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Heartburn and acid reflux are common conditions affecting many Americans. The number of Americans that suffer from acid indigestion each month is believed to be around 60 million people. While heartburn may affect a staggeringly large number of people, it’s prevalence makes it no less of a pain for sufferers to deal with.
What is Heartburn and What are the Symptoms?
Heartburn is the name often used to describe acid indigestion, and one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. Acid reflux is caused when the esophageal sphincter muscle in the throat opens and allows stomach acid to travel upwards to the esophagus.
When stomach acid reaches the esophagus, it causes an acidic taste in the mouth. People that experience heartburn as a result of acid reflux will also feel a burning sensation and pain in the throat and chest.
As the symptoms of heartburn are incredibly uncomfortable for suffers of acid reflux, it is no surprise that so many people turn to medication to alleviate their discomfort. However, recently there have been a number of lawsuits against Zantac and this may encourage heartburn sufferers to seek alternative ways to control their condition.
There are many ways that symptoms of heartburn can be reduced naturally, but you should always consult your physician for professional medical advice before making any changes to your treatment. Treating acid indigestion naturally involves lifestyle and dietary changes. Here are some popular methods for reducing the symptoms of acid indigestion:
Lifestyle Changes to Improve Acid Indigestion Symptoms
Making certain lifestyle changes could help to reduce the symptoms of acid indigestion that you experience. You may need to try a combination of these changes to see a significant improvement to your symptoms. However, you may want to try one change at a time so that you can identify which one offers you the most benefit.
Change the Times That You Eat
Eating close to bedtime can trigger acid indigestion, as laying down to sleep soon after eating will make it easier for the acid to travel upwards to your esophagus. Try to leave a few hours between mealtime and bedtime.
Heartburn and smoking may seem entirely unrelated. However, nicotine may cause the esophageal muscle to relax, which enables acid to travel upwards and cause the discomfort of heartburn.
Dietary Changes to Improve Acid Indigestion Symptoms
Diet can be a cause of heartburn, so finding ways to control common heartburn triggers in your diet is key.
Cut Down on Portion Sizes
Large meals can leave you feeling uncomfortable, and your heartburn symptoms may increase. Try to eat smaller meals, even if it means eating more meals per day. To minimize the chances of heartburn occurring, try to eat more slowly too.
Avoid Foods That Trigger Heartburn
Certain foods are associated with an increased risk of heartburn. Foods and beverages that you may want to avoid or reduce in your diet include tomato, chocolate, raw onion, spicy foods, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.