Dealing with heartburn: how to prevent acid reflux

heartburn

With these five tips, you won’t be bothered by acid reflux and heartburn anymore

It can really put a damper on the afterglow of a delicious dinner: acid reflux and heartburn. You end up with a burning sensation in your chest and the uncomfortable feeling of acid traveling back up to your throat. So how do you keep this natural phenomenon from happening?  

Heartburn and acid reflux

Aren’t those two the exact same thing? Not really! Even though the two are connected to one another, they are not the exact same thing. When acid travels back up from your stomach to your throat, it is called acid reflux. This is solely about the occurrence of acid moving up your throat. Heartburn is the feeling you get when you experience acid reflux. It is the burning sensation in your chest that usually shows up after you eat or when you lay down.

There are different causes for acid reflux that result in the feeling of heartburn. Some examples of causes are: when you eat a lot of fatty foods, stress, pregnancy, being overweight or certain medication. But how do you make sure this uncomfortable feeling doesn’t show up after dinner?

1. Balance

If you eat a lot of food in one sitting, you can increase the risk of acid reflux showing up. By eating smaller meals spread throughout the day, you can prevent acid reflux and with that, heartburn. If you feel like you have no insight whatsoever in how much you eat and whether or not your acid reflux is related to your food intake, you could track the amount of food you eat in a journal. That way you can see if your meals are evenly spread throughout the day or if you could improve your eating habits in this area.

Also take the time to chew your food and swallow it. If you eat too much too fast, acid reflux is more likely to occur.

2. Alcohol

By limiting your alcohol intake, you could also prevent acid reflux. Alcohol has been known to cause the lower esophageal sphincter to not function as it should. And that sphincter is responsible for keeping the acid in your stomach contained. If you drink large amounts of alcohol, this sphincter will allow acid to travel from your stomach to your throat, increasing the probability of acid reflux and heartburn.

3. Fatty foods

When you eat a lot of deep fried foods, you will increase the chances of acid reflux and heartburn to occur. Foods like chips and fatty foods like sausage, bacon, cheese and butter can all cause acid reflux. If you are prone to get acid reflux after dinner, you might want to limit your intake of these types of foods.

4. Fibers

If you want to make sure that acid reflux doesn’t show up right after eating that delicious dinner, you can add some extra high-fiber foods. Fibers cause your stomach to digest food faster and the amount of acid in your stomach increases when food stays in your stomach longer. So add some beans or broccoli to your meal. That way, your stomach will not create as much acid, making acid reflux a thing of the past!

Also read: Find out what hiccups are and how to get rid of them

Source: Margriet, Benefiber, Pfizer, Mount Sinai | Image: Pixabay