Easy to follow tips to help prevent acid reflux and heartburn

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If you’ve ever experienced heartburn, you know just how uncomfortable it can be.

That burning sensation in your chest is actually a common symptom of acid reflux, which is what occurs when your stomach acid backs up into your oesophagus.

If heartburn is something you get frequently, a few simple lifestyle changes, tweaks to your diet and medication could keep the symptoms at bay.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Lifestyle changes

According to Healthline, mild cases of heartburn can be prevented by doing the following:

  • Avoid lying down for three hours after eating a meal
  • Eat smaller meals throughout the day
  • Wear loose-fitting tops to alleviate pressure from your chest area
  • If you’re a smoker, quit smoking
  • Raise the head of your bed six to eight inches. This can be done by placing wooden blocks under your bedposts or alternatively buying bed risers.

Diet

Several food can help acid reflux and heartburn , but others can hinder it. Pay close attention to what you eat and if your heartburn is particularly triggered after consuming it, it’s best to avoid. Here are some foods you should definitely try cut down on:

  • Fizzy drinks
  • Fried foods
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Peppermint
  • Spearmint
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomato sauce

Medication

If your heartburn is causing you considerable concern, visit your GP as they will know what’s best for you. They may recommend some simple lifestyle and diet changes as listed above, but if necessary they may prescribe some over-the-counter or prescription medications to help alleviate your symptoms, including

  • antacids, such as calcium carbonate (Tums)
  • H2-receptor blockers, such as famotidine (Pepcid AC) or cimetidine (Tagamet HB)
  • mucosal protectants, such as sucralfate (Carafate)
  • proton pump inhibitors, such as rabeprazole (Aciphex), dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), and esomeprazole (Nexium)

 

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