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How To Avoid Heartburn And Indigestion

Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol

How to Prevent Heartburn

Alcohol increases the amount of acid the stomach produces and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter . If you do want to have some alcohol during your festivities, try the following tips:

  • Dilute alcoholic beverages with water or club soda.
  • Limit alcohol consumption to one or two mixed drinks, no more than 16 ounces of wine, or and no more than three beers.
  • Drink white wine instead of red wine.
  • Choose non-alcoholic beer or wine.
  • Keep track of which alcoholic drinks aggravate your heartburn, and avoid them as much as possible.

What Do I Do If I Think I Have Gerd

With GERD when reflux and heartburn happen more than once in a while the tissue lining your esophagus is getting battered regularly with stomach acid. Eventually the tissue becomes damaged. If you have this chronic acid reflux and heartburn you can see its affecting your daily eating and sleeping habits.

When GERD makes your daily life uncomfortable in this way, call your healthcare provider. Although GERD isnt life-threatening in itself, its chronic inflammation of the esophagus can lead to something more serious. You may need stronger prescription medications or even surgery to ease your symptoms.

Question 5 Of : Prognosis

  • 1In most cases, you can successfully manage or reduce your heartburn. Through healthy lifestyle changes and by using effective prevention strategies, you can treat and even prevent mild cases of heartburn. If you suffer from more serious heartburn, work with your doctor find a treatment plan that eases your symptoms and prevents future attacks.XTrustworthy SourceMayo ClinicEducational website from one of the world’s leading hospitalsGo to source
  • Also Check: Is Carbonated Water Good For Heartburn

    Is Gerd Dangerous Or Life

    GERD isnt life-threatening or dangerous in itself. But long-term GERD can lead to more serious health problems:

    • Esophagitis: Esophagitis is the irritation and inflammation the stomach acid causes in the lining of the esophagus. Esophagitis can cause ulcers in your esophagus, heartburn, chest pain, bleeding and trouble swallowing.
    • Barrett’s esophagus: Barrett’s esophagus is a condition that develops in some people who have long-term GERD. The damage acid reflux can cause over years can change the cells in the lining of the esophagus. Barretts esophagus is a risk factor for cancer of the esophagus.
    • Esophageal cancer: Cancer that begins in the esophagus is divided into two major types. Adenocarcinoma usually develops in the lower part of the esophagus. This type can develop from Barretts esophagus. Squamous cell carcinoma begins in the cells that line the esophagus. This cancer usually affects the upper and middle part of the esophagus.
    • Strictures: Sometimes the damaged lining of the esophagus becomes scarred, causing narrowing of the esophagus. These strictures can interfere with eating and drinking by preventing food and liquid from reaching the stomach.

    Watch How And When You Eat

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    How and when you eat may have as much to do with heartburn as what you eat. In addition to avoiding foods that trigger your heartburn, watch the volume of food you consume as well as your timing. Chowing down on hefty portion sizes is often a sure-fire recipe for a bad bout of heartburn keep portion sizes small. Also be sure to leave plenty of time between your evening meal and when you head to bed. Stop eating several hours before your bedtime to give your belly time to digest your food.

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    Top Foods To Avoid For Heartburn & Indigestion

    These days, we have started relying on packaged food for most of our nutrition needs, and while some people still prefer to go Organic, or make 3 meals a day at home, sometimes its just not possible to achieve these targets, given our increasingly hectic lives! While packaged foods are convenient, they are loaded with preservatives to increase shelf life, which also leads to another serious problem of Indigestion. Indigestion can be a painful and embarrassing condition for the sufferer. There are numerous causes, but the most common of these is connected with your diet and here are some common foods to avoid if you suffer from the condition. Ready-made foods that are loaded with Sodium or artificial preservatives, high sugar content, high spice content they all make it harder for the stomach to digest the food, and can inflate the lining in the stomach, leading to bloating or indigestion.

    Most people reach for a bottle of Antacids as soon as they feel these symptoms. Medication is fine for immediate relief, but it is never a long-term solution. And I say this because I have two member in my family who suffer from chronic indigestion, which can in turn lead to heartburn or even constipation. So if you are looking for permanent relief, you will have to change your diet, and start avoiding foods that trigger Indigestion in the first place.

    Do you suffer from Acidity and indigestion? How do you combat these ailments? Please share your tips with our readers via comments!

    Be Careful With Citrus

    Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruits are also high in acid and irritating to the digestive tract. The extra acid from these foods aggravates reflux and worsens heartburn. Remember that orange juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, and products made with citrus fruit juices, such as some marinades, will have the same negative effect. Choose fruits that are less acidic to satisfy your daily fruit requirements.

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    Should I Ignore Heartburn

    Heartburn may seem like a mild nuisance rather than something to be worried about but, if you’re over 50 years and have been experiencing acid reflux for some time or feel the need to keep using over-the-counter antacid tablets, it’s worth getting it checked out.

    Cumming warns: “Heartburn can be a sign of an underlying health complaint such as a gastric ulcer or oesophageal cancer and shouldn’t be ignored, especially in older people. Suffering in silence when you have long-term heartburn symptoms could lead to potentially serious conditions being diagnosed later, when they are more advanced with complications, and are harder to treat.”

    Foods That May Cause Heartburn

    How To Avoid Having A Heartburn

    Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:

    • Fried food
    • Peppermint
    • Carbonated beverages

    “Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”

    Also Check: How To Cure Constant Heartburn

    When To Seek Medical Advice

    Having mild, infrequent heartburn generally isnt cause for concern. But if youre experiencing heartburn more than twice a week, or if your symptoms are severe or getting worse, its important to speak with your doctor. Frequent heartburn could be a sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux , a condition that requires prescription medication and monitoring.

    If you are experiencing chest pain and arent sure if its heartburn or a heart attack, seek immediate medical attention by calling triple zero .

    Best Foods For Acid Reflux

    A diet balanced with vegetables, protein and fruits is best, Dr. Khaitan says. Examples of the best foods for acid reflux include:

    • Chicken breast Be sure to remove the fatty skin. Skip fried and instead choose baked, broiled or grilled.
    • Lettuce, celery and sweet peppers These mild green veggies are easy on the stomach and wont cause painful gas.
    • Brown rice This complex carbohydrate is mild and filling just dont serve it fried.
    • Melons Watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew are all low-acid fruits that are among the best foods for acid reflux.
    • Oatmeal Filling, hearty and healthy, this comforting breakfast standard also works for lunch.
    • Fennel This low-acid crunchy vegetable has a mild licorice flavor and a natural soothing effect.
    • Ginger Steep caffeine-free ginger tea or chew on low-sugar dried ginger for a natural tummy tamer.

    Also Check: Why Do I Always Have Bad Heartburn

    How A Doctor Can Help

    If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.

    GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.

    The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center

    GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.

    Is There Surgery To Treat Gerd

    Eight ways on how to control and prevent the discomfort of ...

    GERD is usually controlled with medications and lifestyle changes . If these dont work, or if you cant take medications for an extended period, surgery may be a solution.

    • Laparoscopic antireflux surgery is the standard surgical treatment. Its a minimally invasive procedure that fixes your acid reflux by creating a new valve mechanism at the bottom of your esophagus. The surgeon wraps the upper part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus. This reinforces the lower esophageal sphincter so food wont reflux back into the esophagus.
    • LINX deviceimplantation is another minimally invasive surgery. A LINX device is a ring of tiny magnets that are strong enough to keep the junction between the stomach and esophagus closed to refluxing acid but weak enough to allow food to pass through.

    Also Check: The Difference Between Heartburn And Acid Reflux

    How To Manage Symptoms

    If you already have acid reflux, theres much you can do to minimize symptoms and perhaps avoid them entirely. Instead of consuming large meals, eat smaller ones more often. Minimize fatty foods and skip fried and fast foods entirely. A friend uses an air fryer to achieve a crispy skin on chicken, but I prefer grilled chicken and skip the skin. Choose lean meats and low-fat or nonfat dairy products, and avoid eating within three hours of bedtime. Also, try sleeping as if on a recliner, with the head of the bed propped higher than the foot.

    Foods that many people with GERD find most irritating include tomatoes and citrus and their juices, coffee , alcoholic and carbonated beverages, spicy foods, garlic, chocolate and peppermint. I long ago switched to low-acid orange juice, consuming only a few ounces a day to dissolve a fiber supplement. Ive also found instant coffee to be less irritating than brewed, and drink the latter only with food to help protect my digestive tract.

    To counter an occasional unexpected attack of heartburn, many people use a quick-acting antacid like Tums to help neutralize stomach acid. A more modern remedy, an H2 receptor blocker like Pepcid , can relieve symptoms within about 20 minutes by blocking the histamine receptors in the stomach that trigger acid production.

    Steer Clear Of Spicy Foods

    Foods with a fiery, spicy flavor may add some kick to your diet, but you’ll feel that kick burning in your chest again when heartburn happens. Spicy dishes containing a variety of chile peppers and related ingredients like cayenne pepper are well-known heartburn triggers, though some people can tolerate them. Consider dialing down the level of spices in your home-cooked meals and, when eating out, always ask about any spices included in dishes youre ordering.

    Also Check: How To Relieve Severe Heartburn

    Avoid Foods And Drinks That Cause Heartburn

    There are several foods that are known to cause heartburn. The main culprits are chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, spicy foods, garlic, and onions. Also, acidic foods and drinks like tomatoes, citrus fruit, and citrus juices can lead to heartburn. Coffee and sodas can relax the LES and allow more acid to leak into the esophagus. Alcohol can cause heartburn, too. Avoiding these foods and drinks is helpful in preventing heartburn.

    Dont Eat Within Three Hours Of Going To Bed

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    People with acid reflux are generally advised to avoid eating within the three hours before they go to sleep.

    Although this recommendation makes sense, there is limited evidence to back it up.

    One study in GERD patients showed that having a late evening meal had no effects on acid reflux, compared to having a meal before 7 p.m. .

    However, an observational study found that eating close to bedtime was associated with significantly greater reflux symptoms when people were going to sleep .

    More studies are needed before solid conclusions can be made about the effect of late evening meals on GERD. It may also depend on the individual.

    Summary:

    Observational studies suggest that eating close to bedtime may worsen acid reflux symptoms at night. Yet, the evidence is inconclusive and more studies are needed.

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    Consider Eating Less Chocolate

    GERD patients are sometimes advised to avoid or limit their consumption of chocolate. However, the evidence for this recommendation is weak.

    One small, uncontrolled study showed that consuming 4 ounces of chocolate syrup weakened the lower esophageal sphincter .

    Another controlled study found that drinking a chocolate beverage increased the amount of acid in the esophagus, compared to a placebo .

    Nevertheless, further studies are needed before any strong conclusions can be made about the effects of chocolate on reflux symptoms.

    Summary:

    There is limited evidence that chocolate worsens reflux symptoms. A few studies suggest it might, but more research is needed.

    Preventing And Managing Heartburn

    There are many things you can do to help reduce your experience of heartburn.

    The first step is make sure your daily meals are based around a variety of foods from each of the five food groups recommended by the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating This includes vegetables, fruit, wholegrain breads and cereals, lean meats and meat-alternatives, and reduced-fat dairy and non-dairy alternatives. For an idea on how to get balance and variety into your daily meals, check out these sample meal plans for men and women.

    Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent heartburn. By not overfilling the stomach, there is less chance of stomach acid rising into your oesophagus. Remember to choose healthy foods and be mindful of how much you eat across the day.

    Try to eat your last meal a few hours before bedtime. This gives your stomach enough time to empty and can reduce your experience of reflux when lying down in bed.

    Fatty foods take longer to break down in the stomach, which is why these foods often trigger heartburn symptoms. Consider ways to prepare meals that reduce the amount of fat. For example:

    • Use low-fat cooking methods such as steaming, grilling or lightly pan-frying instead of deep- or shallow-frying.
    • Trim the fat off meats and choose leaner cuts.
    • Choose reduced-fat dairy products.

    Recommended Reading: How To Prevent Heartburn After Eating

    What Can Trigger Heartburn

    Heartburn usually happens after eating. Some of the most common triggers include:

    • Large meals
    • Carbonated drinks like soft drinks
    • Citrus foods and drinks

    Some people may experience heartburn without any obvious food triggers.

    Other factors that can increase your risk of heartburn include:

    • Being above a healthy weight
    • Being pregnant
    • Taking certain medications
    • Feeling stressed

    Top 8 Tips To Stop And To Prevent Acid Reflux Heartburn Gastro

    Does Mustard Help With Heartburn

    Learn about the TOP 8 Tips To Stop and Prevent Acid Reflux , also called as Heartburn , Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease GERD

    Tip 1 : Have your last meal of the day 3 hours before Bed-Time

    Tip 2 : Have smaller meals, instead of large meals with fluids.

    Tip 3 : Avoid lying down immediately after food

    Tip 4: DonĂ¢t Consume Acidic foods

    Tip 5: Avoid foods which precipitate Reflux

    Tip 6: Elevate the head side of the bed

    Tip 7 : Lose Weight, if overweight.

    Tip 8: Get your medications checked with your doctor

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    Maintain A Healthy Weight

    Overweight and obesity are common risk factors for frequent acid reflux and developing gastroesophageal reflux disease . It becomes easy to maintain a healthy weight when you are avoiding the foods that cause heartburn and eating more fiber-rich foods to prevent heartburn. Taking a brisk walk after a meal can aid digestion and reduce acid reflux. This will also help you maintain or achieve a healthy weight.

    To find out if you are a healthy weight, use this BMI calculator.

    Treating Heartburn Vs Indigestion

    Both heartburn and indigestion may be treated with over-the-counter products, such as:

    • Antacids for mild, occasional heartburn symptoms. Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid. They may be taken as soon as you experience symptoms, or before eating trigger foods to prevent them. Antacids arent meant to be taken every day, unless otherwise instructed by your doctor. Daily use can cause GI upset.
    • Proton pump inhibitors for long-term treatment. PPIs work by decreasing the amount of acid in your stomach, allowing your esophagus to heal.
    • Histamine-H2-receptor antagonists . These are also designed to decrease stomach acid, but they arent as strong as PPIs.

    Ask your doctor before taking any herbal remedies for GI issues, as you may unintentionally make your heartburn or indigestion worse.

    Occasional heartburn or indigestion is largely preventable. Prevention methods are the same for both conditions.

    Here are some of the ways you can help decrease a flare-up of heartburn and indigestion symptoms:

    These preventive measures may also help alleviate symptoms of chronic heartburn or indigestion, but youll need to see your doctor to help treat the underlying causes to help prevent further complications.

    Recommended Reading: Why Do I Have Persistent Heartburn

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