Heartburn is a very common and unpleasant problem. Heartburn takes place when stomach acid backs up into the oesophagus. It feels like someone has lit a small fire in your chest, and it is burning its way up to your neck. Even though medications can help calm the burn, lifestyle changes may be another way to get relief from this pain. Here are five lifestyle changes that will help you get rid of heartburn, according to reputed health and lifestyle publications. Take a look:
There is a ring-like muscle known as the oesophagal sphincter that acts as a valve. It is supposed to prevent the acidic contents of the stomach from entering up into the oesophagus. The valve naturally opens when you swallow or vomit, but should stay closed otherwise. In people with acid reflux, this muscle is weakened or dysfunctional. A way to avoid such acid refluxes is to avoid eating large meals.
The diaphragm is located above the stomach. In healthy people, the diaphragm naturally strengthens the lower oesophagal sphincter. If a person has too much belly fat, the pressure in the abdomen may become so high that the lower oesophagal sphincter gets pushed upward and away from the diaphragm’s support. Losing excess weight should be considered as one of the priorities if suffering from heartburn.
Drinking excess alcohol aggravates symptoms by increasing stomach acids. It may increase the intensity of heartburns. A study conducted by a leading lifestyle daily shows that moderate alcohol intake may cause reflux symptoms in healthy individuals. It also shows that drinking wine or beer increases reflux symptoms as compared to drinking plain water.
Observations have suggested that coffee temporarily weakens the lower oesophagal sphincter, increasing the risk of acid reflux. Evidence also points towards caffeine as the possible culprit, as caffeine also weakens the lower oesophagal sphincter. Whether coffee causes heartburns also depend on different individuals. Even though several studies have concluded that coffee worsens acid reflux, the evidence is not entirely true and conclusive.
Gum contains bicarbonate that appears to be especially effective for heartburns. Studies reported by a lifestyle portal show that chewing gum reduces acidity in the oesophagus. These findings also indicate that chewing gum and the associated increase in saliva production may help clear the oesophagual acid. However, it does not reduce the reflux itself.