Diagnosis is the first step towards prevention so before we get round to treating heartburn, we should take a look at the symptoms of heartburn. While the triggers for heartburn may differ from person to person, the symptoms are generally the same for everyone.
Heartburn is most often caused by eating spicy and fatty foods. Digestion is adversely affected. Food does not follow the normal passage through the esophagus to the stomach. It seems, instead, to get stuck to the throat or esophagus which makes it difficult to swallow, sometimes leading to choking. As the name suggests, heartburn starts with a burning sensation in the chest area which may extend to the throat. The reflux leaves a bitter and sour taste in one’s mouth. At times, it may be the cause of chronic coughing.
Once you are certain that the symptoms you are experiencing are indeed indicative of heartburn (you can consult a physician to ensure that your diagnosis is right), here are seven simple tips you can try to reduce the uneasiness:
Let some time lapse after dinner before you sleep. Make dinner a light affair. If, perchance, you’ve eaten a heavy meal at night, do not go to bed immediately. You could take an after-dinner walk to aid digestion. Your posture also has an effect on digestion. Sitting upright or standing straight is better for your digestive processes than lying down.
Aerated drinks and alcohol are a big no-no. Sodas, colas and beer are off limits if you’re prone to heartburn. These drinks are very acidic. Every sip you take can make your condition worse.
Knock back a glass of milk instead of a beer. Milk contains calcium which has the capability to neutralize the antacid in your stomach. A glass of milk can reduce the burning sensation experienced during heartburn. For the same reasons, curd is also a good option.
Eat ginger. Ginger calms the stomach muscles and reduces the chances of gastro-esophageal reflux. The next time you feel heartburn, drink a cup of ginger tea, suck on a ginger boiled sweet or simply chew on a ginger stem.
Eat slowly. When I was a child, my mother always told me not to gobble my food and now I know the reason behind that saying. Research shows that eating slowing and chewing your food well can reduce and even eliminate the symptoms of heartburn.
Get that saliva flowing. Stimulating the saliva flow in the mouth hydrates the esophagus and provides a protective coating to guard the superfluous acid that is produced in heartburn.
Drink plenty of water. The last item in this list is in fact the simplest cure for heartburn. You should keep sipping small amounts of water throughout the day. Hydration dilutes the acid in the stomach and flushes out the toxins.
A common mistake when administering cures is to take a number of ingredients at the same time. When suffering from heartburn, it is natural to feel like doing whatever it takes to stop the discomfort at that moment. But in such a situation you need to be careful to use not more than one medicine or cure at a time. There is a chance that the chemicals from the various ingredients will interact, react with each other and actually make your condition worse.
Armed with these tips you are now well-prepared to stop the progress of heartburn before it gets painful. Use this information to your advantage. The next time you feel something in your heart, let it be emotion.