Lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medications can be an effective combination to relieve symptoms of burning pain in the chest that is caused by acid reflux.
Here are our top tips to reduce the acidity of stomach acid and prevent it from moving up into the oesophagus:
Think about what and when you eat and drink
Avoid foods or drinks that trigger heartburn for you – but also think about when and how much you eat. Cut out bedtime snacks or large meals late at night. Eat slowly and wait before lying down or exercising. Cutting down on alcohol, coffee or fizzy drinks can also help.
Exercise regularly & keep fit
Regular exercise and losing weight can often help. Though certain abdominal exercises like stomach crunches can also push acid out of the stomach, causing heartburn.
Smoking can trigger heartburn or make it feel worse once it starts. If you do smoke, try avoiding it just before or after eating.
Change your bedtime routine
Lying down usually makes acid reflux symptoms worse, especially after eating. When you sit upright, gravity helps your stomach acid to move downwards – instead of back up into your oesophagus where it can cause a burning sensation. If you get a burning feeling in your chest or throat that becomes worse at night, try these tips:
Wait two to three hours after eating before going to bed or lying down, to give your body time to digest.
If pain is still bothering you, try sleeping propped up with pillows.
Try sleeping on your left side. Studies have shown that sleeping on your right side can make acid reflux symptoms worse. The oesophagus is located on the right of the stomach, so when you lie on your right side, gravity can more easily move stomach acid into the oesophagus. Sleeping on your left side might improve your comfort as you fall asleep.
Stress can make symptoms of acid reflux worse. Everybody has a certain level of stress in their lives, but learning to deal with the ups and down of life can make managing acid reflux easier.
If your pain that feels like burning in chest that rises up the throat doesn't improve from these diet and lifestyle changes, you might consider taking a medication such as Nexium® 24HR to help manage the symptoms of frequent heartburn.