Medical practitioners define ‘heartburn’ as a disease that occurs when the gastric contents flow backward from the stomach into the esophagus (pipe or gullet).
If the gastric contents flow in large amounts, it irritates the esophagus especially the lower part causing the symptoms of heartburn.
This is also termed as reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Surveys suggest that as many as 25 per cent to 40 per cent adults have experienced heartburn once a month.
Some of the causes of heartburn are smoking and consumption of high-fat content foods, pregnancy, obesity, carbonated beverages, citric fruits among others. But all this can be controlled to prevent the heartburn that may worsen the health status of an individual.
Prevention has always been still is better than cure, according to Healthline, here are some ways on how to prevent you from having a heart burn;
Elevate your upper body
When experiencing a heart burn, one usually lies down. But this only makes the situation worse, Dr Philemon Mukasa, a nutritionist told Watchdoguganda.com. It is important that during bed time, you adjust your sleeping surface to raise the upper body.
According to Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows is usually not effective enough because the goal is to raise the body from the waist upwards.
If your bed is adjustable, do adjust it in the required position and if it can’t then change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.
Stand up straight
The posture that you are in can also push for a heartburn. If seated or lying down, try standing up straight.
An upright position puts less force on the esophageal sphincter. The LES is a ring muscle that helps prevent the acid from rising to the esophagus.
You might have an episode of heartburns due to the tight clothing that is compressing your stomach. If that is the case, then first loosen up your belts, dress, pants or whatever is holding you tight.
According to the 2014 research on Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, chewing gum for half an hour after meals may also reduce heart burn. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and swallowing. This might help in diluting and clearing the stomach acid from your esophagus.
Limit alcohol intake
Excessive alcohol can worsen acid reflux symptoms. When you experience a heartburn, it is important that you reduce on the alcohol consumption to prevent it from worsening. You know by now that too much consumption of alcohol is harmful to your health so drink responsibly.
Don’t drink too much of citrus juice
The acidity of citrus fruits is not the only factor contributing to theses effects but also the liquids like orange juice that aggravates the symptoms. Researchers believe that citrus juice irritates the lining of the esophagus.
Amongst the healthy people, the diaphragm naturally strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter. If you have belly fat, the pressure in your abdomen may become too high, lowering the esophageal sphincter getting it pushed away from the diaphragm support. Loosing belly fat might relieve you from some of these symptoms.
Avoid cigarette smoke
We all know that smoking is bad for one’s health but it also causes heartburn. If you are a smoker and get a heartburn it is advisable not to light up because it won’t make the discomfort any better.
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