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How to Control Acid Reflux and Get Rid of Heartburn

How to Control Acid Reflux and Get Rid of Heartburn

How to Control Acid Reflux and Get Rid of Heartburn

Heartburn is caused when stomach acid backs up (acid reflux) into the esophagus, which carries food from your mouth to your stomach. The esophagus does not have a protective lining unlike the stomach to prevent inflammation caused by stomach acid and hence results in heartburn.

If you suffer from heartburn more than 2 times a week, it is very likely that you have GERD (Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disorder) too. It is very important to get proper treatment to control this condition because over time reflux can damage esophagus and can also lead to cancer.

How to Control Acid Reflux and Get Rid of Heartburn

In most of the early cases over the counter medications can help, but if the heartburn continues it is better to go for prescription medications or in worst cases, a surgery.

There are many tips you can follow and precautions you can take to avoid acid reflux and thereby avoid heartburn. Listed below are the common causes of heartburn and some suggestions on how to control acid reflux and get rid of heartburn

How to Control Acid Reflux and Get Rid of Heartburn

Common causes of heartburn

  1. Certain foods and medications you consume can lead to increased secretion of stomach acid which leads to heartburn. Avoid or limit the following things to curb heartburn
  • Chocolate
  • High fat foods
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Acidic foods like oranges, grapefruit,pineapple and tomatoes
  • Medications like ibuprofen, aspirin, Naproxen etc.

2. Smoking

3. Pregnancy – Increased pressure within the abdominal cavity during pregnancy can cause heartburn

4. Obesity – Even being overweight can increase the pressure in the abdomen resulting in acid reflux

5. Medical conditions of esophagus like Scleroderma and Sarcoidosis

Symptoms of Heartburn

  1. Pain and burning sensation behind sternum or breastbone
  2. Water Brash or sour taste in the back of the throat
  3. Coughing or hoarseness
  4. Difficulty to sleep after heavy meal
  5. In severe cases, tooth decay

Complications of Heartburn

  1. Ulcers
  2. Esophageal cancer
  3. Scarring and stricture
  4. Barrett’s esophagus

Lifestyle changes to curb heartburn

  1. Do not sleep as soon as you have your meal
  2. Have smaller portions of meal
  3. Avoid all foods that trigger heartburn
  4. Avoid smoking
  5. Use a good pillow which can keep your head elevated and thus curbs acid reflux
  6. If you are overweight, exercise to lose weight which in turn decreases the symptoms of heartburn

Foods that can help heartburn

  • Herbal tea
  • Include fiber containing foods
  • Have dry foods
  • Include raw garlic in your diet

Tips for relief from nighttime heartburn

  • Limit acidic and spicy foods at night
  • Eat 2-3 hours before bedtime
  • Consume lean meats and avoid greasy foods
  • Avoid having carbonated beverages and snacks at bedtime
  • Wear loose clothes
  • Chew gum after dinner to neutralize stomach acids

Unattended heartburn can lead to serious conditions like esophageal cancer. Take proper care if you are suffering from heartburn to avoid other serious manifestations of the disease. Eat healthy to live healthy!

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