An estimated 70 million Americans suffer from heartburn. If you are one of the unfortunate ones, you know who painful it can be. Over-the-counter antacids and prescription medications are the most common treatments for heartburn, but diet and lifestyle changes can also dramatically help minimize your symptoms.
Follow these lifestyle habits to help ease your heartburn.
Eat small, frequent meals
Meals are often a trigger for heartburn. A very full stomach can cause the valve between your stomach and esophagus to relax, pushing stomach acids back up into the esophagus. Eat several small meals throughout the day rather than 3 large ones. Also, don’t eat too late since eating close to bedtime can trigger heartburn.
Cut the coffee
Both decaffeinated and regular coffees are highly acidic and can increase the secretion of stomach acids. Studies have shown that a decrease in stomach acid can help alleviate heartburn. Coffee consumption has also been associated with a greater incidence of heartburn compared to drinking other fluids. Therefore, quitting the coffee habit may be just the right move to help limit your episodes of heartburn.
Don’t drink alcohol
Alcohol is also a heartburn trigger, especially if you drink too much, or on a regular basis. That’s because alcohol increases the production of stomach acid. It relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing stomach contents to reflux back up into the esophagus.
Watch your weight
Excess weight can contribute to heartburn and acid reflux. A 2003 study of more than 10,000 people in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a strong link between heartburn symptoms and body mass index or (BMI). Obese people are nearly three times more likely than people of normal weight to have heartburn and acid reflux.
Avoid tight clothing
Clothing that’s a tight fit around the midsection can push against your stomach and force acid into the esophagus. If you have heartburn, skip belts, waistbands, hosiery, and undergarments that may be too tight.
Keep your head elevated when you sleep
Elevate your head six to eight inches while you sleep. This position doesn’t necessarily reduce the frequency of acid reflux, but research shows it helps stomach acid drain from the esophagus more quickly. One study reported a 67% increase in acid clearance time.
We all know that smoking damages your heart and lungs, but did you know it hurts your digestive system too? Nicotine, like alcohol, may worsen heartburn by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter, which causes stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus.
For those who experience heartburn on a regular basis, making daily lifestyle changes can dramatically reduce your heartburn discomfort.
Healthy Choice Naturals Ultra-zymes is also a natural option to help relieve heartburn discomfort. It contains 18 enzymes that go to work fast to help you digest foods easily, and get relief from burning, bloating and heartburn.