Doctors have an update for anyone who suffers from heartburn 5

New Zealand


View Profile

Millions of people around the country suffer from heartburn and many take medication to ease the pain and that uncomfortable feeling it causes.

Now, doctors from Harvard University say there are a number of ways you can prevent heartburn – no medication required.

Heartburn is usually caused by eating a large meal, drinking too much coffee or alcohol, or by feeling overly anxious or stressed.

The doctors at Harvard have issued a new set of guidelines on how to best prevent the condition and avoid having to spend your money on medical treatments.

1. Eat in a heartburn-smart way. Large meals put pressure on the muscle that normally helps keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus. The more you eat, the longer it takes for the stomach to empty, which contributes to reflux. Try smaller, more frequent meals — and don’t wolf down your food.

2. Avoid late-night eating. Having a meal or snack within three hours of lying down to sleep can worsen reflux, causing heartburn. Leave enough time for the stomach to clear out.

3. Don’t exercise right after meals. Give your stomach time to empty; wait a couple of hours. But don’t just lie down either, which will worsen reflux.

4. Sleep on an incline. Raising your torso up a bit with a wedge-shaped cushion may ease nighttime heartburn. Wedges are available from medical supply companies and some home goods stores. Don’t just prop your head and shoulders up with regular pillows — doing so can actually increase pressure on the stomach by curling you up at the waist.

5. Identify and avoid foods associated with heartburn. Common offenders include fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, milk, coffee, tea, cola, peppermint, and chocolate. Carbonated beverages cause belching, which also causes reflux.

6. Chew sugarless gum after a meal. Chewing gum promotes salivation, which helps neutralize acid, soothes the esophagus, and washes acid back down to the stomach. But avoid peppermint-flavored gum, which may trigger heartburn more than other flavors.

7. Rule out medication side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist whether any of the medications you take might cause pain resembling heartburn or contribute to reflux.

8. Lose weight if you need to. Being overweight puts more pressure on the stomach and pushes stomach contents into the esophagus. The tight-fitting clothing and belts that come with weight gain may also be a factor.

Do you suffer from heartburn? Have you ever tried any of these natural treatments?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. I’ve been treated for Gastric Reflux for nearly 40 years – found out a month ago I have a Hiatus Hernia! Get it checked out!

    2 REPLY
    • I’m exactly the same Ally, I love to ride a bike outside but can not do it any more because I’m leaning over and end up with pain in the chest and feeling very sick because of the Hiatus Hernia.
      I’m going to have it repaired later this year, we are going on holidays and will wait until we come back.
      I’m taking medication for reflux which helps a bit with the nausea.
      Reflux and Hiatus Hernias don’t mix.

    • I have been on Lanzoprosole for many years, I don’t have awful heartburn but I do havea lot of discomfort in the middle of my chest more so when I lie down to sleep.

  2. For most heartburn/reflux conditions of a temporary nature chewing 1 or 2 pieces of crystalline ginger will bring fast relief. I have put many people onto this over the years and most were pleasantly surprised and grateful. Another of my Grandmothers valuable remedies.

  3. Tried most of these when I started having reflux issues early last year. They sort of helped for a while. Had to stop eating anything with cocoa/chocolate in it. Then in Dec 2015 I collapsed due to a perforated ulcer. Emergency surgery, stint in ICU, followed. Suggest that before assuming it is just reflux get it checked out. Turns out I had all the classic symptoms but didn’t realise it as there was a logical explanation for all but one of them – waking up in the middle of the night. Mind you my GP admitted that she most probably would not have picked it up either!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *