How You Can Reduce Heartburn
Although you may not always be able to prevent heartburn, there are several things you can do to reduce your chances of triggering it.
Looking for heartburn relief? It might be time to switch up your routine. Here are some changes that may help:
Change your sleeping position
Sleeping on your left side and with your upper body elevated by a 6-to-10-inch wedge-shaped pillow may help reduce your heartburn.
Start by taking deep breathes. If you’re feeling stressed at the office, take a break—go outside to get some air and walk around the block. You may be surprised what the change of pace can do. Yoga and meditation also can be great stress relievers.
Consider including foods that are low in fat and high in protein, and make sure that you stop eating before you’re full.
Rethink your workout
Exercises like sit-ups and crunches can increase pressure on your stomach, pushing acid into the esophagus to trigger heartburn pain.1 Other activities like running cause you to bounce, increasing your risk of getting heartburn. You may want to try calmer activities like walking. Consider speaking with a personal trainer to see what’s less likely to trigger heartburn.
Maintain a healthy weight
Extra pounds can put pressure on your stomach, causing acid to back up into your esophagus.1
Eat smaller meals
Instead of three big meals, try eating smaller ones with snacks in between. This will help reduce acid production in your stomach, and lower your chances for heartburn.2
Avoid certain foods
While spicy foods are the most commonly reported food that triggers heartburn, they can vary from person to person. Carbonated drinks, high-fat foods, caffeine, citrus fruits, and even chocolate can cause heartburn.1
Smoking is a well-known trigger for heartburn. The nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes can relax the lower esophageal sphincter as they enter the body. Quitting, or at least cutting back, can help with your heartburn symptoms and improve your overall health.3
- “Common Heartburn Triggers.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/triggers#1.
- “Heartburn Lifestyle and Home Remedies.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 7 Aug. 2014, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/basics/lifestyle-home-remedies/con-20019545.
- DerSarkissian, Carol. “What Lifestyle Changes Help Manage Heartburn?” WebMD, 14 June 2017, www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/lifestyle-changes-heartburn.