The implications of just accepting a little bit of heartburn can be far worse than you realize.
That niggling pain in your diaphragm, that comes from heartburn, is often written off as temporary discomfort and we don’t pay much attention to it, but there is more to heartburn that the burn.
Usually when you swallow, a circular band of muscles at the bottom of your oesophagus relaxes, allowing food to flow into your stomach, and then it closes. Heartburn occurs when the muscle is weakened or relaxes abnormally, causing stomach acid to surge.
If it happens often and interferes with your daily life, heartburn is then considered to be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This can damage the oesophagus and lead to Barrett’s oesophagus, which in turn could lead to oesophageal cancer. Barrett’s is when the normal cells lining the oesophagus are replaced by a mix of intestinal lining and gastric cells.
Making lifestyle changes could make a difference to how you feel.
- Lose weight: If you are overweight, the additional kilograms could put pressure on your abdomen, forcing your stomach up and causing acid to back up. Tight-fitting clothing can also put pressure on your abdomen.
- Avoid the triggers: You know what food and drink trigger your heartburn, so avoid them (common triggers include alcohol, chocolate, mint, garlic, caffeine, fried and fatty food and tomato sauce) and nibble rather than overindulge.
- Sit up: Avoid lying down directly after a meal – wait at least 3 hours and if your heartburn is severe, elevate your head to avoid night-time heartburn. Just puffing up the pillows won’t work, you must rig up your mattress to make a slight slant.
The best advice to give is to ‘Go Natural’. Instead of glugging down copious antacids, which can cause upset stomach and constipation or diarrhea, try some more gentle alternatives. Antacids can open you up to infection and reduce your ability to absorb vitamin B12. One study revealed that a combination of betaine hydrochloride, melatonin, l-trypthophan, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12 and methionine completely relieved GERD symptoms in all participants.
Another excellent alternative is Ozone Steam Therapy. Ozone will neutralize acids in the body and prevent indigestion. Combing Ozone with a healthy diet you will drastically improve your health and may even fight off heartburn for ever!
Will you win the fight against heartburn?