Have you ever suffered from heartburn? You eat a meal and a few minutes later, you start to feel a painful burning sensation in your chest that quickly spreads to your throat. Your first instinct is to reach for antacid. Problem solved! Or … is it?
Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. Heartburn is a symptom; it’s the body’s way of letting us know that something is wrong. To put it simply, heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus caused by stomach acid. With the help of gravity, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) keeps stomach acid where it belongs – in the stomach. When the LES is functioning properly, it opens to allow food in and gas out, and closes once these functions are complete. When the LES is not functioning properly, stomach acid can reflux into the esophagus and cause the burning sensation we know as heartburn.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Heartburn
The good news is there are ways to tame your heartburn – naturally. Follow these do’s and don’ts to soothe and support your digestive system and get back to a heartburn free life.
• Eat smaller meals throughout the day. Large meals take longer to digest and increase the chance of reflux.
• Give your belly room to breathe and digest! Tight clothing like spanx and skinny jeans can put pressure on your stomach and force food back up into your esophagus. Yuk!
• Become a heartburn detective. Use a food journal to identify your heartburn triggers.
• Sleep on a slope. Elevating your head and chest with an extra pillow can help keep acid where it belongs – in your stomach.
• Support your gut. Consider adding high quality digestive enzymes and probiotics like Ultrazyme and Multi Probiotic 4000 by Douglas Labs to your daily routine. This will help support digestion and restore balance in your gut.
• See your wellness Chiropractor. Nerves control your stomach. If your spine is stressed and out of alignment, signals from your brain will not get through to your stomach and the stomach will weaken. Your Wellness Chiropractor will identify and remove any misalignments that might be interfering with your stomach’s ability to function optimally. Click here to book an appointment now.
• Fuel the fire! Take a break from high acid foods that can irritate your stomach. Common triggers are: coffee, alcohol, garlic, peppers, and tomatoes, citrus and spicy foods.
• Smoke! Smoking irritates the throat and esophagus. More irritation is the last thing you need when suffering from heartburn.
• Eat too quickly. The fastest eater may get the most but they may also get heartburn. When you don’t chew enough or gulp your food quickly, you by-pass some of the important steps of digestion which puts you at higher risk for indigestion and heartburn.
Which of these heartburn tamers work best for you? Please share in the comments section below. As always, feel free to share this post with anyone you know who may be suffering from heartburn.