Heartburn and acid reflux negatively impact many aspects of the lives of those who suffer from them. Aside from the general discomfort they cause, heartburn and acid reflux can make it difficult to concentrate, sleep, or enjoy eating. Heartburn and acid reflux also tend to come on at any moment and may take a long time to go away. Thankfully, there are quite a few methods available that can help prevent heartburn and acid reflux altogether.
1. Don’t Eat Raw Onion
Raw onions have been scientifically proven to dramatically increase the likelihood of heartburn and acid reflux. The fiber in onions can ferment, resulting in the increased production of gas. In addition, the esophagus is particularly sensitive to raw onion.
2. Chew Gum
Acid reflux and heartburn are primarily a result of built-up acid. Chewing gum contains adequate levels of bicarbonate which helps combat high acid levels. This chemical reaction can help greatly increase your comfort levels. Chewing gum can also help reduce your appetite and prevent you from overeating (another common cause of heartburn and acid reflux).
3. Don’t Drink Too Much Alcohol or Coffee
Both of these beverages can increase the likelihood of heartburn and acid reflux, but for different reasons. Alcohol increases the levels of acid in the body, thereby worsening heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Coffee contains caffeine which has been proven to weaken the esophageal sphincter, a key component in keeping heartburn and acid reflux at bay. Moderate consumption of both of these beverages should be fine.
4. Lose Weight
Extra weight will push stomach acid into your esophagus, thereby worsening symptoms. Your medical practitioner should be able to determine what a healthy BMI is for you and help you create a meal plan to not only lose weight but incorporate heartburn and acid reflux fighting foods as well.
5.Reduce Meal Size
Overeating greatly increases the likelihood of heartburn and acid reflux by reducing the ability of your body to properly digest food. The larger the meals you eat are, the worse the heartburn and acid reflux tend to be. Eat enough food that you feel full, but don’t overdo it. If you’re eating out, consider asking for a takeaway box and breaking meals up.
6. Don’t Wear Tight Clothes
Tight clothes, especially clothes that are tight around the abdomen, reduce the ability of the body to properly manage acid levels. Constricting your internal organs can prevent them from functioning properly and push the acid upwards.
7. Try Over-the-Counter Antacids
Over-the-counter antacids are only an appropriate solution for people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux infrequently. They are by no means a permanent fix. If your symptoms are particularly bad or uncommon, try something over-the-counter.
8. Don’t Smoke
Similar to caffeine, smoking affects your lower esophageal sphincter. If you want to give your esophageal sphincter its best chance at functioning properly, avoid smoking altogether.
9. Don’t Drink Carbonated Beverages
Carbon is also similar to caffeine in that it weakens your lower esophageal sphincter. The weakened lower esophageal sphincter plus the gases found in carbonated beverages increase the likelihood of belching. Belching can bring acid up from the stomach and cause greater discomfort.
10. Determine Your Personal Triggers
Each person has different foods and behaviors that will aggravate their personal heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Take some time on your own to determine what causes your heartburn and acid reflux. Consider trying out an elimination diet to gain a thorough understanding of what specific foods do to your body. Consult your medical practitioner for additional ways to determine what your sensitivities are.
Although these remedies have proven effective in many cases, this is not a comprehensive list. If these remedies don’t reduce your symptoms, consider looking for another heartburn and acid reflux remedy. After prolonged symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, consider consulting your healthcare practitioner since there may be some underlying and unresolved issues going on.