Everyone knows that creeping feeling of heartburn sneaking up on you after a particularly large or acidic meal. It's incredibly painful and feels like it will never go away. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, and occurs when the valve at the entrance to your stomach doesn't close completely after letting in food. Some of your stomach acid actually leaks up into your esophagus, resulting in that stabbing pain in your chest. Some of us know that feeling a little too well, when Tums and other antacids just won't do the trick. We've listed a couple tricks that can help you rid yourself of that awful feeling.
Quit smoking. Not that you need another reason to quit smoking, but according to WebMD, Smoking increases the amount of acid secreted by your stomach and interferes with the muscles in your stomach that keep the acid down.
Eat smaller meals more frequently. Eating smaller amounts of food decreases your chance of heartburn. Relax, slow down and eat your food slowly so that you can stop eating before you get overly full. (via WebMD)
Stay away from certain beverages. Drinks that are carbonated or that contain caffeine or alcohol can cause acid reflux. Even decaffeinated tea and coffee can cause heartburn. (via WebMD)
Stay away from certain foods. According to WebMd, food is the primary cause of heartburn for 92% of frequent heartburn sufferers. There are many foods that can trigger acid reflux or make it worse, including:
- Citrus fruits, like lemons and oranges
- Tomatoes and tomato products, like salsa and tomato sauce
- Mint or peppermint
- Fatty foods
- Spicy foods
Eat more of certain foods. While some foods trigger acid reflux, others, like aloe vera, ginger and oatmeal fight acid reflux. For a more extensive list from Health Magazine, click here.
Avoid snacking before bedtime. Actually, avoid laying down immediately following eating anything if you're prone to acid reflux. Aim for two to three hours in between eating and sleeping.
Still not working? Try reducing reflux while sleeping. It sounds crazy, but according to WebMD, if you put some blocks under the headboard of your bed, your head will be elevated a few inches above the rest of your body while you sleep, reducing the risk of acid reflux. Simply padding your head with more pillows won't do the trick because it will apply more pressure to your abdomen.