Contrary to many beliefs heartburn is an ailment or symptom of GERD. It is not a serious medical condition and it is not life threatening but it does cause severe discomfort among people who suffer from it. Everyone experiences heartburn at some point in their lives. Out of everyone who experiences it, about one out of ten people will suffer from heartburn on a regular basis.
Many people describe heartburn as a burning pain that can be felt between the neck and stomach area. It happens when stomach acid travels back up through the esophagus from the stomach. Some foods and activities can trigger heartburn. If proper attention and precautions are taken then one can alleviate the symptoms and occurrences of heartburn themselves without having to seek out medical attention.
Now some health conditions can cause heartburn to occur no matter what precautions are taken such as obesity and pregnancy. In these cases weight and hormones cause issues with the digestive system. There are some things that can cause heartburn. Smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking soda and other caffeinated drinks, citrus fruits, chocolate and stress all have been linked to triggering heartburn. Fatty, spicy and rich foods, laying down right after meals, certain medications and over the counter supplements also have been known to trigger heartburn.
There are some ways you can treat your heartburn by changing your eating habits and your lifestyle. First the diet needs to be improved. Many foods that taste wonderful are not healthy for our bodies. These foods are often rich, spicy or high in carbohydrates which are harder for the body to process and causes excess production of stomach acid. Eating foods that are easier for your body to digest and that provide more nutrition will help keep the heartburn away.
Lowering your stress levels by adding exercise into your daily schedule will not only keep you in shape but keep you from experiencing heartburn. Since stress can be caused from many different situations in life from work, relationships etc it can be hard to lower stress in some cases but exercise will enable you to have lower cortisol levels and help you cope with your stressful situations.
Raise the head of your bed by six to nine inches so that when you sleep, the stomach acid is not able to travel back up and so that gravity actually works for you by keeping it down. Try not to eat at least an hour or two before going to bed. Stop smoking. Not only does smoking cause heartburn but it causes numerous other health problems that could be prevented if you quit smoking. Lose weight, if you are not at a healthy body weight. The more weight you have the more you body has to work harder. Do your body a favor and keep a healthy weight for your height. If you need help to determine what that weight should be or getting down to that size, see a personal trainer.