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Why You Shouldn't Ignore Heartburn - Your Health Could Be In Danger!

Aug 17, 2007
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux disease and in the USA alone, affects almost 20 million people. Many dismiss it as just a passing phase but it's important to realise heartburn could be a sign of a more serious problem.

What Should You Do?

Your doctor is your best bet when you experience heartburn on a regular basis. In fact, the following guide can be used to ascertain whether a visit should be made sooner rather than later.

- if heartburn is prevalent in your life two or more times a week.
- the symptoms have been present in your life over a long period of time, even several months.
- over the counter medicines don't give you effective or lasting relief.
- if you are having problems sleeping and swallowing becomes a difficult.
- experiencing a burning sensation in your chest or a bitter taste in your mouth following food consuption.

While your doctor can diagnose the extent of the effect heartburn is having on your life, you can can get to work by implementing some hard and fast changes in your life immediately. In fact, it may be as drastic as having to make several lifestyle corrections.

Here are just a few:

1. Identifying which foods seem to correlate with an episode of heartburn. Cutting out large fatty meals can have an immediate affect and resist eating any food three to four hours before you go to bed.

2. Alcohol and tobacco intake should be assessed. If you smoke then quit and if you are a regular drinker of alcohol then cut down. Coffee intake should also be reduced if you drink large amounts of it.

3. Losing excess weight is always difficult for people to come to terms with because it takes a little work but the simple fact is by shedding extra fat, particularly around the stomach area, you are putting less pressure on the abdominal region. If you are inclined to wear pants a size or two smaller than you should be, then don't as this also puts unnecessary pressure on your stomach.

4. Believe it or not, stress can also contribute to episodes of heartburn. If you can relieve stress in your life then you'll be contributing to less incidence of heartburn.

5. Heartburn can wreak havoc on people's sleep patterns. By elevating your head when you go to bed can help prevent acid rising up into your throat. You can speak to your doctor about this but many people have reported relief simply by having the bed raised a few inches from the base.

Changing your lifestyle is the first line of defence against regular heartburn and in many instances it's effective. If it doesn't have the required effect, then there are medication options which your medical professional will explain to you.
About the Author
Dean Caporella is a professional broadcaster. The symptoms of heartburn should never be taken lightly. We'll tell you why. Plus, improve your quality of life with the latest heartburn and reflux news and reviews at:http://www.heartburnandyou.com
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