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Eating a rich and delicious meal is always fun until the discomforting pain of heartburn hits. Heartburn usually arises in the chest behind the breastbone; a burning sensation created by stomach acid moving into the oesophagus. Here are some facts about heartburn you could find helpful to avoid this unpleasant condition:

1

Surprisingly, heartburn has absolutely nothing to do with the heart

Despite the fact that heartburn occurs in the chest region, they are completely unrelated to the chest. The heart is an organ of the circulatory system, while heartburn is related to the digestive system – two very different systems of the body. It should, however, be noted that heartburn and heart attack can sometimes feel the same.

2

Some are more at risk than others

Although heartburn may plague us all from time to time, there are some people who may struggle more with their acid reflux. You are more likely to be at risk if you are overweight or obese, pregnant, diabetic, emotionally stressed, or take certain medications. If you haven’t already figured it out, keep a food diary to assess what your trigger foods are, and try alkaline water for some day-to-day relief.

3

Know how to sleep

Research shows that the way a person sleeps can assist the symptoms of heartburn. Sleeping on your left side or elevating your back and shoulders with pillows helps to prevent the contents of your stomach from travelling back up. For additional relief, wear very comfortable pyjamas and avoid anything with a tight waistband.

4

Eating early is the key

Thankfully, there are a few measures one can take to greatly reduce heartburn, and one of them is as simple as eating dinner early. Ideally, dinner eaten 2 – 4 hours before bedtime gives your digestive tract enough time to process the food and preventing any refluxes. It also helps to eat a light meal, and avoid your heartburn triggers, such as alcohol, spices, and caffeine.

5

You can chew heartburn away

Believe it or not, chewing bubble gum has been established as a way of alleviating the symptoms of heartburn. During the chewing process, more saliva is produced, helping to neutralise the acidic contents of the stomach.

6

Ditch the smokes

Among the many health problems associated with being a smoker, it is proven that smokers do suffer more from heartburn. Even second-hand smokers might suffer more than non-smokers. When one inhales cigarette smoke, the muscle that guards the opening between the oesophagus and stomach relaxes, leaving more room for the acid to creep back up.

7

Heartburn could be in your genes

Unavoidably, heartburns can run in the family. If your parents or other relatives suffer from heartburn, you may be more likely to experience them. This information can be helpful though, allowing you to take precautions to manage the symptoms and see what worked best for them.

There are many causes of heartburn, so if you are a regular sufferer, consult a doctor for chronic treatment or advice. It may require a change in lifestyle or diet, or just some occasional antacids to effectively manage them.

Iliades, C. 8 Surprising Facts About Heartburn. Healthgrade. Retrieved from https://healthguides.healthgrades.com/getting-help-for-heartburn/8-surprising-facts-about-heartburn (Accessed 9th October 2018).

8 fascinating facts about heartburn. Health 24. Retrieved from https://www.health24.com/Medical/Heartburn/News/8-fascinating-facts-about-heartburn-20171024 (Accessed 9th October 2018).

4 Surprising Heartburn Facts. Retrieved from https://www.sharecare.com/health/heartburn-reflux/article/4-surprising-heartburn-facts (Accessed 9th October 2018).

Melvin. Facts About Heartburn. Retrieved from https://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/27609/medical_conditions/facts_about_heartburn.html (Accessed 9th October 2018).

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