8 Ways to Get Rid of Heartburn

8 Ways to Get Rid of Heartburn

Despite the name, don’t worry, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. Rather, it's a burning feeling in your esophagus, which is the 10-inch tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

Heartburn can last from a few seconds to several hours. In any case, it's uncomfortable, so, understandably, you'd want to get rid of the sensation as soon as possible.

What causes heartburn and what does it feel like?
Heartburn is induced by stomach contents refluxing into the esophagus.

The acidic contents of the stomach are required to break down the food you ingest, which your stomach can easily handle. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is irritated and may even be damaged by it.

The lower esophageal sphincter, a circular ring of muscle at the tube's base, functions as a valve to block the acidic contents of your stomach from entering your esophagus. When this valve is relaxed, the food you've consumed can pass through to your stomach. When contracted, this valve keeps food and acid from backing up into your esophagus.

Acid reflux happens when this valve relaxes abnormally, allowing stomach contents to enter your esophagus again. Heartburn is the most common and noticeable symptom.

Heartburn symptoms can vary based on intensity, but they may include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest, behind the breastbone.
  • Burning pain that rises to your throat.
  • Have a bitter or sour taste in your mouth.

Acid reflux and heartburn are sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition, or even a medication you're taking in some cases. However, they are frequently caused by factors such as your diet and lifestyle choices, making the occasional case of heartburn very normal.

If you want to avoid acid reflux or get rid of heartburn quickly, here are eight techniques to relieve and even prevent your symptoms:

1. Keep a food journal and avoid trigger foods
As previously noted, certain meals and beverages can cause acid reflux and heartburn.

These foods cause heartburn by decreasing lower esophageal sphincter pressure, allowing acidic contents to reflux into the esophagus.

Keeping a food and symptom journal can help you discover the precise foods that are most likely to cause problems for you. Once you've identified them, try to avoid these foods and drinks whenever feasible.

2. Avoid lying flat right after eating
Laying down with a full stomach might cause acid reflux and worsen heartburn symptoms. Avoid eating within 2-3 hours of bedtime to give your stomach enough time to empty.

3. Resist the urge to overeat or eat quickly
This is especially true if you do it soon before bed because having a significant amount of food in your stomach might put greater pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, increasing the likelihood of acid reflux and heartburn.

4. Take steps to lose weight if you are overweight
Excess weight puts strain on your stomach, increasing your chances of acid reflux and heartburn. Eating a well-balanced diet and engaging in 150 minutes of physical activity each week are the first two stages toward maintaining a healthy weight and decreasing excess weight.

5. Elevate the head of your bed
Elevating your head and chest above your feet when sleeping can help prevent and relieve acid reflux and heartburn. You can accomplish this by raising the head of your bed with blocks beneath the bedposts or by placing a foam wedge under the mattress. Piling pillows is rarely beneficial and may exacerbate your discomfort.

6. Adjust your sleep position
Sleeping on your left side is supposed to promote digestion and decrease stomach acid reflux, though this can be difficult to do with some types of bedding.

7. Wear loose-fitting clothing
Tight-fitting belts and garments that put pressure on your stomach may be exacerbating your heartburn symptoms.

8. Stop smoking if you do
Quitting smoking can lower the frequency and severity of acid reflux, and in some cases completely eradicate it.

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