Had too many coffees? Same here. I decided to post this to help others who have the same dilemma. Learn how to deal with heartburn. Read on.
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Heartburn is the burning sensation you feel around your chest area, usually after eating or when you are about to sleep. Though experiencing heartburn may be a symptom of a heart problem, it does not mean every sensation is. To make sure, you can always visit your doctor especially if this happens a lot or when it becomes untolerable.
Also referred to as acid reflux, it happens when the gastric juices from the stomach goes back to our esophagus which is triggered by a lot of causes. It will be discussed later on. They are connected with proper lifestyle, so one should make necessary changes in his lifestyle to get rid of this unpleasant health condition.
To eliminate heartburn naturally, you have to change your lifestyle and your diet. Of course, this would be gradual. Immediate changes with your eating habits may trigger cravings. If that happens, overeating will surely follow. So we have to do this step by step.
Instant medicines may be available in our local drugstores but they may have side effects. Natural remedies are the best choices. Thanks to Mother Nature. She has already provided natural cure that we can use without apprehensions.
Keep a diary
Track down what induces your heartburn. This way you can eliminate those that has effect on you.
Start with those that triggers your acid reflux. List them down. Note the dates and the amount you took. The time you slept, the time you ate, and the number of servings you had are important. Note what type of food triggered or worsened it. Take down every detail. This will help you know which food, beverage or activity you need to avoid.
Take note of how severe the heartburn is, describe the way it felt. If it was more severe the other day and what have you.
Keeping this diary will also tell you of your progress. You can keep track which practice helps you more.
After a week, check your progress and compare to the time you started. Check on the trend of the heartburn attacks. Note if it happens every time you eat something or only if you lie down.
Do this for another week. Compare results and observations. By this time, you should be able to take a good look on what needs to be changed or retained.
I would even recommend that you make a chart or an improvised calendar. Put everything that you ate, drank and did. Just like what you did on the diary but more organized.
This practice can even help your doctor check if this sensations are more than a heartburn.
The Thing with Pregnant Women:
Heartburn is most common to pregnant women. Since the hormone relaxin is busy preparing your joints and tissues for your upcoming delivery, it slows your digestion. This means food stays in your stomach longer and triggers more acid production.
Another thing is your baby is growing. As it grows, it exerts pressure on your stomach. This causes the acids to be pushed up into the esophagus.
Minimize (if you can’t avoid) the 4 C’s
The 4 things that you have to look out for are Coffee, Carbonated drinks, Citrus, and Chocolate. These contain acids that will trigger heartburn or even worsen it.
Coffee is one of our staple food. It contains enough caffeine to give us a jolt to start the day. Moderate intake is allowable but if you’re addicted to coffee, you can try decaffeinated ones. If you can’t go on without your daily morning dose of caffeine, just try to minimize it to one cup a day, as well as with carbonated beverages and alcohol. This way, you can at least lessen the acid in your system.
As mentioned above, carbonated drinks intake must be minimal. Yes. It includes beer (and root beer), sodas and carbonated water. The bubbles of carbonation expand inside the stomach causing increased pressure. This contributes to reflux. Sodas with caffeine and energy drinks are even worse.
This includes citrus fruits and juices. They will definitely induce acid reflux as well as damage your esophagus. If unavoidable, minimize intake.
Another heartbreak here. I know chocolate is one of our comfort foods. As delicious as it is, consuming a lot will surely trigger heartburn. It contains fats and varying amounts of caffeine (depending on contents.) If you can’t avoid it, the best thing is to minimize. Minimize intake to around 2 servings at most. But if you can help it, one serving is better.
Go for the Lesser Evil.
Dark chocolates are healthier since they contain less caffeine. They even help with your blood flow and high blood pressure. But again, moderation must be considered. We are trying to eliminate heartburn here.
Also, try to avoid tomatoes, garlic, onions, greasy or fried foods, spicy foods and citrus foods. These are all high in acids, which can cause significant acid reflux problems, including alcoholic beverages.
On the other hand, eat plenty of fruits. They are not only healthy and yummy, they also help our body especially with digestion.
They are known to be a great help to people with acid reflux. Of course, take these on moderation since anything that is too much is still not healthy. Melon and watermelons are a great help too! They have a lot of water content.
Oatmeal is the best breakfast to help with your acid reflux. It can absorb acid resulting to heartburn-free mornings plus it will satisfy your hunger yet won’t make you too full.
With no side-effects, rice, like oatmeal, absorb fluids. It helps in neutralizing the acid in our tummy. So a few helpings won’t hurt, just make sure to chew your food thoroughly.
Green means GO.
Green vegetables like cauliflower, celery, parsley, broccoli, asparagus, and green beans will help you dearly. Salads are recommended, although tomatoes and onions should be avoided, as well as cheese and high-fat dressings. A tablespoon of dressing is the most acceptable.
Papaya encourages digestion and soothes the tummy. Plus it will help your skin get fairer and smoother. Two birds with one stone, eh?
Yogurt won’t hurt.
Another beneficial product is yogurt, which promotes good functioning of the entire body. The good bacteria contained in it soothes the stomach. Ensure you take in only the yogurt that contains active culture to get the desired benefits from it. Yogurt promotes good functioning of the body and its good bacteria soothes our tummy. Soups, smoothies, yogurt, milkshakes, protein shakes and puddings are good choices since solid food triggers the stomach to produce more acid.
Way to go White.
Chicken and turkey (white meat) are the best alternative to meat. It can be boiled, baked, grilled, or sautéed. Avoid fried and remove the skin, which is high in fat. Fish and seafood are also great in your fight with heartburn. It should be baked, grilled, or sautéed, never fried. Fried food contains more fat due to the oil absorbed while cooking.
Fit to a Tea!
Tea, although containing caffeine, can help smoothen the digestion process, especially mint and chamomile teas. Caffeine content is more in light teas. the darker the color, the less caffeine, just like with chocolates.
Choose Chews to chew. (Yup. I did that.)
Chewing a sugarless gum after eating any meal can help prevent heartburn. This will help you produce saliva, and saliva helps neutralize acid. Also, chewing gum helps keep your mouth busy. This can prevent you for going for second helpings, which is also good for preventing heartburn. Speaking of…
You have to chew slowly and extremely well. This practice will help your digestion. Broken down parts of the food will be easier to digest so your stomach will not have to produce a lot more acid to dissolve the particles. Chew solid foods slowly and extremely well, until they’re almost liquefied.
Some people can’t chew very well, either because of gum problems or they just can’t. If you belong to this case, make sure to take lots of water for the acid to be neutralized. Since the food you eat will be taken as partially chewed. More acid will be produced to dissolve it. This will make you feel full too soon but it will sure help reduce acid reflux. Although, don’t take too much water within the meal. Distribute it well within meals. You would not want to feel bloated.
Our mouth has digestive enzymes. When you chew slowly, these enzymes are triggered to start functioning properly. This process will help to break down the meal to parts. It will also help you prevent bloating and gas. With this, your body will easily recognize the time when you are full so you don’t overeat.
Eat Less, More Often
Eating in bulk means more gastric juices. The best thing to do is to eat less but frequently. Try 1 cup of rice for a meal or a sandwich for a snack. After a couple of hours and you still want to eat, grab another one. This will ensure that the acid your stomach produces is not more than it needs.
If you can’t get another meal, you can take a cookie or some crackers with you so that you can grab a bite when you feel hungry. The key is to make sure you don’t feel hungry but you don’t feel too full.
Time your meal. Normally, after a meal, you will feel a bit sleepy. this happens mostly with pregnant women. Make sure meal time is two to three hours before your sleep time. This will let your body digest the food properly. lying down will only delay food digestion. Once you sleep, the body is relaxing too. So, your stomach will make more acid to burn the food since it is sensing your intentions of sleeping.
If this is not avoidable, allow at least an hour for your body to digest food before you lie down to rest or sleep.
Heartburn happens 25% of the time while you are asleep. So to get rid of the sleepless nights, when you sleep, elevate your head so that it is higher than your feet. Studies show that it helps with the digestion process. Avoid lying on your back. This way, the acid will stay where they should be. Stomach acid will be prevented from easily flow up the esophagus without fighting the forces of gravity. Also, if possible, the best position is to sleep on your side. Studies show that it helps with the digestion process.
Absolute. Lifestyle. Change.
Massage therapies like poking and rubbing are proven to be great natural remedies. This also includes acupuncture and acupressure. Get services from a registered massage therapist to make sure the session will be a gentle and subtle one, most especially if you’re pregnant. Check with your doctor if this will be okay. The massage will loosen your abdominal muscles and will improve your blood flow.
There are acupressure points to relieve yourself of heartburn. If you would like, you can actually do this at home. Just make sure to check with your doctor first.
One must soak both hands and feet in warm water. Then, lie down comfortably to get a relaxed feeling. You can use aromatic oil on the reflex points to boost comfort and relaxation.
Start with the left hand by giving a general massage for one minute to get the muscles relaxed. Massage gently, not too hard, not too lightly, with your right thumb towards the center of your left palm. Continue for 4 minutes then give it another general massage for a minute.
Do the same procedure with your right palm, but instead, stop before you reach the center.
To start with your left foot, apply the same methods as on the hands but massage from below the plump part of your big toe towards the center. Apply the same amount of pressure as on the hands. Do the same with your right foot but stop before you reach the center. The reflex point is just a small area below the plump part of your big toe.
On the midline of the body, one-half way between the base of the breastbone and the belly button, just press the point. Do not hold this point deeply though if you have a chronic or life-threatening illness such as heart disease, cancer, or high blood pressure. It is best not to hold this point for more than two minutes. Do it only on a fairly empty stomach.
This will not only help you get fit but will also reduce stress levels that highly contribute to acid production. If you can’t stand getting all sweaty, you can try a few yoga poses such as wide squat and dog pose.
Surely, other yoga poses may trigger heartburn. in this case, you have to rethink your workout. Check for other alternatives for those poses.
Some people experience acid reflux while exercising, so the best way to fight it is to eat two to three hours before workout. Eat something soothing so that the acid produced will be neutralized.
If you don’t have a regular workout or don’t have time to go to the gym, you can just run up your stairs. That is the best workout without any equipment. You can also try jogging around your block. If you’re at the office, you can jog while on break. This is a great stress reliever as well.
Dancing is also an enjoyable exercise. Just turn up that mp3 player or the radio and start doing your stuff. Get wild and let it go. Just enjoy and you’ll start feeling better.
Workouts may not be the first thing in your mind when you are suffering from heartburn. However, it’s great get up and exercise because it really helps relieve the symptoms. These are some of the easiest and quickest ways to rid yourself of the discomfort of acid reflux.
Try breathing exercises. Relax your jaw. Gently place your tongue on the upper palate behind your front teeth. Breathe through your nostrils and relax your stomach muscles. Place your hands gently on the sides of your lap. On a slow count to four, inhale deeply. Make sure your stomach is pushed outward by the action of your lungs and that your chest cavity does not expand. On a slow count of four, release the air gently and exhale fully allowing your chest and your lungs return to their proper position. Repeat six to eight times. Visualize your lungs are expanding while doing this breathing exercise.
Cigarette smoking not only interferes with the proper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter, it also damages your lungs and your teeth. It causes teeth discoloration and decay.
It is time to say goodbye to tight-fitting clothes. Wearing skin tight jeans, especially those that give you muffin top should go. They are inducing acid reflux because of the pressure they exert to your stomach.
Disclaimer: No therapeutic claims. 😀 Please note that the tips enlisted here are all based on experience and should not be considered as verified truths. Consulting a doctor is still recommended. Thanks for reading!