What could possibly be worse than a headache? For many who’ve experienced heartburn or acid reflux, they’d tell you that the condition can really upset your quality of life if it’s not treated or managed properly. If you are already getting intervention but still prone to it from time to time, heed this advice from Pat Baird, R.D., the author of Be Good to Your Gut to prevent heartburn.
1. Pace yourself during meals
Take your time. Eat slowly, savour your food and enjoy your company if you have one. When you gobble down your food, you also swallow air, which adds extra volume,” says Baird. A too-full stomach can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acids to travel up the esophagus and cause a burning sensation and pain.
2. Wear comfortable clothes
Tight clothing is a big no-no. After a big feast, skinny pants or a constrictive skirt can feel like a girdle, which may force some stomach acids into your esophagus, and even back into your mouth. When you know you’re in for an indulgent party or dinner, wear comfortable clothing that does not tighten up around your abdominal area. If you’re caught in a situation, and really must do it, free your jeans button below the top to save yourself from agony later!
3. Opt for herbal tea instead of coffee
Caffeine can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, as can alcohol and fatty foods. So, go with freshing and caffeine-free teas such as roiboos, camomile and other floral teas to calm down after a long day. Also, go with herbal tea instead of coffee if you’re having a dessert.
4. Don’t go to bed full
“Try not to lie down within three hours of eating a large meal,” advices Baird. “When you recline, it’s easier for stomach acid to wash back into your esophagus.” Instead, go for a short walk immediately after eating, which studies show may aid digestion. If you think you’d still a catch an episode of heartburn after that, place your head on a pile of pillows as you dose off to prevent stomach acid from travelling up the esophagus.