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6 Strategies For Dealing With Heartburn

Dealing with heartburn is often easier said than done. Not only are many of us forced to deal with relatively painful symptoms on a regular basis, but more serious conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can lead to additional health consequences if left unchecked. Let’s look at the best way to deal with acid reflux so that you can once again learn to enjoy the food on your plate.

Dealing With Heartburn

What are the Causes of Heartburn?

When acid from your stomach shoots up into your esophagus, that’s heartburn, also called acid reflux or GERD, which stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. The esophagus is meant to be a one-way tube, passing food from your mouth to your stomach. When contents from your stomach come up instead of going down, it’s never pleasant. But it is incredibly common.

Heartburn is primarily caused by the acids within your stomach rising back into the esophagus; leading to a significant amount of pain and discomfort. Some other causes include:

  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain types of foods (such as those which are extremely spicy)
  • Lactose intolerance

We can now see that dealing with heartburn will first depend upon identifying the exact causes.

The Most Common GERD Symptoms

Heartburn has often been confused with symptoms of a heart attack, so it’s important to be able to distinguish them. If you’re sweaty, short of breath, or have a sense that your heart is beating too hard or too fast or in an otherwise irregular way, call for emergency help.

The sensation varies among people. It’s most commonly felt as a burning discomfort in the area between the belly button and the breastbone. Some people feel it in the back of the throat. Some people get heartburn only occasionally, and others experience it several times a day.

GERD Symptoms

While a generalized burning sensation is by and far the most common symptom associated with GERD, there are some other signals that should be noted and discussed with a physician. Let us examine some other heartburn causes.

Coughing and/or Regurgitation

There may be times when acid reflux leads to sensations of nausea that may lead to regurgitation. You might also find that you cough in order to relieve feelings of pain within your oesophagus.

A Sensation of Pain in the Chest

To be clear, it is always essential to consult with a physician if you develop severe chest pains. However, another symptom of GERD involves sensations of burning or pressure between the breastbone and the belly button. Depending upon the severity of your GERD, you may experience this type of pain after each meal or rarely.

Difficulty Swallowing

Due to the presence of gastric acid within your throat, it could become difficult to swallow on occasion. This may make it more difficult to consume certain foods; especially those that are spicy or immediately lead to pain.

A Chronic Sore Throat

If stomach acid persists within your esophagus, the surrounding tissues will become damaged. This is why many individuals who suffer from GERD note that they experience a chronic sore throat.

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How to Deal with Heartburn

Those who seek help with heartburn symptoms should always make it a point to consult with their physician. Depending upon the underlying cause of this condition, certain medications may be able to provide relief. Still, there are a handful of home remedies for heartburn to briefly examine.

First and foremost, eat your meals at a slower pace. Consuming food too fast places a great deal of mechanical stress upon your stomach; increasing the chances of experiencing pain and discomfort. Drinking plenty of water between meals is also a wise strategy.

Be sure to identify any foods that you feel may be causing the associated symptoms. Examples include garlic, mint, spicy substances, citrus fruits, and fried products. Eliminating these foods may help to solve the problem.

Try to remain active after a meal, as this helps to speed up the digestion process. Therefore, it also makes sense to avoid laying down in bed immediately after finishing. Wait a minimum of two hours before going to sleep in the evening.

It is also prudent to examine over-the-counter options such as common antacid tablets. These can provide a sense of relief if you are only experiencing mild GERD symptoms.

Heartburn Relief

Otherwise, here are some strategies for dealing with ordinary heartburn.

  1. Eat more slowly. Eating a large meal quickly can put a lot of pressure on your stomach. That alone can cause stomach acid to shoot up into the esophagus. Smaller, more frequent meals can also help you avoid becoming too full.
  2. Drink much of your daily water intake between meals, and drink less during meals. This will help you prevent an overly-full stomach during mealtimes.
  3. Identify which specific foods tend to lead to heartburn. Some common, troublesome foods are citrus, chocolate, tomato products, mint, onions, garlic, alcohol and fried or spicy foods. If you’re not sure which foods might be causing your heartburn, try an elimination diet. Take all the common heartburn inducing foods out of your diet for a week and gradually add them back, one at a time, until you identify which ones are the culprits, causing you trouble.
  4. Don’t go to sleep immediately after eating. Especially at night, when your digestive system is not operating at peak efficiency, lying down on a full stomach makes it easier for stomach acid to flow into your esophagus, causing heartburn. It’s best to wait two to four hours after eating dinner before going to sleep.
  5. Moving around a bit after eating is also a healthy habit. You don’t need to run a marathon to benefit from this strategy. Just getting up from the table and walking around the house (or clearing the table or washing the dishes) for five minutes will aid digestion and help prevent heartburn.
  6. Sometimes, over-the-counter or prescription antacids are necessary. If you have more than occasional heartburn, see your doctor.

While a generalized burning sensation is by and far the most common symptom associated with GERD, there are some other signals that should be noted and discussed with a physician. Let us examine some other heartburn causes.

The Influence of Acid Reflux Upon Weight Loss

The term “acid reflux weight loss” is commonly seen across the online community, and for good reason. Those who are able to make the correct lifestyle changes while embracing healthy eating habits are likely to alleviate the symptoms of GERD.

When this strategy is used in conjunction with the Spatz3 adjustable gastric balloon, the associated results can be phenomenal within a relatively short period of time. To be clear, dealing with heartburn will require time and patience. The good news is that modern technology is now capable of providing a sense of relief.

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