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Heartburn And Reflux - Making Changes To Your Lifestyle

Aug 17, 2007
The effect of heartburn for chronic sufferers can mean a major disruption to lifestyle and left untreated, can lead to possible serious complications. The feeling of chestpain and the movement up through the neck and throat area giving a feeling of food coming back into the mouth is about as uncomfortable as it gets. So what can you do?

A Simple Check

There is a simple heartburn check you can do that will give you a fair indication of whether it is a chronic presence in your life. To do nothing is folly. Some questions you should ask yourself are:

Is heartburn/reflux an occurrence for you more than once a week?
Is heartburn/reflux playing havoc with your day-to-day living such as hampering normal activity?
Are you being deprived of normal sleep patterns as a result of this condition?
Is medication having no effect on the presence of this condition in your life.

Answering yes to just one of the above questions should "ring the alarm bells" that perhaps whatever maintenance program you are on at the moment, may not be very effective and it could be time to re-visit your physician.

Did You Know?

Symptoms of heartburn and reflux interfering with day-to-day activities at least twice a week may indicate GERD. What is GERD? Gerd is gastro esophageal reflux disease. If left untreated, it could lead to more serious consequences such as damaging your oesophagus. Education programs are forthright in their suggestion that you see a doctor immediately. It just makes sense but amazingly, there are those who will simply try to get by the best way they can.

Explaining Reflux

The simple explanation for reflux is when acid in your stomach rises into your oesophagus, which is the connection between your mouth and stomach, and basically causes irritable pain and in a lot of cases, major discomfort. Unsociable actions such as burping and regurgitation of food form part of the family of reflux symptoms and many also report difficulty in swallowing.

Reflux is experienced by most people; the majority though, only experience it infrequently. Those who suffer reflux on a regular basis are only harming themselves by not seeing their doctor. It's ridiculous to think that there are now excellent maintenance programs in place and yet, many sufferers still won't seek help.

Living With Heartburn/Reflux

Medications which neutralize the amount of acid in the stomach reducing discomfort levels can be prescribed to chronic sufferers. The good news is that with maintained dietary and lifestyle changes, heartburn and reflux moments can be reduced significantly. Here are some suggestions which should only be used as guide. This exercise will have greater benefit for you particularly if you sit down with your doctor.

- Avoid certain foods. These may differ from person to person but you need to identify which foods are associated with an episode.
- Definitely avoid late night snacks especially just before going to bed.
- Identify food heartburn triggers. Spicy foods are generally a "no go zone." Watch your alcohol consumption along with fried food and caffeine intake.
- Making lifestyle changes such as shedding weight, wearing loose fitting clothes, especially around the waist area, reducing stress levels and consider quitting smoking if you smoke.

The above are just a few recommendations but will give you a good place to start. And remember, running a list by your physician sounds like pretty good sense to me.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. Read the latest reviews and news on heartburn and reflux and tips to avoid their onset at: http://www.heartburnandyou.com
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