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10 Effective Ways To Heal Heartburn

Affinity Health, a leading provider of high-quality health cover, highlights 10 effective methods that relieve heartburn and promote overall gut health.

“Contrary to its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart; rather, it pertains to the stomach,” says Murray Hewlett, CEO of Affinity Health.

“Also known as acid indigestion, heartburn is caused by stomach acid backing up into the tube that carries food from your mouth to your oesophagus.”

Signs and Symptoms of Heartburn

The most characteristic symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation that starts from the stomach and seems to rise to the middle of the chest. This burning can intensify and become quite painful.

The good news is that heartburn is relatively easy to treat for many people using over-the-counter medications, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications.

Here are 10 ways to not only soothe heartburn but also boost your overall digestive well-being:

  1. Watch Your Diet: The most direct cause of heartburn is our food. Foods that are fried, fatty, or acidic, like citrus fruits and tomatoes, can trigger heartburn. Likewise, spicy foods, caffeine, and alcohol can irritate the oesophagus. Choose a balanced diet with whole grains, lean meats, and plenty of vegetables to keep heartburn at bay.


  1. Eat Smaller Meals:Large meals can cause an overflow of stomach acid, resulting in heartburn. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can lessen this risk. Try five or six smaller meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.


  1. Maintain a Healthy Weight:Excess weight, especially in the abdominal area, can press against the stomach, leading to acid reflux into the oesophagus. Maintaining a healthy weight can relieve this pressure and reduce the likelihood of heartburn.


  1. Stay Upright After Eating:Gravity can be your ally against heartburn. Resting upright for at least two hours after eating can prevent stomach acid from rising into the oesophagus. Avoid lying down or bending over after meals.


  1. Reconsider Your Sleep Position:If you frequently experience heartburn at night, your sleep position might be blamed. Try elevating the head of your bed a few centimetres or sleeping on a wedge pillow to keep acid in the stomach.


  1. Limit Stress:Chronic stress can exacerbate heartburn by increasing stomach acid production. Consider relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises, meditation, or a leisurely walk to manage and reduce stress.


  1. Avoid Smoking:Smoking is detrimental to your lungs and weakens the lower oesophageal sphincter – the muscle that prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the oesophagus. Quitting smoking can be beneficial in preventing heartburn and other health issues.


  1. Over-the-Counter (OTC) Medications:While adopting natural lifestyle changes is preferable, sometimes immediate relief is necessary. Antacids can neutralise stomach acid, while H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors can reduce acid production.


  1. Natural Remedies:Some people find relief through natural remedies like consuming a teaspoon of mustard, a spoonful of baking soda mixed with water, or even chewing gum to stimulate saliva production, which helps neutralise stomach acid.


  1. Consult with a Healthcare Professional:If you suffer from chronic heartburn, it may be a symptom of a more severe condition like GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). It’s essential to seek guidance from a healthcare professional who can accurately diagnose and recommend appropriate treatments.

About Affinity Health

Affinity Health is South Africa’s leading health cover provider, offering you a range of options at affordable rates, including access to the widest national provider network. We understand the importance of having medical insurance that meets your needs, budget, and lifestyle. Our healthcare products are designed to protect you and your family when it matters the most. We strive to give our clients peace of mind and the highest standard of service. For more information, follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.

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