Heartburn or Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD is a painful burning sensation in the oesophagus caused by acid rising from the stomach. Heartburn is usually felt just below or behind the breastbone the pain may also be felt in your chest and your neck or throat.
Most people will experience heartburn occasionally although if you are regularly experiencing heartburn you may have GERD.
Usually when you swallow food or liquid it enters your stomach then the muscle at the end of your oesophagus closes. If this muscle does not close correctly properly contents can back up into the oesophagus. This partially digested food is acidic and can irritate the oesophagus, causing heartburn.
Heartburn should not be ignored especially if it is happening regularly. Over time inning heartburn can damage the lining of your oesophagus and cause serious problems. However making changes to your diet and eating habits can go a long way to prevent heartburn and other symptoms of GERD.
Foods that should be avoided to reduce the occurrences of heartburn include
Caffeine, carbonated drinks
Citrus fruits and juices
Tomatoes and tomato sauces
Spicy or fatty foods, full-fat dairy products
Peppermint and spearmint
You should also give some thought to your eating habits for instance eat smaller meals as a full stomach puts extra pressure on your oesophagus making heartburn more likely.
Do not eat within 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
If you smoke, stop.
Regular exercise and looking after your weight will also help avoid or reduce instances of heartburn.
If you are experiencing ongoing regular attacks of heartburn you should consult your doctor to check for any underlying problems.
Source by Robert Orr