Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, can be an ongoing and painful condition that severely limits your ability to eat and enjoy foods you love.
But rather than resigning yourself to an acid reflux-heavy diet and taking expensive prescription medication, there are easy steps you can take to eliminate heartburn on your own through improved eating habits and lifestyle changes. The following tips will help you banish acid reflux once and for all!
First things first, check with your doctor
Your doctor may prescribe a drug, such as omeprazole (brand name Losec), to reduce the production of stomach acid. There are many different types of drugs that help people with heartburn, so ask your doctor about their recommendations.
If you don’t have health insurance or can’t get an appointment with your doctor in time, over-the-counter medications are also available. Try eating smaller meals, avoiding spicy foods and high fat content items like deep fried chicken.
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For severe acid reflux symptoms, doctors may recommend a thickening agent in liquids consumed during or after a meal or two hours before bedtime.
Cut Out the Things that Cause Heartburn
Avoid Drinking and Eating too Much Dairy Products One common trigger of heartburn is dairy products, so while they’re not a necessary food group, try avoiding milk, ice cream, yogurt, cheese etc., if you suffer from acid reflux.
Eat Smaller Meals Throughout the Day Heartburn can also be caused by eating larger meals in a shorter period of time. If you have acid reflux symptoms after every meal, consider eating smaller portions throughout the day to space out your intake of food.
Stop Smoking Smoking is another cause of acid reflux in some people. Smokers are actually more prone to develop this condition than non-smokers since tobacco causes increased production of stomach acids.
Follow these Proven Health Tips
Don’t eat or drink within three hours of bedtime. It’s easier on your digestive system and a rule you should follow whether you have heartburn or not. Drink only water during the day, but switch to your favorite beverage at night before bed.
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Limit fluids, alcohol, and caffeine-containing beverages all day long. Sit up as straight as possible when you’re at work or driving in order to prevent the stomach acid from flowing upwards into your esophagus – lying down can make heartburn worse. Don’t eat garlic, spicy foods, tomatoes, citrus fruits, mints and peppers right before bed either.
Try These Remedies for an Immediate Relief
Combine one teaspoon of baking soda with one cup of water, and stir until the baking pour to dissolve. Sip this mixture twice daily for relief from acid reflux.
Eating smaller meals can also help reduce heartburn symptoms because it takes less time and effort for the stomach and intestines to process food. Lastly, try cutting back on foods that are known triggers of acid reflux such as tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and spicy foods.
Get Enough Sleep, Exercise Regularly
The first step is finding out what might be causing the reflux. Excessive alcohol consumption, too much fatty or spicy food, over-the-counter medicines and cigarettes are some common causes. Avoiding these substances can be enough to stop heartburn attacks before they happen. Some heartburn sufferers find relief by altering their diet, choosing lighter foods and limiting the amount of acidic fruits and vegetables consumed.
After looking at what’s causing your acid reflux it’s time to fix the root of the problem by reducing stomach acid production. Dumping a lot of baking soda in water can alleviate some symptoms if you’re just fighting an attack and don’t want an OTC medicine yet.
Eat Less Fried and Processed Foods
Diet is one of the most important things you can do if you suffer from heartburn. Eating less fried and processed foods will go a long way in lowering your acid reflux. After all, most fried foods are high in unhealthy fats and loaded with sugar, not to mention their salt content is sky-high.
Processed meats like bacon and ham also have a lot of sodium. And sweets have little nutritional value, but are packed with sugar and additives that promote stomach acid buildup.
Oftentimes, overindulging in alcohol can trigger a bout of heartburn. Aside from the possibility of experiencing heartburning while drinking, alcohol is notoriously known to cause stomach pains and tenderness the morning after. Drinking responsibly should be one way you can avoid triggering the symptoms. Limiting your drinks or only drinking on a social basis may also lessen these symptoms as well.
If you’re looking for a more natural way to control acid reflux, try drinking ginger tea. It’s been shown that drinking ginger tea can reduce the severity of acid reflux.
Drink one cup of ginger tea every day at least an hour before you eat your meal and see if it alleviates any discomfort you may be experiencing due to acid reflux. It may take a few days before the effects kick in, but it’s worth a shot!