Heartburn which is also known as gastrointestinal reflux is a condition in which acid produced in stomach move upward and backward inside the food pipe. Usually, LES i.e. lower esophageal sphincter and diaphragm helps in preventing the problem of heartburn but at times these muscles relax and keep the food pipe exposed to stomach acid. In simple words, heartburn occurs when stomach acid adversely affect the lining of the food pipe. Some of the common symptoms of this problem includes: Coughing, burning sensation in throat, neck and lower chest and Voice hoarseness.
What Helps with Heartburn?
There are some simple and effective remedies which can help in getting rid of painful symptoms of heartburn:
- Avoid wearing skin tight cloths to evade extra pressure on the stomach and reduce heartburn.
- People who are overweight or obese tend to suffer from heartburn more. Hence, it is very essential that one should maintain their body weight to the optimum to avoid unpleasant symptoms of heartburn. In this regard one can consult a professional about the healthy ways of losing weight.
- If the problem of heartburn last long then patient should immediately visit an expert and ask for proper medications.
- The problem of heartburn increases during night when body is in horizontal position. This happens because gravity pulls the stomach acid up and down in the food pipe.
- Hence, it is advised to keep the head elevated while sleeping. This can be done by placing soft blocks under the bed; height of approximate 5 inches is good for this purpose. Pillows also serve this purpose the best way.
- If heartburn becomes severe then one should consult their doctors and ask for over the counter medications for instant relief. Doctors recommend either an antacid or any other medication that reduces the formation of acid.
Other effective remedies which help in preventing the painful symptoms of heartburn are:
- It is not always important to opt for allopathy medicines; instead one can also look forward to herbal medications for getting relief from heartburn problem. Herbal preparations like licorice, marshmallow or chamomile helps in getting relief from the GERD i.e. Gastroesophageal Reflux problem. The best aspect of herbal preparations is that it does not have any side effect.
- Acupuncture is also one of the most effective ways to treat heartburn. Although there are no much evidences available to support this concept but people suffering from this problem have experienced satisfactory results from acupuncture.
- Even though it is not possible to live a stress free life but having a relaxed lifestyle helps in preventing heartburn problem. This is because excess amount of stress increases the production of acid in the stomach.
- The type of food one eats has a direct connection with heartburn. Hence, making some simple alterations or changes in the eating habits can help in preventing the symptoms of heartburn. People who are prone to heartburn problem should strictly avoid oily food, chocolate, garlic, caffeine, alcohol and peppermint.
- One should not go to bed immediately after eating their meals; instead, they should sit up straight for at least 3-4 hours after every meal. Also, the last meal of the day should be eaten at least three hours before sleeping to get rid of heartburn.
- Pregnant women often face the problem of heartburn as a side effect of pregnancy. Hence, in this condition instead of taking medicine one can drink a glass of cold fat free milk. This will provide instant relief from the problem and is also a safe and healthy alterative to treat heartburn.
In case patient continues to face the problem of heartburn even by the use all the above remedies then it is highly advised to visit a doctor immediately and seek proper medical help.
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