the oesophagus.
4. Avoid tight-fitting clothes
Too tight clothes can put pressure around your stomach and push acid into the oesophagus, causing gastroesophageal reflux.
5. Avoid certain drinks
Avoid certain drinks like coffee, juices and alcohol. Instead, drink a tall glass of water after each meal to wash acids back down into your stomach.
6. Maintain a healthy weight
Extra weight can cause pressure on the stomach area, leading to acid reflux in the oesophagus.
7. Elevate the head of your bed
Try sleeping with your head a little higher to help prevent acid reflux from rising into the oesophagus, and get a better night’s sleep into the bargain.
Heartburn symptoms can sometimes mimic those of much more serious conditions, like heart diseases. If you are experiencing additional symptoms like heavy sweating, general physical discomfort, respiratory difficulties, weakness or tightness in the neck, the shoulder or the jaw, don’t hesitate. Go to the hospital immediately. When in doubt, talk to your pharmacist.