Try These 8 Heartburn tips for Heartburn Relief
It’s estimated that 63 million (1 in 5) Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a week, according to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Many need heartburn tips to help get relief. Nearly 22 million, experience heartburn on a daily basis, according to the International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders.
If you suffer from these bouts of heartburn, here are 8 heartburn tips you can use to ease the pain. It can give you a better chance at getting the rest you need.
Prop Yourself Up:
- Put gravity to work with an extra pillow or wedge-shaped pillow to prop yourself up while you sleep. Lying down can cause stomach acids to seep into your esophagus while you sleep causing acid reflux.
- The pillows may make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Also, sleeping on your left side can help with your digestion.
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Here is another Heartburn Tip you may not have considered:
- If you go to bed on a full stomach or eat 1-2 hours before bedtime, you increase the risk of nighttime heartburn.
- Try to eat at least three hours before lying down and avoid snacks.
- Your goal is to give your stomach time to empty to prevent acid from leaking into your esophagus. Try to eat dinners a little earlier.
Change Your Meal Plan:
- If you eat fried entrees or have a cup of coffee with dinner, try broiled foods and drink water instead.
- Avoid the temptation to drink sodas or other carbonated beverages.
- Fatty and spicy foods taste great but you may pay the price later for these choices.
- Also, avoid citrus fruits and chocolate desserts – both are another common triggers for some people that suffer heartburn.
This Heartburn Tip seems surprising:
Add a Meal:
- If you tend to overeat, try to eat smaller meals more frequently.
- Most Americans consume 50 percent or more of their calories after work.
- Have a light late-afternoon snack of fruit or vegetables instead of a candy bar or chips and cut your caloric intake at dinner.
- You will not be starving by dinnertime and you can enjoy a smaller meal without overeating.
Take an after Dinner Walk:
- Taking a walk after dinner can allow your food time to settle and can prevent heartburn later in the evening.
- Avoiding strenuous exercise or physical activity after you eat will also help.
- If you work out at night, you may want to get more of your daily calories during breakfast or lunch so you can eat a smaller meal before bedtime.
Chew Gum after a Meal:
- Research shows that chewing non-mint sugarless gum 30-60 minutes after a meal reduces heartburn.
- The chewing action causes saliva production and the swallowing action helps wash acid out of your esophagus.
Know the Signs:
If you’re experiencing bouts of heartburn more than twice a week, tell your doctor.
You may be experiencing gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD).
Frequent nighttime heartburn may be a warning sign of GERD, which needs to be treated to prevent further problems.
Track What You Eat:
Keep a daily food diary to help identify what might be triggering your heartburn.
Simply record what you eat and when you eat it to help you recognize the foods you suspect are causing your heartburn.
Record the nights you have heartburn to find patterns in your diet that are causing your discomfort.
Avoid those foods for a few days then add them back one at a time to see if they cause you heartburn at night.
Treatment Options along with your Heartburn Tips:
If you suffer from occasional heartburn (less than twice a week), there are a number of over-the-counter antacids available to help neutralize stomach acid. These come in a variety of choices from liquids (Gaviscon, Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids) to chewable (Alka-Seltzer, Tums, Pepcid, etc.). If these do not control your heartburn you may need medicine that decrease stomach acid production (H2 Blockers). See your doctor to determine the best course of treatment.
Drugs that decrease acid production are called H2 blockers. These drugs help suppress the production of nighttime stomach acid and are available in non-prescription and prescription strengths. Certain drugs may interact with H2 Blockers so consult your physician or pharmacist for more information. Some popular H2 Blockers are Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac 75, and Axid.
Proton Pump Inhibitors:
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) also come in over-the-counter and prescription strengths. These help decrease acid production and also help heal acid-damaged esophagus tissue. Popular PPIs include Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, and Zegerid. Your doctor may prescribe these in combination with other drugs to control sever heartburn.