Popping an antacid to control your heartburn is easy and convenient. In some severe cases, surgery is required. However, making some lifestyle changes and introducing a few daily habits can help reduce your heartburn.
Eat smaller, frequent meals
Eating heavy meals, especially at one time, will add excess pressure to your stomach. This will cause the lower valve to relax, allowing acid to gush through into your esophagus. Instead of the usual three meals per day, try eating a smaller portion at frequent intervals. This will help to control your acidity levels. Remember not to eat your last meal close to bedtime, as this will cause heartburn.
Eliminate certain foods
There is a long list of foods that will trigger heartburn. Spicy foods, caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, processed foods, tomatoes, butter and citrus fruits are all on the list. Try to avoid these foods throughout the day, as there are always great heartburn free alternatives out there. Switch out a cup of coffee for herbal tea, and instead of eating fries soaked in oil, try homemade fries by baking them instead.
With work and lifestyle stresses, making the time to exercise can be tough. However, incorporating even 30 minutes a day can reduce your chances of heartburn. A 2003 study of more than 10,000 people in the International Journal of Epidemiology found a strong link between GERD symptoms and body mass index (BMI). Excess fat can place more pressure on the stomach, but can also make chemical and hormonal changes, making our bodies more prone to acid reflux.
Avoid happy hour
To avoid your 5pm flare up, avoid alcohol. Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to rush into the esophagus. The more units you drink, the higher the chances are of a flare up.
Don’t wear tight clothes
Especially in the summer, wearing tight clothes can be uncomfortable .Tight clothes can also trigger heartburn! Clothing that is tight around your midsection can push excess acid from your stomach into your esophagus. If you are suffering from heartburn daily, avoid wearing belts, hosiery, waistbands and undergarments that are too tight.
Change how you sleep
Many of us may not realize the position we sleep in can make heartburn worse. To prevent heartburn at night while you sleep, make sure to prop your head up higher to avoid acid lingering in your throat. Use extra pillows or a foam wedge to help you get a heartburn free night of sleep.
If you have changed your lifestyle, and even tried some of these daily habits, but still suffer from heartburn, call the Houston Heartburn and Reflux Center.