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Seeking relief from heartburn? 5 effective ways to prevent it

Are you suffering from heartburn? Here are 5 effective ways to prevent the burning sensation, from maintaining a healthy weight to taking a healthy diet.

Written By: Muskan Gupta New Delhi Published on: February 02, 2024 15:05 IST
Image Source : FREEPIK 5 ways to prevent heartburn

Heartburn is a common discomfort that many people experience, characterized by a burning sensation in the chest that often occurs after eating. While occasional heartburn is normal, frequent episodes can be bothersome and may indicate a more serious issue like acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Fortunately, there are several effective ways to prevent and alleviate heartburn. By incorporating these effective strategies into your daily routine, you can take significant steps towards finding relief from heartburn and improving your overall digestive health. From maintaining a healthy weight to eating a healthy diet, here are five simple ways to prevent heartburn.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can put pressure on the stomach and lead to the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Adopting a healthy lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a balanced diet can help you maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of heartburn. 

Elevate Your Upper Body While Sleeping

Nighttime heartburn is a common issue for many individuals. To minimize the likelihood of acid reflux while sleeping, elevate the upper half of your body by using a wedge pillow or raising the head of your bed. This slight elevation can provide relief from nighttime heartburn.

Avoid Triggering Behaviors

Certain behaviours can contribute to heartburn, such as smoking and lying down immediately after eating. Smoking can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. Quitting smoking and adopting a habit of staying upright for at least two to three hours after eating can significantly reduce the likelihood of heartburn.

Watch Your Diet

One of the primary triggers for heartburn is the type of food you consume. Certain foods and beverages, such as spicy or acidic dishes, chocolate, citrus fruits, and caffeinated or carbonated drinks, can contribute to the onset of heartburn. To prevent it, try incorporating more alkaline foods into your diet, like bananas, melons, and leafy greens. Additionally, eating smaller, more frequent meals can help minimize the pressure on your stomach and reduce the likelihood of heartburn.

Over-the-counter (OTC) Medications

For occasional heartburn, over-the-counter antacids or acid reducers can provide relief by neutralizing or reducing stomach acid. However, it's essential to use these medications as directed and consult with a healthcare professional if you experience persistent or severe heartburn. 

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