Heartburn causes and tips to relieve it

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July 10, 2021
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Heartburn causes and tips to relieve it

Woman with chest pain suffering from heartburn and acid reflux

If heartburn spoils your family visits or your outings and affects your daily activity with its burning and painful feeling in the chest or throat, then this article is for you…

Causes of heartburn

Normally, the muscles at the lower end of the esophagus close after food or drink enter the stomach, but if the muscles are not closed tightly enough, stomach contents will move back up into the esophagus, causing it to become irritated, a condition known as heartburn.

Although there is no clear cause for heartburn, sometimes it’s caused or get worsen due to:

  • GERD, especially if you are experiencing heartburn more than twice a week.
  • Eating certain foods such as coffee, tomatoes, chocolate, fatty or spicy foods.
  • Taking certain medications, such as anti-inflammatory pain relievers (such as ibuprofen).
  • pregnancy.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Smoking.
  • Overweight.

8 tips to relieve heartburn

It is important to treat heartburn since it can damage the esophagus over time. Treatment includes simple lifestyle modifications that can regulate and minimize heartburn symptoms.

  1. Eat smaller and more frequent meals.
  2. Raise one end of the bed 10-20 cm so that your chest and head are higher than your body so that stomach acid does not flow back up into the esophagus.
  3. Lose weight if you are overweight.
  4. Do breathing exercises to relax.
  5. Avoid foods or drinks that trigger the symptoms.
  6. Avoid eating 3 or 4 hours before bed.
  7. Do not wear tight clothes around the waist or abdomen.
  8. Quit smoking.

Also, you will need to ask the pharmacist if heartburn symptoms persist despite following the above advice. The pharmacist may recommend using an over-the-counter antacid such as Maalox, Gaviscon, and Rennie. They help relieve symptoms and for most people they are best taken with food or shortly after eating, as this is when the heartburn attacks mostly happen and may work for a longer time if taken with food; But if heartburn persists, you should consult a doctor, as you may need prescription medications or surgery.

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