Heartburn is a burning sensation that occurs in your throat, chest or upper abdomen, usually after eating a large meal as an over full stomach changes the pressure on your lower oesophageal sphincter.
Other common causes of heartburn include smoking, stress, pregnancy, fried food and certain medications.
Heartburn impacts the lives of millions of people around the world. But just because it's common doesn't mean that it's no big deal! If you don't manage and prevent heartburn, reflux can damage your oesophagus over time and lead to chronic inflammation.
Read on for four top ways to treat chronic heartburn.
Four tips to manage and prevent chronic heartburn
#1: Take your time when you eat
Take your time eating every meal. Savour every single bite instead of rushing! If you struggle with this, try putting your knife and fork down between every bite of food. This will encourage you to chew thoroughly.
#2: Opt for smaller portions at mealtimes
Instead of indulging in huge portions at mealtimes, eat small ones instead. And, no, this doesn’t mean it’s okay to eat second helpings! If you feel that a smaller portion simply doesn’t keep you full and satisfied, you can eat a small snack in between.
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#3: Don’t drink alcohol to de-stress
If a glass of wine – or any alcoholic beverage – is your go-to after a long, stressful day to unwind, it’s time you put that habit to bed. Instead of drinking, try things like stretching, meditation or exercise
#4: Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn
Certain foods and drinks trigger heartburn symptoms. These include: Chocolate, peppermint sweets, citrus fruits, onions, tomatoes, high-fat
foods, fried foods, spicy foods, caffeinated beverages like tea and coffee, citrus juices and fizzy cold
Examples of high-fat
foods are butter, margarine, oils, cream, salad dressings, pies, pastries, biscuits, muffins, cakes and ice creams. Fast foods to avoid include pizzas, burgers, bunny chows, chicken nuggets and deep-fried fish and chips. As far as spicy foods go, steer clear of jalapenos, chilli poppers, curries, chillies and sauces made with masala or curry powder.
It’s important you know that not everyone gets heartburn from the same foods and drinks though. To determine which foods and drinks trigger heartburn for you, keep a food diary to record what you eat and when you experience heartburn symptoms.