Management and prevention of heartburn

Do you know what causes a sudden burning sensation in the chest? Ever experienced the pain right behind the breast bone, especially after eating? Well, these are the signs of heartburn. Occasional heartburns are normal and there is nothing much to fret about it. But, you need to be careful if it becomes too frequent and starts disturbing your routine life. There are simple ways to prevent heartburn or if you want to get rid of it. 

Before knowing all the preventive measures for heartburn, you should be aware of its symptoms and causes.

How to identify heartburn?

There are some common symptoms associated with heartburn. Let’s take a quick look at them:

 

  • Intense and sudden burning pain in the chest (just nearby the breast bone)
  • The pain increases if you try to bend 
  • Feeling pukish
  • The foul taste of the mouth
  • Acid reflux
  • Facing problem in swallowing
  • Loss of appetite

woman facing heartburn symptoms

The above-mentioned symptoms of heartburn can arise due to any of the following causes:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic smoking
  • Excess body weight/Obesity
  • Pregnancy

Heartburn happens when the acid refluxes from the stomach into the food pipe (esophagus). The reflux happens when the sphincter remains slightly open or is weak to prevent the abnormal flow of the acid from the stomach. 

How to prevent heartburn?

Heartburn can happen to anyone, especially a person who consumes too much spicy and fatty food is more prone to it. A person can face the symptoms of heartburn if they eat their food too quickly. Therefore, you should not have your meals in a hurry as it will only cause you trouble.

Try and limit the consumption of the following  drinks and foods that can cause heartburn:

  • Citrus fruits and vegetables
  • Caffeinated beverages (tea and coffee)
  • Carbonated drinks such as soda, cola, etc
  • Too many chocolates
  • Excess intake of tomato, lemon, and orange juice
  • Deep-fried food items
  • Onion and garlic

These are the most common foods and drinks that can easily trigger the problem of heartburn.

Mild antacids for heartburn

Over the counter antacids are quite commonly used for heartburns due to acid reflux. Antacids have neutralizing effects on acid reflux. Some mild antacids are easily available without prescriptions. Such antacids provide instant relief to heartburn but are not the permanent solution. It’s wise to only use prescribed medicine. 

How to manage the problem of heartburn?

Do not fret if heartburn is troubling you, there are simple yet effective tips to manage heartburn. The key to deal effectively with heartburn is to manage acid reflux. 

Following these tips will help you in beating the excess acid production and hence the acid reflux.   

  • Maintain a proper healthy diet, and limit the consumption of fat.
  • Do not lie down immediately after eating.
  • Maintain a gap of 2-3 hours between your meal and bedtime.
  • Have your meals in a comfortable sitting position.
  • Avoid unnecessary heavy straining physical activities.
  • Maintain a normal BMI (body mass index), to stay away from the health risks of obesity.    
  • Be mindful of what you eat so that you can stay away from the trigger foods of heartburn.
  • Rather than having one heavy meal, have small meals in every 2-3 hours 
  • Quit smoking and drinking
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight around your waist
  • Get sufficient sound sleep 
  • Manage stress

Management of heartburn

These are some of the simple preventive measures that you must follow for heartburn.

Exercises for heartburn

  Exercise is necessary to reduce excess weight from the body. Excess body-weight can make the symptoms of heartburn even worse for you. Setting a proper exercising routine will help you in improving overall health. Just make sure that you do not exercise immediately after eating as it will have an adverse effect as acid reflux. 

Therefore, only mild exercises are recommended for people who suffer from frequent heartburn. Indulging in heavy exercises that put pressure on the stomach or the abdomen can cause more acid reflux.

So, you should not over-exert yourself and refrain from the following physical exercises:

  • Sprinting
  • Heavyweight lifting
  • Skipping
  • Running

Instead, you can spend more time walking, jogging, doing basic stretching, and deep breathing exercises. This way, you will remain fit and far from the risks of having acid reflux leading to heartburn.

Yoga for heartburn

Yoga immensely helps in dealing with the issues of heartburn. It may take a few days for the effects of yoga to reflect. But, you will surely notice a major relief in less than a month only. To see bring those wonderful changes to beat heartburn, you got to be consistent with your yoga routine.

Let’s gain an insight into the most effective yoga asanas for heartburn:

  1. Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  2. Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle pose)
  3. Veerasana (Warrior pose)
  4. Parsvottanasana (Side stretch or Pyramid pose)
  5. Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  6. Ardh Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the fishes pose
  7. Marjariasana (Cat Stretch)
  8. Adho mukha svanasana ( Downward dog pose)

If at all, you do not feel much comfortable with any of these yoga poses, you can leave that one. You can practice the other yoga asanas that bring relief to your condition. Moreover, these yoga poses will bring holistic improvement in your physical and mental health. 

Do not delay medical help 

If you deal with heartburn quite frequently, then you must reach out to a specialist doctor. The symptoms can grow severe with time if you leave them unattended. Usually, when you leave the underlying cause of heartburn (that is acid reflux), it can develop into GERD. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) can cause serious damage to the food pipe. Hence, go for proper diagnosis and treatment so that you can get rid of heartburn once and for all. 

Also Read: Difference Between GERD and Heartburn- Symptoms and Treatment

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