Q. I’ve been suffering from heartburn and it has recently gotten worse. What should I do?
Have you ever noticed stomach pain and gas after eating or found yourself reaching for the Tums more often than normal? Heartburn usually feels like a burning sensation in the chest and upper stomach area. It worsens after eating, especially foods that are spicy, fatty, or fried. This sensation is the result of stomach acid refluxing (or flowing backwards) into your lower esophagus – the tube through which food passes on its way from your throat to your stomach. In addition to causing discomfort, it can actually damage your esophagus and stomach lining. You can reduce symptoms of acid reflux by minimizing your intake of fatty foods, fried foods, spicy foods, caffeinated beverages, and chocolate. Also, avoid eating a heavy meal right before lying down and elevate the head of your bed. Last but not least, get regular exercise and lose weight (if applicable). These lifestyle changes can reduce – if not eliminate – heartburn symptoms!