Learn how to relieve heartburn using these simple tips and tricks. You’ll discover some changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle that will help prevent heartburn from occurring. If it does occur, you will find some tips that will help you to relieve the symptoms.
If you are one of those unfortunate people who suffer from heartburn regularly, you are not alone. An estimated 20-30% of all people are effected by acid reflux (the cause of heartburn) at least once a week. For most people, heartburn relief consists of taking antacids, H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). However, if you are not a fan of OTC’s or prescription medications, read on and discover a more natural approach on how to relieve heartburn (or prevent it).
How to relieve heartburn through diet
Of course, instead of fighting the symptoms, it is preferable to prevent heartburn from occurring in the first place. Often, some simple changes to your diet and your lifestyle can work miracles in this respect.
Certain foods are commonly known to trigger acid reflux in heartburn sufferers. There are also foods which may provide a soothing effect or reduce the symptoms. Of course every person is unique. What works for one person might not work for another. However, it is definitely worth your effort to research which foods may be triggering your heartburn and which foods help reduce the symptoms for you personally.
The best way to do this is by keeping a food journal. When you experience heartburn, make a record of what you ate. After doing this for a while, you will probably start to notice certain patterns and discover which foods are the main culprits.
Foods that may trigger heartburn
- Spicy foods
- Citrus fruits
- Carbonated drinks
- Black pepper
- High fat foods and fried foods
Foods that may help relieve heartburn
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fennel seeds
- Vegetable juices
How to relieve heartburn with lifestyle changes
In addition to paying attention to what you eat, you may have certain lifestyle habits which act to trigger heartburn or worsen its symptoms. Again, everyone is unique. The only way to find out what works best for you is by testing different methods to see which ones (or combinations) provide the best results for you personally. Here are some thins you might want to try:
Reduce portion size
Try to refrain from eating very large meals, especially those containing the heartburn triggering foods mentioned above. This puts your stomach into overdrive and increases the risk of stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus. It’s better to eat smaller meals more frequently during the day.
Being overweight can cause extra pressure on your stomach. Of course it poses many other health risks as well. Losing those excess pounds by following a healthy diet and exercise regime, can greatly reduce the occurrence of heartburn.
Stay upright after meals
Many people have the tendency to slouch or lay down for an after dinner nap. This puts a lot of extra pressure on the stomach. Keeping an upright position after a large meal relieves the pressure as well as allowing gravity to take its natural course, preventing stomach acid from refluxing. It’s best to wait for at least two hours after a meal before lying down or bending over.
Don’t smoke or drink excessively
Both nicotine and alcohol tend to relax the esophageal sphincter (the ring shaped muscle between the stomach and the esophagus). This increases the risk of acid reflux.
Don’t wear tight belts or clothing that is tight around the waist.
Again, this puts extra pressure on your stomach. After a large meal you might want to loosen your belt.
Sleep on your left side
If you regularly experience heartburn at night when you’re in bed, try sleeping on your left side. This will prevent stomach acid from entering the esophagus and enhance the passing of food from the stomach into the intestines.