Heartburn: Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle Changes

Although you may not always be able to prevent heartburn from happening, there are things you can do to lower your chances of triggering it. Here are some lifestyle changes you can try to help decrease your heartburn symptoms.

Wear looser clothes

Clothes that fit tightly around your waist can put pressure on the stomach. This pressure can push the stomach contents up into the esophagus. So take it down a notch. Loosen that belt and avoid tight fitting clothing whenever possible.

Sleep position

If you suffer heartburn symptoms at night, sleeping with your head slightly raised may help. When your head and chest are elevated higher than your stomach, it can help reduce the risk of stomach acid flowing into your esophagus. Try elevating the head of your bed or mattress about 6 to 9 inches. You can use blocks or pick up mattress wedges at your drug or medical supply store.

Also, try sleeping on your left side. Because the way our bodies are built, sleeping on the left side has shown to aid in digestion and may help relieve some night-time heartburn symptoms.

Quit smoking

Smoking is a well-known trigger for heartburn. The nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) as they enter the body. Quitting, or at least cutting back, can help with your heartburn symptoms and improve your overall health.

Maintain a healthy weight

The more overweight you are the more likely you are to suffer from heartburn. Those extra pounds can put pressure on your stomach, causing acid to back into your esophagus. That is why dropping some weight and maintaining a healthy body weight can help relieve your heartburn symptoms. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight-loss plan that's right for you.

Exercise properly

Exercises like sit-ups and crunches can increase pressure on your stomach. This pressure can push the acid in your stomach up into the esophagus and trigger heartburn pain. Activities that (like running) cause you to bounce or jiggle might also increase your risk.

Don't worry; when it comes to exercise, you don't have to toss in the towel to deal with your heartburn symptoms. Try calmer activities like walking or planks and talk to a personal trainer for exercises that are less likely to trigger your heartburn. Also, it is important that you don't exercise right after a meal, as this is a common trigger for heartburn.

If you're happy with your workout routine and don't want to change, there may be something else you can do. Try taking an antacid or talk to your doctor about other ways to manage your exercise heartburn.

Relax

Over 50% of people suffering from frequent heartburn believe that work-related stress or a hectic lifestyle contributes to their symptoms. And while stress isn't a proven cause of heartburn, it can lead to behaviors that trigger it.

When it comes to eating, exercise and medications, if you're under stress, following your normal routines may become difficult. When your routines are out of whack, you can pick up some habits that could trigger heartburn. That's why it's important to find ways to alleviate the stress, get back into your routine, and decrease your chances of getting stress-related heartburn.

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