7 steps to soothe heartburn

Wednesday October 3, 2018

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), more commonly known as acid reflux, results in an uncomfortable burning sensation in the middle of the chest. This burning sensation radiating in the center of the chest is known as heartburn. Heartburn occurs as a result of the stomach acids leaking upward into the esophagus from the stomach.

While one of the first things a person tends to do in such a situation usually is reach for an over-the-counter pill, there are other steps that you can take to ease the heartburn and prevent problems in the future. With that said, discussed below are steps that can help you to relieve and prevent heartburn.

  1. Eat regular but smaller meals since a full stomach results in pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is a valve-like muscle that prevents the stomach acids from backing up into the esophagus.
  2. Instead of wolfing down your meals as if it will disappear in five seconds, take time to relax and eat slowly. Remember the faster you eat, the more pressure will be applied on the LES, therefore slow down.
  3. After eating, do not lie down. Instead, remain upright so as not to increase the pressure on LES.
  4. Instead of exercising after meals, give your stomach the time to empty itself of the last meal you ate.
  5. Don’t eat late night meals since it does not give the stomach time to clear out. If you are a mid-night snacker, then wait for a minimum of three hours before settling down to sleep to avoid heartburn.
  6. Although many people are often under the misconception that belching can help relieve of heartburn; the truth is that it worsens the symptoms. Therefore, avoid drinking carbonated beverages which may cause you to belch and worsen the heartburn.
  7. Salivation helps in neutralizing acids, sooth the esophagus, and wash the acid back to the stomach. Chewing a sugarless gum after a meal can help to promote saliva, however, avoid the flavors with peppermint since it may trigger or increase heartburn.