Take these simple measures to stop heartburn before it starts.
You Will Need
* Small meals
* A healthy weight
* A raised bed
Know what you're dealing with. Heartburn occurs when food or stomach acid moves into the esophagus, causing discomfort and a bad taste in the mouth.
Eat several small meals throughout the day, rather than fewer, but larger, meals. Overeating can cause heartburn.
If you're carrying extra pounds, try to lose them. Overweight people are at higher risk of heartburn due to increased abdominal pressure.
Avoid lying down right after eating. Doing so increases the chance of reflux.
Food or stomach acid leaking past the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, is called reflux.
Quit smoking. As the chemicals in cigarettes pass from the lungs and into the bloodstream, they weaken the LES, increasing the risk of heartburn.
Avoid excessive antacid use. They neutralize stomach acid, alleviating the symptoms of heartburn, but don't solve the problem of a weak LES. Antacids can also cause diarrhea or constipation.
Raise the head of your bed 5 or 6 inches. This makes it more difficult for the food and stomach acid to travel into the esophagus.
If you suffer from heartburn frequently, keep track of when you get it and potential causes, and take this information to your doctor to work out a plan.
Fact: Nighttime heartburn sufferers cost the U.S. economy $1.9 billion per week in lost productivity.