Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is a burning sensation in the central chest or upper belly.
Sometimes, the uncomfortable feeling can go to the neck, throat, or angle of the jaw.
Heartburn is one of the most common digestive symptoms people experience in daily life.
It occurs when some of the acidic contents of the stomach splash up into the oesophagus (gullet).
Many factors, including foods, drugs, and certain emotions such as anxiety or anger can cause or worsen the symptoms.
So how to control this condition? Researchers from Harvard Medical schools provide some tips.
First, reduce the intake of certain foods.
Previous research has shown that coffee, tea, cocoa, cola drinks, and other caffeine-containing products can stimulate gastric acid production.
Mint and chocolate can make it even worse. In addition, fried and fatty foods, such as french fries and cheeseburgers, contribute to heartburn.
Second, watch your eating patterns.
How you eat foods may contribute to heartburn. For example, if you skip your breakfast or lunch and overeat at dinner, you will have a higher risk of heartburn.
This is because you increase the pressure in your stomach and the possibility of reflux. If you lie down soon after eating a meal, you may feel even worse.
Third, control your body weight.
Overweight and obese people have a higher risk of heartburn. Studies have shown that gaining weight could increase the risk of frequent acid reflux symptoms.
In addition, overeating can increase the pressure in your stomach and the possibility of reflux.
Fourth, stop smoking.
Research has shown that smoking tobacco can harm the entire gastrointestinal tract.
During smoking, you may swallow air, which increases the pressure inside the stomach and encourages reflux.
In addition, smoking can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which works like a gate.
When you swallow air during smoking, the muscle relaxes and opens the passage between the esophagus and stomach to allow the air to pass into the stomach.
Fifth, pay attention to your medications.
Some prescribed drugs may increase the risk of heartburn. For instance, oral contraceptives or postmenopausal hormone preparations contain progesterone.
According to the researchers, aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may irritate the stomach lining.
Some drugs for osteoporosis may irritate the esophagus. Other drugs for depression may relax the lower esophageal sphincter and contribute to acid reflux.
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