While experiencing occasional heartburn after enjoying a fiery plate of wings is common, many Americans suffer from frequent heartburn (two or more days per week) — which can have a significant effect on one’s life, from mood to sleep to everyday activities. In fact, according to a new survey commissioned by Nexium 24HR, a whopping 70 percent of survey respondents admitted that heartburn has forced them to give up things they love, like eating a favorite meal, social gatherings and traveling, and ultimately preventing enjoyment of treasured activities.
For those suffering from frequent heartburn, it is important to be proactive in managing potential triggers and seeking a treatment option that can stop acid production before it starts. Consider the following common heartburn triggers and prevention tips from internal medicine specialist, Dr. Clenton Coleman, MD, to help you leave the burn behind.
1. Address stress
Stress and heartburn have a cyclical relationship that oftentimes manifests into or exacerbates existing heartburn symptoms. From working through an important project at work to gearing up for a big move, to handling your long to-do list, everyday stressors may potentially cause some physical pain in the form of heartburn. Fortunately, there are small steps one can take to minimize the anxiety build-up. On busy or overwhelming days, aim to take small breaks to recharge throughout the day to avoid burnout, like with a brief meditation or 5- to 10-minute walk around the office. Set a reminder on your phone for mindful breathing exercises and minimize your intake of news and social media to help ease breaches of peace.
2. Take action
Whether it’s more social gatherings, or heading back to work, as some of us make the gradual return to normal life post-pandemic, it’s critical to ensure heartburn does not get in the way of experiences we’ve waited for over a year to fully enjoy again. To help combat frequent heartburn, a product like Nexium 24HR* is a great option for blocking acid production at the source. By turning off many of the pumps in your stomach that produce acid, just one pill of Nexium 24HR a day provides 24-hour protection*.
3. Control the urge to indulge
For some, busy schedules mean less time spent cooking and preparing meals at home. Adding insult to injury is the fact that many turn to comfort foods, which tend to be fried, fatty or contain processed ingredients — all of which can trigger heartburn symptoms. Try planning and meal-prepping during the weekend for the upcoming week so when you’re rushing out the door you already have a meal to grab that’s less likely to trigger harsh side effects. If you are eating out, some helpful tips include instead of something fried, ask for it grilled, and instead of a side of fries, opt for a salad. Another pro-tip is to avoid over-indulging in sweets, caffeine and alcohol. These small but mindful changes will add up and can help reduce the chance of heartburn rearing its ugly head.
4. Loosen the seams
Although they can be trendy, tight clothing and accessories like jeans and belts can put extra pressure on your stomach, forcing stomach acid to flow back up into your esophagus, causing heartburn. By opting for looser fitting clothing, and avoiding tight shapewear or tight belts, you can markedly reduce the discomfort from your heartburn symptoms. Instead, try to find your style in more relaxed-fitting options that give your body the space and ability to breathe comfortably.
5. Mind your zzz’s
If you are having trouble sleeping because of indigestion, or waking up with a burning sensation, try to avoid eating anything within three hours of when you go to sleep. Another helpful adjustment is to use the help of gravity and sleep in a position where the upper part of your body is slightly elevated to prevent stomach contents from flowing back up into your esophagus while laying down. Sleeping on your stomach or right side can worsen physical heartburn symptoms so try sleeping on your left side to further treat heartburn symptoms.
Taking an active role in reducing the triggers of heartburn can make a big difference when it comes to managing disruptive heartburn symptoms. When prioritizing preventative measures and facing the issue head-on, sufferers will find that heartburn does not have to hold them back from enjoying their life to the fullest.
For more information, visit www.nexium24hr.com.
*Use as directed for 14 days to treat frequent heartburn. Do not take for more than 14 days or more often than 4 months unless directed by a doctor. Not for immediate relief.
The Editorial Team at Lake Oconee Health is made up of skilled health and wellness writers and experts, led by Daniel Casciato who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We aim to provide our readers with valuable insights and guidance to help them lead healthier and happier lives.