Find relief from heartburn with these tips

Find relief from heartburn with these tips

Nearly every person will experience acid reflux at some point in their lives. It typically presents as a burning sensation in the chest that is oftentimes accompanied by an acidic, bitter taste.

“When infrequent, acid reflux or heartburn can usually be controlled by simple lifestyle modifications,” explains Dr. Tatyana Taranukha, a gastroenterologist at Aurora Health Care.

Dr. Taranukha offers the following suggestions for managing and finding relief from occasional acid reflux:

  • Do not smoke: Nicotine can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing gastric contents to enter the esophagus.
  • Maintain a healthy weight: The sphincter’s ability to properly function and remain closed is affected by excess weight.
  • Avoid laying down 2-3 hours after eating: Gravity plays a large role in keeping the contents of our stomach where they belong. Eating well before bedtime can help prevent nighttime symptoms. If you are still experiencing acid reflux in bed, sleep on an incline or keep your head elevated.
  • Eat and drink fewer things that trigger reflux: Certain foods and beverages can worsen acid reflux symptoms, including coffee, carbonated beverages, alcohol, chocolate, greasy and spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic and onions.
  • Eat smaller meals: A full stomach may lead to acid entering the esophagus more easily. Consider eating multiple, smaller meals and snacks throughout the day.

“If you find yourself experiencing acid reflux more than two times per week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, in which the gastric contents regularly enter the esophagus, causing heartburn and damage,” says Dr. Taranukha. “Speak with your doctor, who can connect you with a gastroenterologist. They will find the right medication or treatment for you.”

Take our free acid reflux symptoms assessment.

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One Comment

  1. I highly recommend a consultation with a gastroenterologist. I was experiencing worsening GERD and had an endoscopy where it was found that I not only have a small hiatel hernia, I had a narrowing in my esophagus caused by scar tissue. My gastroenterologist fixed that and so far since then my GERD is resolving well. I have periodic visits to ensure continued success.

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About the Author

Holly Brenza
Holly Brenza

Holly Brenza, health enews contributor, is a public affairs coordinator on the content team at Advocate Health Care and Aurora Health Care. She is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. In her free time, Holly enjoys reading, watching the White Sox and Blackhawks, playing with her dog, Bear and running her cats' Instagram account, @strangefurthings.