If you've ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling like your chest is on fire, you're certainly not alone. Heartburn is a very common problem that affects millions of people every day. But what exactly is heartburn? And what can you do to get rid of it? Read on to find out.
What Is Heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning sensation in your chest that can be caused by eating certain foods, drinking alcohol, or lying down after a meal. The medical term for heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and it occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus—the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. When this happens, you may feel a burning sensation in your chest or throat.
What Causes Heartburn?
There are a number of things that can trigger heartburn, but some of the most common include eating fatty or spicy foods, drinking alcoholic beverages, and being overweight. Other contributing factors include stress, pregnancy, and smoking. If you suffer from frequent or severe heartburn, it's important to see your doctor so they can rule out any other underlying medical conditions.
How Can I Get Rid of Heartburn?
Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to get rid of heartburn quickly and easily. For example, try avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day, and avoiding lying down immediately after eating. Additionally, over-the-counter medications such as antacids can help neutralize stomach acid and provide relief from heartburn symptoms. If home remedies and over-the-counter medications don't work for you, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
If you're one of the 25% of Americans who experience heartburn at least once a week, don't worry—there are things you can do to ease your symptoms! Avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals more often, and not lying down right after eating can all help reduce heartburn pain. And if you do get heartburn at night, elevating your head while you sleep can help keep stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus. Finally, remember to relax—stress makes heartburn worse! By following these tips, you can help keep your heartburn under control and get on with enjoying your day (and your food!).
Want to know what is the best tea for acid reflux? Check out our guide here!