Heartburn is a very common condition , with one in 10 Americans experiencing heartburn symptoms at least once a week. It can be brought on by a number of different factors, including stress, obesity, pregnancy, being a smoker and eating certain foods. Symptoms of Heartburn can be described as a burning sensation in the chest which may radiate to the throat or jaw.
Many people with heartburn turn immediately to medication for relief of their symptoms, but often lifestyle changes are just as effective, and reduce the risk of side effects from prescriptions or over-the-counter drugs. These side effects can include infections, pneumonia and even increased risk of bone fractures. In fact, some experts say that 60 to 70 percent of people taking heartburn drugs probably don’t need them, or could see just as much benefit from simple lifestyle changes.
Before you turn to medication to manage your heartburn, consider these alternative treatments:
Lose weight. Obesity can cause heartburn: losing a few pounds can help clear up the condition.
Quit smoking. Smoking can damage your mucus membranes, impair throat muscle reflexes, increase acid secretion and reduce saliva—all of which can lead to heartburn.
Eat earlier. If you are still digesting food at bedtime, your stomach acids are more likely to back up into your esophagus during sleep, causing heartburn.
Chew gum. Interestingly, chewing gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce the risk of heartburn by encouraging you to produce saliva that washes down stomach acids.
Increase Water. Heartburn is one way the body signals that there is a shortage of water in the upper part of the gastrointestinal tract, generally the esophagus or stomach. Alkaline water will help to balance the levels of acid in the body compared non-alkaline water . Learn more about the Alkal-Life.
Keep a “food diary.” Make a note of the foods that trigger your heartburn. Common triggers include: alcohol, soft drinks, chocolate, coffee and tea, fatty or fried foods, tomatoes, citrus fruits, garlic and onions, and spicy foods. Once you have identified your triggers, eliminate them from your diet.
Manage your stress. Stress and anxiety can trigger heartburn. Try using your BioMat to de-stress and relax for 15 to 30 minutes each evening, while you’re reading a book, watching television or just thinking peaceful thoughts. If you are using it after a meal, make sure you lie so that your upper body is elevated. This will prevent stomach acids from washing back into your esophagus.