As soon as you swallowed that last bite, you knew you were in for it. That painful burning, bubbling, unrelenting pressure, accompanied by random belching and an overall gross feeling is just plain unbearable. If you want relief from heartburn fast (who doesn't?!) then give these a try.
- Let go: Loosen up your clothing if it's fitted. The compression around your chest and stomach can make heartburn symptoms worse.
- Put down the bottle: Stop drinking alcohol, carbonated beverages, and drinks containing caffeine like coffee and Coca-Cola ASAP. Don't reach for a cooling glass of milk either. It's a myth that milk relieves heartburn. It may feel good at first, but can actually worsen symptoms, so sip water instead.
- Chuck the wings: Avoid eating more spicy or greasy foods, foods that contain pepper, and acidic foods such as oranges, tomatoes, and vinegar. Chocolate, mint, ketchup, and mustard are also common heartburn triggers, so avoid eating these as well.
- Grab a stick: Of gum, that is. Chew gum to increase saliva production, helping to neutralize stomach acid.
- Don't take it lying down: Reclining can make symptoms worse so sit up and wait two to three hours after you eat before relaxing on the couch or hitting the hay.
- Walk it off: Taking a stroll can encourage digestion and can help relieve the pressure you're feeling in your chest. A short tour around the block is great, but even walking around your house can do wonders for heartburn.
- Stretch it out: If you're feeling up to it, doing some yoga poses could also offer relief. Do a few rounds of Cat and Cow, sit on the floor and do a relaxing spinal twist, or relieve pressure in your chest with this Seated Heart Opener.
- Hit the medicine cabinet: Antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Pepto-Bismol are fine to take with random bouts of heartburn. They'll work faster than acid reducers (H2 blockers) like Pepcid and Zantac, but they might cause diarrhea or constipation and can be harmful if you suffer from kidney disease. If you find you have to take OTC medication frequently, it's time to talk to your doctor about ways to prevent your heartburn.