By Dr. Rajesh Jain , General Physician
The burning sensation in your chest might be caused due to indigestion perpetuated by acid reflux (acids secreted in the stomach agitates the lining of the food pipe) travelling up to the oesophagus (food pipe). This uncomfortable sensation is called heartburn. Here are some easy tips to prevent heartburn:
- Less is enough: Full stomach equals to more pressure on your stomach. So eat small portions and eat frequently.
- Less acid-stimulating beverages and foods: Stay away from foods such as chocolate, mint and raw onion.
- Don’t go to bed as soon as you eat: Wait at least 2-3 hours after eating before you go to bed as a full stomach might cause acid reflux.
- Raise your head: Keeping your head elevated when you sleep lessens pressure on the abdomen, therefore further curbing chances of acidity.
- Obesity and heartburn: Pressure on the abdomen increases if you are overweight; this pushes the food back to the oesophagus.
- Your fashion may need to change: Throw away those tight jeans and belts which end up squeezing the abdomen. This makes the food you eat travel upward into your oesophagus.
- No smoking allowed: Nicotine weakens the tube connecting the stomach and oesophagus which triggers excess stomach acid production.
- Relax: Stress is not directly related to heartburn, but it can trigger it. So, take a break and read a book, or go for a walk.
- Keep a record: Recording what causes the heartburn, how much it affects you and what relieves you from pain will help you in preventing future episodes of it.