After meals, do you frequently feel a burning pain in your chest, accompanied by belching and a sour taste in your mouth? Does this feeling intensify when you lie down and make it difficult for you to swallow?
If so, you could be suffering from heartburn. Frequent heartburn not only negatively impacts your daily life, but it can actually lead to more serious health issues if left untreated.
What causes this and how can you treat it?
Frequent Heartburn Causes
Several conditions can lead to chronic heartburn. Let’s take a look at the causes of frequent heartburn.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
This chronic digestive disorder, also known as acid reflux affects the lower ring of muscles that connects the stomach and esophagus. Stomach acid travels up through the sphincter and irritates the lining of the esophagus, causing pain.
This condition affects around 60 million people in the United States. This is the most common reason people experience heartburn.
When the stomach’s upper portion bulges through an opening in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity, this is referred to as a hiatal hernia.
Your diaphragm works to keep acid down in the stomach. But, this type of hernia does not allow the muscle to work properly, leading to heartburn.
Solutions for Treating Heartburn
Heartburn makes you incredibly uncomfortable and gives you bad breath. Over time, stomach acid damages the sensitive lining of the esophagus and can lead to cancer.
It can also travel up into the throat and mouth, damaging cells there as well. When this happens, it can also rot the teeth.
This makes prompt treatment important. Keep reading to learn solutions for eliminating heartburn.
You can take both over-the-counter and prescription medications to help heartburn subside. Let’s look at a couple.
You can get this over-the-counter by its brand name, Tums. This medication acts as a buffer to neutralize the acid and prevent reflux by changing the motility of the esophagus.
This medication comes-over-the counter as Maalox or Mylanta. These medications coat the lining of the esophagus, to protect it against the acid. It also helps to reduce the amount of acid produced.
Doctors commonly prescribe Dexilant to treat heartburn. This medicine works as a proton-pump inhibitor.
It targets special cells within the lining of the stomach that make stomach acid. When this happens, the medication drastically reduces the amount of stomach acid produced for extended periods of time.
Obesity causes GERD more than any other factor. Any type of weight gain, even small increases, can lead to this condition.
This might happen due to the weight creating excess pressure on the abdomen. This extra weight may relax and weaken the sphincter that separates the stomach from the esophagus.
To lose weight, make sure you burn off more calories with exercise than you take in with food. To bring down your weight, eat a balanced meal, cutting out refined sugars and other junk foods while exercising an hour each day.
Change Your Diet
Certain foods will make heartburn worse, while others will help reduce acid reflux. If you experience heartburn all the time, then you made need to consider altering your diet.
Acidic foods and juices will only worsen the problem. Avoid citrus fruits and juices, like grapefruit, oranges, lemons, pineapples, and limes. Also avoid tomatoes, as this non-citrus fruit also contains lots of acids.
Carbonated beverages contain carbon dioxide, which is also acidic. Avoid anything bubbly, like sodas.
Cutting out sodas will also reduce the amount of caffeine you take in. Caffeine relaxes the sphincter that separates the stomach and esophagus and allows stomach acid to come up.
Other caffeinated beverages to stay away from includes black tea, green tea, energy drinks, and coffee. Since chocolate causes a surge of serotonin that relaxes the same muscle, avoid this sweet treat as well.
Fatty and greasy foods do not digest easily, so they lead to heartburn as well. Try not to eat anything fried or high in fats.
What can you eat?
Vegetables do not contain fat and help to reduce the amount of stomach acid. The best kinds to reduce heartburn include green beans and asparagus.
High fiber foods will help to neutralize that stomach acid. Eat legumes, oatmeal, and whole-grain rice to help.
Opt for fish and lean meats, like chicken and pork. Rather than frying them in oil or butter, bake or broil them instead.
Cook with ginger to help treat your heartburn. The natural anti-inflammatory properties will help you feel better.
Alcohol increases the amount of stomach acid that you produce while making your esophagus more sensitive to it. It also relaxes the muscles that keep acid from traveling upward. Steering clear of alcohol will help with heartburn prevention.
The active ingredient in cigarettes, nicotine, also relaxes that sphincter keeping acid down. Ask your doctor about medications that will help you quit smoking to help your heartburn.
Avoid Certain Medications
If your heartburn seemed to begin with a certain medication, ask your doctor about an alternative. Some common medicines that cause heartburn include aspirin, Motrin, Naproxen, anti-anxiety medications, and iron supplements.
Chronic stress will lead to GERD. The ‘fight or flight’ response that activates your sympathetic nervous system will increase stomach acid due to spasms in your esophagus.
Moreover, prostaglandins protect your digestive lining, and stress can eliminate them. When this happens, you will feel the effects of heartburn more intensely.
To help yourself de-stress, meditate, take yoga classes, and seek counseling when necessary. Breathing exercises can also help you calm down to keep that acid inside your stomach where it belongs.
Order Your Heartburn Medication Online
If you suffer from frequent heartburn, then take action to relieve your symptoms and heal your insides. Changing your lifestyle with the suggestions listed above can help you live a happier and healthier life, heartburn-free.
We want to help you stay healthy and comfortable with all that ails you. Place a new order from the comfort of your home today!