5 things to stop doing if you have heartburn

5 things to stop doing if you have heartburn

If you regularly have heartburn, you certainly know the foods that make it worse and take care not to eat them. But beyond diet, it is also possible to play on other factors. Here are five rules to follow that will help you avoid this unpleasant feeling.

Spicy or fried products, soft drinks, citrus fruits… When you regularly suffer from heartburn, you avoid as much as possible these foods that promote these painful attacks. But there are other rules to follow. So here’s what to avoid doing.

1. Drink caffeinated coffee and tea

According to Nour Zbideh, a dietitian interviewed by the Huffington Post, coffee is a major trigger for heartburn. Another hot drink, very popular, would also be: tea, more particularly black and green tea. For what ? According to Dr. Lance Uradomo, gastroenterologist, the presence of caffeine explains this. “Caffeine is a well-established trigger for acid reflux. This can cause the lower esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, allowing more stomach acid to enter the esophagus” he explains.

To limit heartburn, it is better to choose ginger tea or slippery elm tea, which help relieve the symptoms, instead of making them worse.

2. Eat chocolate

Chocolate is a pleasure product, appreciated by almost everyone. But it also triggers heartburn. Indeed, chocolate contains caffeine, which gives it the same properties as tea or coffee. In addition, chocolate also contains theobromine, which has a dilating function and therefore helps relax the muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter.

3. Eat before a workout

Before starting a training session, you must eat in order to have the necessary energy to enable the effort made. On the other hand, it is not a question of eating just before going to exercise.

Dr. Uradomo recommends waiting two hours after eating before starting any exercise, especially those that put pressure on the stomach, such as certain strength exercises or yoga poses, for example. This risks increasing abdominal pressure and therefore promoting gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, the doctor advises not to deprive yourself of training, but rather to test the exercises that suit you.

4. Having meals too close together

Digestion is an important process that takes time. Not leaving enough time between meals can help cause heartburn. “PTaking three to four hour breaks between meals and snacks is an important strategy to incorporate long term for overall digestive health. This is because breaks between meals help cleanse the digestive tract and help the muscles lining the digestive tract to contract properly and push food down.” explains Nour Zibdeh.

Along the same lines, it is important to always eat in moderation. “Larger meals are more difficult to digest, take a long time to digest, and can feed bacteria in the gut. As a result, they will produce excessive amounts of gas. All of these increase the risk of stomach contents refluxing into the esophagus“.

5. Eat right before bed

Finally, last tip to avoid heartburn: eat your evening meal away from your bedtime. It takes a few hours for the digestive system to get going, to get the food out, before you lie down. If you do not respect this time frame, food being digested in your stomach will be able to move up into the esophagus more easily.

Finally, Dr Uramodo reminds us that heartburn is not inevitable. “If your heartburn is disrupting your daily routine or keeping you from sleeping, and you’ve tried diet and lifestyle changes without improvement, it’s time to see your doctor.” he concludes.