Have you ever experienced a chronic chest pain after eating a greasy meal? If you have felt like that, you know what heartburn is all about. In some people, it occurs occasionally, but some people may experience it quite often. It is also known as acid indigestion, and you have to experience intense pain and a burning feeling in the upper part of your stomach or middle area of your chest. The pain sometimes grows up in your arms, jaw, neck, and jaw and it may last only for a few minutes. At certain occasions, the pain may last for hours. Since this problem invites a lot of pain, many people might be deeply curious about heartburn relief.
Leading causes of heartburn
A muscle known as lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is situated at the entrance of your stomach, and it works like a gate in your body. When it opens, food gets into the stomach from your esophagus, and sometimes it is closed to prevent food and acid from getting out of the stomach. When the functioning of the LES gets disturbed like opening very often or not having the adequate tightness, stomach acid reaches the esophagus, and it results in a burning feeling.
Common triggering factors
Triggers differ from individual to individual. Anyhow, the common triggers are overeating, stress, maintaining bad body postures after eating food and increased intake of greasy, fatty and spicy foods. Some people are more susceptible to heartburn, and they include cigarette smokers, pregnant women, overweight people and hiatal hernia patients.
What are the changes to be made in the diet to reduce or stop heartburn?
You need to realize that certain drinks and foods aggravate heartburn and when you keep on consuming them, things get worsened. Some of the foods and drinks that worsen the condition are coffee, onions, alcohol, greasy foods, chocolate, fatty or fried foods, tomatoes, oranges, lemons, peppermint and sodas and other carbonated drinks. Another important thing to consider is that you must make efforts to eat small portions several times instead of having 3 or 4 big meals. Big meals can worsen your heartburn and avoid this habit can offer some relief.
Other options to control heartburn
You must make immediate efforts to lose weight if you are experiencing heartburn frequently. Overweight people are highly susceptible and getting rid of fat makes you better protected. Obesity puts pressure on the stomach, and it forces unwanted acid into the esophagus. When it comes to dressing, wear loose clothing. Tight clothing applies pressure to your stomach, and this situation can trigger heartburn. If you are a habitual smoker, you have to quit this habit immediately. Cigarette smoking creates a relaxing effect on the muscle that stops acid from returning to the esophagus. Another disadvantage of smoking is that it increases the quantity of acid your stomach produces. You also have to check your medications because frequent intake of pain and anti-inflammatory medications increase your heartburn. High impact exercise can make things worse, and it should also be avoided when you are experiencing the symptoms of heartburn.
Handling heartburn during the night
Some people feel heartburn during at night. If you are one among them, you should eat a light dinner, and all foods that worsen the heartburn must be eliminated. Some people go to bed immediately after the dinner, and this habit can trigger your symptoms. It is not all advisable to t lie down before 2 or 3 hours after your meal. When you go to bed, you have to make use of books or blocks to keep the head above your bed up to 4 to 6 inches. Placing a foam wedge is also a good option. Medical practitioners often advise people to sleep at an angle to prevent acid from returning to your esophagus.
Important things to remember while performing workouts
Exercise offers tremendous benefits, and everybody is aware of this fact. When you exercise, you lose weight, and it helps you avoid getting susceptible to heartburn. Some types of exercises can aggravate the burning sensation. You are less prone to taking medicines if you don’t do exercises like crunches and the inverted poses in yoga should also be avoided. When you do high-impact exercises, you can depend on running, swimming or bicycle ride.
If you do not find any relief from these methods, you have to visit a doctor to get heartburn relief. Doctors often recommend antacids for mild heartburn and serious problems; they prescribe more potent medications such as proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers. To address the heartburn, surgery is performed on very rare occasions. Surgery is performed to repair the lower esophageal sphincter and laparoscope is the most popular surgical option available.