You’ve enjoyed a wonderful night out with family or friends. The restaurant was terrific… excellent food, a nice wine, dessert and coffee afterwards. You can’t believe the evening went by so fast.
But by the time you get home, you have a problem. It’s that painful burning in your chest that signals heartburn. Again!
Studies say 1 out of 5 people suffer weekly bouts of heartburn. It’s usually triggered by food. And it can spoil your evening, rob you of sleep, and seriously affect your life.
If you suffer with occasional heartburn, you can take some simple steps to avoid the discomfort – and the disruption to your life. But before I show you how easily you can find relief, let’s talk about what heartburn is.
That painful burning in your chest is the result of stomach acid that’s “backed up” into your esophagus.
You see, a ring of muscle normally holds your stomach’s contents in. But certain foods – and other triggers – can cause acid to “leak” back into your esophagus. Your stomach acid is strong… and your esophagus doesn’t have a protective coating like your stomach’s.
Imagine you fell and scraped your knee up, and someone poured lemon juice on the fresh cuts. Heartburn is a lot like that. The “burning” you feel really is burning.
Tracking down heartburn triggers
So what triggers heartburn? A lot of things can… and they’re different for everyone.
Spicy or acid foods – such as tomatoes, citrus or hot peppers – are a common cause.
Fatty foods, alcohol and caffeine can set off heartburn, too. (That’s why it’s so common after special occasions.)
But other factors are involved. Like being overweight...or underweight. Wearing clothes that are too tight. Even going to bed too soon after eating.
Relieving heartburn pain
So what do you do? Well, there are a few tricks that may relieve the misery of occasional heartburn. And a few common myths about what to do.
Antacids that contain calcium can provide relief. But what may be even better is to simply chew a piece of sugar-free gum. This will produce more saliva – and you’ll swallow more often. Saliva naturally helps balance the acidity of your stomach acid, so you’ll feel less discomfort.
Many people recommend drinking a glass of milk. This may help a bit, because calcium helps balance stomach acid. But the fats and some other components of milk may actually trigger your body to make more acid. So you could wind up worse off than when you started.
Peppermint is another common remedy for heartburn. But peppermint can backfire.
Peppermint encourages bile flow (Bile helps you digest fats, which can trigger heartburn.) and calms stomach muscles. So it may help you feel some relief.
But peppermint also relaxes the muscle that closes off your esophagus from your stomach. And that could result in more acid backing up. If you have frequent heartburn, you should probably avoid peppermint altogether.
A natural enzyme from pineapples – called bromelain – may provide some relief. It helps your body digest proteins, which are notoriously hard to break down. So it can help you empty your stomach faster. Bromelain is available at most health food stores.
Licorice is another herb that may be worth try. Some studies show licorice has calming and restorative properties in the digestive system. I recommend a gentle form called “deglycyrrhizinated licorice.” Like bromelain, it’s a common item in health food stores.
Of course, if you can avoid heartburn altogether, that would be even better. Here are a few tips that may help…
- Don’t smoke. Cigarettes seem to be a common trigger.
- Avoid too much alcohol. And skip dessert if you have a couple of drinks. The combination of alcohol and sugar can be disastrous.
- Keep your caffeine intake down. Even better, stick to decaffeinated coffee when you eat out. (You’ll sleep better, too.)
- Go easy on spicy, acidic and fatty foods. Choosing grilled salmon over the 8-oz filet mignon could save you hours of suffering.
- Eat smaller portions. American restaurants serve huge portions. Plan on taking some of your meal home.
- Eat at least 3 – 4 hours before going to bed. Lying down – especially on your right side – shortly after eating can trigger heartburn.
- Wear loose clothing. Tight pants may look sexy, but they can slow the digestive process.
Finally, beware of heartburn drugs. Common heartburn drugs can actually make your problem worse. It’s called the “rebound effect.”
These drugs cut your body’s production of stomach acid. When you try to get off them, you may find that your body makes more acid than ever… leaving you to either suffer, or take these drugs for the rest of your life. A Scandinavian study showed “rebound” can happen after just 8 weeks on these drugs!(1)
Heartburn can cause you a lot of misery. But once you learn your triggers… and the simple steps to avoid them… you can enjoy life once again.
Then, all your celebrations will be truly something to celebrate.
Dr. Woliner is a board certified medical physician and modern day pioneer in the world of alternative men’s health and nutritional science. Using a unique combination of modern “Western” medicine and traditional holistic healing practices, Dr.Woliner has revolutionized men’s health care treatments for many of today’s most common male health concerns – specializing in alternative treatments for Prostate enlargement (BPH) and a myriad of erectile concerns and men’s sexual health issues.
Visit Dr. Woliner and the rest of the team at Best Life Herbals.
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