Got heartburn? Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is a form of indigestion felt as a burning pain in the chest. It's caused when stomach acid flows up into your oesophagus.
Best way to avoid heartburn is not to lie down at least for 2 hours after meals. It’s good to do a light walk after a meal, as it helps digestion.
While most Antacids can ease the heartburn immediately. The following tips will help you get some relief from heartburn.
1. Change your diet
Stay away from beverages and foods that commonly cause heartburn. Common foods that can trigger heartburn include tea, coffee, tomatoes, garlic, fatty foods & oily, spicy foods, milk, chocolate and peppermint.
2. Avoid overeating
Overeating can trigger heartburn. Big meals put pressure on the muscle that helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the oesophagus.
The more food you eat, the longer it takes for your stomach to empty, which contributes to acid reflux. Try eating 6 small meals a day to keep reflux at bay.
3. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol can trigger heartburn. Alcohol can relax the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your oesophagus, causing stomach acid to flow up into your oesophagus.
4. Chew sugar-free gum after meals
Chewing gum promotes salivation, which helps neutralize the acid, soothes the oesophagus, and washes acid back down to the stomach. Avoid peppermint flavour gun as it can just cause it to be worse.
5. Stop smoking
Nicotine is a muscle relaxant. Nicotine can relax the sphincter muscle, causes acid from the stomach to leak upward into the oesophagus. Nicotine gums, patches, and lozenges are healthier and safer than cigarettes, and they are less likely to give you heartburn.
Occasional, mild heartburn can be managed with antacids that contain calcium carbonate or magnesium. They help sooth stomach acid. Some prevent acid reflux.
7. Contact your doctor
Your doctor may suggest antacids for occasional heartburn. Sometimes, more powerful prescription medications such as pump inhibitors or blockers and are needed to treat chronic heartburn.
If everything else fails, surgery may be required. Seek immediate help if Heartburn occurs more than twice a week. If the following symptoms persist do seek an appointment with Dr. Samrat Jankar, a practising gastroenterologist in Pune.
Do not overlook symptoms like :
Symptoms persist despite use of antacids
You have difficulty swallowing.
You have persistent nausea or vomiting.
You have weight loss because of poor appetite or difficulty eating.