Everyday Health: A Few Common Sense Tips for Avoiding Nightly Heartburn

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David Hucks
David Huckshttps://myrtlebeachsc.com
David Hucks is a 12th generation descendant of the area we now call Myrtle Beach, S.C. David attended Coastal Carolina University and like most of his family, has never left the area. David is the lead journalist at MyrtleBeachSC.com

Ask most chefs and they’ll tell you, food is supposed to make you feel good. But an alarming amount of Americans don’t feel good after a meal. And this is largely due to the painful sensation of heartburn.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the following scenario: You’ve worked hard all week and you’re looking forward to Friday night dinner with your significant other. You make reservations and when you arrive, the wine is already being poured into your glass. Then you both eat heartily, laugh happily, and drink merrily. But when you finally go home you’re up all night with a pain in your throat and chest.

Believe it or not, this scenario plays out often in American society, but this is largely because our diets are relatively poor. 

If you want to reduce the frequency of heartburn, the following post will explore a few common-sense techniques. 

Eat Smaller Portions

Where most sufferers of heartburn fail is that their eyes are often bigger than their stomachs. And this simply means that portion control is something that hasn’t been implemented.

It’s easy to ogle a lavish spread of your most favorite and delicious foods, but when it comes time to actually sit down and eat, you’ll want to exercise a little self-control and only allow yourself a certain amount. Besides, overeating is a huge cause of weight control issues, and this can cause even more health problems.

The more food you put into your stomach, the harder it has to work to break all of that food down so the body can absorb it. And this is why eating large meals (especially late at night) has the tendency to produce large amounts of stomach acid.

For example, antacid medication counters the balance of acid in the stomach which, ultimately, is what gives you heartburn relief. But this doesn’t fix the cause of the problem, which was the large meal. 

Additionally, some heartburn relief medications such as Zantac have been linked to stomach conditions such as cancer, so it’s best to exercise portion control and avoid medication altogether. 

Avoid Certain Foods

We all have our favorite foods, so this is a tough one for some. But avoiding the foods that you ultimately know will keep you up at night with heartburn pain is truly the most logical solution to the problem.

But what if you don’t know which foods will cause heartburn? Well, fortunately, there are a few universal rules that you can follow in order to mitigate any possible onsets of heartburn after a meal. 

Foods that have a high acid content can sometimes upset the stomach and interfere (or enhance) the production of acid. Additionally, spicy foods are often a culprit when it comes to the onset of heartburn, as are combinations of OTC drugs, alcohol, and large meals eaten late at night.

How to Treat Heartburn Naturally 

Thankfully, there are a few time-tested natural methods for relieving heartburn. And many of these remedies are simple.

One of the first heartburn remedies popularized during the prohibition era was the use of ginger ale to help curb the effects of heartburn. Additionally, during this same time period, aromatic bitters with a splash of soda water have a natural way of neutralizing stomach acid and relieving heartburn. 

Other, more modern remedies include drinking aloe vera juice or herbal teas that contain licorice root or chamomile. 

Some theories suggest that drinking milk can help alleviate heartburn symptoms. But if milk is ingested after a meal high in acid content, this could produce an even more painful effect. And it’s for this reason that milk might not be the best solution. 

At the end of the day, all anyone wants is to enjoy a meal and feel good afterward. But achieving this modest goal takes a little discipline, especially if you love to eat spicy wings and drink beer during Monday Night Football. But if you stick to common-sense practices and use a bit of self-control, you’ll be able to sleep comfortably at night, heartburn free. 

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