Natural ways to beat HEARTBURN
SIMPLE TIPS ON HOW TO PUT OUT THE FIRE
It’s not just babies and business executives who suffer from uncomfortable burning sensation after eating – over 2.8 million people of all ages have been diagnosed with gastrooesophageal reflux, according to research published in Australian Family Physician journal . “Heartburn occurs because of stomach acid irritating the bottom of the oesophagus (the food pipe).
Reflux is when this stomach acid comes up into the back of the throat into the mouth,” says GP Dr Andrew Harris.
WHY DOES IT GET WORSE WITH AGE?
While you may have been able to eat spicy foods no problem in your younger years, it’s a fact of life that heartburn can get worse as you get older. The gradual weakening of the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle, which fends off heartburn, is to blame. Carrying extra weight and taking certain medications (which you are more likely to do as you age) also increases your risk.
FOUR WAYS TO TAME THE PAIN 1. QUIT DINING AL DESKO
Shovelling down lunch while Facebooking can cause pain because you’re also likely to overeat when you’re not focused on your food. “Eating quickly can cause heartburn, and large meals can cause the stomach to stretch, which can give a feeling of indigestion,” says Dr Harris. He suggests eating smaller servings, at a slower pace and away from screens.
2. AVOID YOUR TRIGGERS
Common culprits are black pepper, garlic, raw onions, fatty and spicy foods, citrus fruits, fizzy drinks, caffeine and alcohol. “Not everybody who eats these foods will experience reflux, but you’re more at risk if you’re overweight, older, stressed, smoke or have a family history,” says pharmacist Alex Page.
YOUR KITCHEN EARLY
Late-night fridge raiders take note: lying down right after a meal is another trigger. You should avoid lying down for three hours after eating, and “elevate the head and torso in bed if symptoms occur at night”, says Alex Page.
4. MANAGE YOUR WORKLOAD
Stress can make the symptoms of acid reflux more intense in sufferers, says a study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research, so don’t feel bad about taking lunch breaks to get to a spin class – exercise is a cure-all stress-buster.