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5 Things: Preventing Heartburn

If you've ever experienced heartburn, you know it's not something you ever want to experience again. That irritating, burning feeling in your upper chest and throat is so uncomfortable. If you have heartburn occasionally, then it's not going to cause any major problems, but if it's something you're dealing with on a daily basis, then it can damage your esophagus and lead to bleeding or trouble breathing. Recurring heartburn may also be an indication that you have acid reflux disease, or another condition like a peptic ulcer. If that's the case, I'd see a doctor ASAP.

Here are some ways you can prevent it from happening in the first place:

  1. If you tend to get heartburn when you lie down at night, place four to six inch blocks under the legs at the head of your bed to raise it up. It's also a good idea to eat at least two to three hours before lying down.
  2. Overeating and being overweight can cause heartburn, so if you tend to eat more than you should most of the time, it's time to work on your portion sizes.
  3. Eat high-protein, low-fat meals.
  4. Know your triggers. Avoid spicy foods, coffee, tomatoes, smoking, citrus fruits, onions, medications (like aspirin or ibuprofen), and other things that give you heartburn.
  5. Avoid wearing tight clothes and belts.

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