Ever had a great day ruined by Heartburn? That burning discomfort in the upper part of your stomach (midline) associated with acid “back-wash”? You may experience heartburn in the lower chest or had it spread right to your throat, leaving an acid taste in your mouth. These tips will show you how to get rid of heartburn!
What you may feel when you have heartburn
- A burning pain over your breastbone (main symptom). This is usually worse when you bend over, lie down or after eating
- Unpleasant taste in mouth
Heartburn occurs when the muscle ring between your stomach and your food pipe allows your digestive acid to back up into your food pipe (Oesophagus).
Your stomach produces acid to aid food digestion and to eliminate bacteria. Stomach acid is corrosive and your body compensate for this by producing a mucus barrier.
The Stomach Ring (Sphincter) is also designed to remain tightly closed. So, when this Ring is not tightly closed the stomach acid may leak and irritate your food pipe (Oesophagus).
Other possible causes of Heartburn
- Pregnancy: As many women will tell you, heartburn is one of the many prices you pay to become a mother!
As many as half of all pregnant women are estimated to have heartburn. This is partly due to hormones, particularly progesterone, which are believed to cause a lowering of the sphincter pressure.
The two primary causes of heartburn in pregnancy include an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. Another cause is incompetence of the lower oesophageal sphincter.
- Overweight: Well, just thinking about the size of the abdomen of the gentleman below, I’m sure you can imagine why he might suffer from symptoms of heartburn
- Tight clothing : Well, speaking for myself, tight trousers are really just another way fashion designers have devised to punish us! Come on! Who is comfortable in those tight trousers??
- Certain foods like french fries and fried foods
Use These Lifestyle Interventions To Prevent & Reduce Heartburn
- Avoid or reduce your alcohol consumption
- Avoid fatty foods. Also, if you are prone to heartburn very spicy foods may increase your chance of getting more heartburn.
- Avoid late meals that are close to your bedtime. Instead, eat smaller food portions, have regular meals and ensure you chew your foods slowly and very well before swallowing.
- Eating gentle foods that help digestion should help. Examples are Oatmeal (rich in soluble fibre and is slowly digested); Rice and probiotic foods like some yoghurt or probiotic health supplements (taken every day for at least 28 days).
- Stop smoking by trying stop smoking aids. You may want to try to quit smoking with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Try to gradually decrease the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Until you are ready to quit altogether!
Make lifestyle changes that will help you reduce your body weight, if you feel you need to (get in touch with me if you want me to help you with this!). Check my shop for more lifestyle ideas & products
- Raising the head of your bed (20cm/8inches) may help. Using pillows to keep your head raised is a good idea.
- A high consumption of coffee can increase your chance of getting heartburn, so decreasing your coffee intake may help.
- Some medications can cause heartburn as a side-effect, so confirm from your GP or Pharmacist if you take medicines like NSAIDS (Piroxicam, Indomethacin or Ibuprofen).
6 Things To Watch Out For. Contact Your General Practitioner or Pharmacist If You Experience Them:
- If you are 45 years and over and having this pain for the first time, experiencing this very frequently or you get this with increasing frequency
- If you have severe pain
- If you have heartburn associated with weight loss
- Vomiting blood
- Difficulty swallowing
- Black tarry stools with blood
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Have a great week and remember to enjoy your life and continue to smile no matter what comes your way this week.
To Your Optimum Health & Well-being,
Cecilia Scheyerle, MPharm