If your heart is burning with anything other than passion, there’s cause for concern. Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux).
If it keeps happening, it is called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There is often no apparent reason why.
Sometimes it is caused or made worse by:
- Particular food and drinks – such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, and fatty or spicy foods
- Being overweight
- Stress and anxiety
- Some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers (like ibuprofen)
- A hiatus hernia– when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
The pain usually worsens after eating, lying down, or leaning over at night.
There are measures you can take to reduce heartburn. Some of them are,
Know and avoid your triggers
Identifying and avoiding the foods that trigger heartburn for you should be the first step to handling this condition. Certain foods like coffee, spicy food, fatty foods, chocolate, and black-eyed beans can cause heartburn.
Drink baking soda
Baking soda has an alkaline P.H., which helps neutralize the stomach acid that causes heartburn. Note that what is written is Baking Soda, not Baking Powder, as people tend to confuse both. However, baking soda is high in sodium, so consult your doctor if you’re on a no-sodium diet.
Eat a Banana
Bananas are a natural source of antacids. Eat a banana daily to reduce the effects of acid reflux if it is recurrent.
Apple cider has several benefits, so it’s no surprise it can remedy heartburn too. Pour three teaspoonfuls of apple cider vinegar into a cup of water and drink every night before bed.
If you smoke, this might be another reason to quit. Smoking reduces saliva production and irritates the oesophagus making acid reflux even worse. Leaving will be in your best interest.
Make lifestyle adjustments
If you’re overweight, going on a healthy diet and engaging in exercise is an excellent step to reducing the reoccurrence of heartburn.