How To Relieve Chronic Heartburn Symptoms

Heartburn is more common than you might think, but treating it is also easier than you might realize.

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases reports that 20% of Americans suffer from heartburn on a weekly basis. Although some over-the-counter medications can reduce or eliminate heartburn symptoms, chronic heartburn may require a slightly more methodical approach.

Here are five tips for getting rid of your chronic heartburn once and for all.

Take A Short Walk: While it’s tempting to lie down after a meal, the best thing for preventing reflux is a post-meal walk to help gastric juices flow in the proper direction.

Skip The After-Dinner Mints: Peppermint relaxes the muscles between the stomach and esophagus, which can allow stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. While reflux triggers vary from person to person, other common triggers include tomato-based products, citrus fruits and juices, spicy cuisine, high-fat foods, chocolate, alcohol and caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and soda.

Chew Gum: Popping a piece of sugar-free gum into your mouth after eating can alleviate reflux because chewing gum stimulates acid-neutralizing saliva production.

The more frequent swallowing that chewing gum encourages helps to quickly clear acid from the esophagus. However, steer clear of mint-flavored gum and choose fruit or cinnamon-flavored gum instead.

Enter ‘Rest And Digest’ Mode: Stress can exacerbate acid reflux. Taking a few slow, deep, rhythmic breaths before eating a meal is a powerful strategy for eating in a relaxed state. Cultivating mindfulness by eating slowly and being fully aware of the present moment can also help you access “rest and digest” mode.

Practice Portion Control: Eating slowly and mindfully can aid in preventing heartburn. Also look to wait at least two or three hours after eating before lying down in order to allow adequate time for food to digest.