Try Hard Candy

Sponsored By: PRILOSEC OTC ®

Sucking on hard candy triggers the production of saliva, which acts as a natural barrier to acid. But be sure to avoid mint candies. Mint can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which functions to help prevent the backflow of acid.

Print Send

More Tips:

  • Foods and Beverages to Avoid

    Before you indulge, keep these facts in mind.

    Fatty or greasy foods slow down digestion, which means that acid and food remain in the stomach longer. This gives the acid a greater opportunity to move backward into the esophagus.

    Peppermint, spearmint and chocolate contain compounds that cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to loosen or relax, thus allowing acid to enter the esophagus.

    Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea and cola raise the level of acidity in the stomach, making stomach juices even more irritating.

    Alcoholic beverages, citrus juices, spicy foods and tomato products directly irritate the esophagus.

    Print Send
  • Eat Smaller Meals

    When you decrease the size of your portions, your stomach is primed to produce much less acid than when you eat big meals. And less acid means less chance of acid reflux.

    Print Send
  • Avoid or Minimize Nighttime Heartburn

    Is your sleep interrupted by heartburn? Try these tips.

    Finish eating your final meal of the day at least two to three hours before going to bed. The added time will give your food and acid levels a chance to clear before lying down—the position in which heartburn is most likely to occur.

    Use blocks to elevate the head of your bed by four to six inches. Then gravity will help prevent acid from creeping into the esophagus while you are lying down.

    Try sleeping on your left side. Some studies indicate that this helps with digestion and also accelerates the removal of acid from your stomach.

    Print Send
  • Are Your Medications to Blame?

    A number of prescription and over-the-counter drugs can trigger heartburn:

    • High blood pressure and heart medications
    • Asthma medications, which can both decrease the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) pressure and stimulate the acid production that contributes to heartburn
    • Certain antibiotics, which can be irritating to the esophagus

    The bottom line: Talk to your doctor about alternatives if you suspect one of your medications may be contributing to your heartburn. But never stop taking any prescription medication before checking with your doctor.

    Print Send
  • Exercise—the Right Way

    Here are three ways to modify your workouts and cut your risk of developing heartburn.

    • Avoid exercises that require you to be upright and bounce against gravity, such as jogging, aerobics or jumping rope. Bouncing jostles the contents of your stomach and can cause acid to rise back up into the esophagus.
    • Keep your abs as relaxed as possible. Tensed or clenched stomach muscles during weight-bearing exercises can increase abdominal pressure and increase acid reflux into the esophagus.
    • After eating, wait one to two hours before exercising. Don’t eat directly after a fitness activity. And never eat while working out.
    Print Send
  • Slow Down and Enjoy Your Meals

    How quickly you eat is just as important as what you eat. Overfilling your stomach can result in acid reflux and heartburn. Plus, it takes a while for the sensation of fullness and satisfaction to develop—and if you eat too fast, chances are you’ll eat too much.

    Print Send
  • Dilute Your Sports Drinks

    Most sports drinks contain 60 grams to 100 grams of carbohydrates per liter. Try diluting them in quarter intervals to see if a three-quarter- or a one-half-strength solution decreases your heartburn. Watered-down solutions will also leave the stomach faster, resulting in more rapid hydration.

    Print Send
  • Loosen Your Belt

    Don’t wear tight belts or binding clothing. Restrictive garments can increase abdominal pressure and increase reflux of acid into the esophagus.

    Print Send
  • Gravity Can Help

    It’s harder for gastric contents to move upward into the esophagus when you’re standing tall. But when you lie down, gravity is no longer working in your favor, which is one reason why heartburn can strike at night. Bending down has the same effect—and can also increase abdominal pressure, further increasing the potential for acid reflux.

    Print Send
  • Limit Alcohol-Related Heartburn

    • With meals, limit alcohol intake to moderate amounts: one to two mixed drinks, 12 to 16 ounces of wine or two to three beers.
    • Substitute white wine for red.
    • Try exercise, walking, meditation, stretching or deep breathing instead of an alcoholic drink to unwind after a stressful day.
    Print Send
  • Keep a Heartburn Diary

    Article Highlights
    How logging heartburn trigger activities now can help you avoid heartburn troubles later on.

    One of the best ways to find a remedy for heartburn relief is to keep a diary, tracking what type of food you eat and when. Then, each time you experience heartburn symptoms, keep a record of the details:

    • Which foods seem to cause you heartburn?
    • How long did the symptoms last?
    • How severe were they on a scale of 1 to 10?
    • Where in your body did you feel discomfort?

    The information you gather will be very helpful to your healthcare practitioner when figuring out which heartburn treatment is best for you.   

    Print Send
  • Avoid Holiday Drinks That Can Aggravate Heartburn

    Article Highlights
    It's holiday season—and seasonal drinks can be heartburn triggers. Here’s a snapshot of drinks to avoid, plus substitutes that will warm your insides, minus the burn.

    The winter party season can overflow with temptations to indulge in drinks that have the potential to cause heartburn.1 Leave the burn at home this season by just saying no to these common sources of holiday heartburn.

    Eggnog
    The fat found in this creamy cup means holiday nog takes a long time to digest. That means there is more acid present in your stomach and esophagus, which in turn increases the chance of heartburn.2 Search out low-fat eggnogs, now widely available.

    Hot Cocoa
    As cozy as this drink can be, chocolate is a well-known trigger food. Warm your belly instead with a steaming cup of non-caffeinated tea, like chamomile or rooibos. (But remember to stay away from mint teas, as mint can also trigger heartburn.)

    Print Send
  • Stress With Deep Breathing

    Article Highlights
    Take a quick time out for some deep breaths to curb stress and quell heartburn before it happens.

    Heartburn Treatment: De-Stress

    Although there is no direct link between stress and heartburn, our busy lifestyles often mean we're gobbling down greasy fast food, reaching for high-fat "comfort foods" to calm us down or grabbing highly caffeinated beverages to keep us going. These behaviors can all lead to heartburn.

    Learning some coping strategies that will help you relax can reduce the likelihood that you’ll later experience heartburn. If you start to feel overwhelmed, give yourself a time out and do some deep breathing exercises. Start by counting to 10, using the counts to breathe deeply. Be sure to breathe in fully and exhale to completely empty the lungs with each breath.1

    Print Send
  • Stress and Heartburn: De-Stress With Deep Breathing

    Article Highlights
    Take a quick time out for some deep breaths to curb stress and quell heartburn before it happens.

    Heartburn Treatment: De-Stress

    Although there is no direct link between stress and heartburn, our busy lifestyles often mean we're gobbling down greasy fast food, reaching for high-fat "comfort foods" to calm us down or grabbing highly caffeinated beverages to keep us going. These behaviors can all lead to heartburn.

    Learning some coping strategies that will help you relax can reduce the likelihood that you’ll later experience heartburn. If you start to feel overwhelmed, give yourself a time out and do some deep breathing exercises. Start by counting to 10, using the counts to breathe deeply. Be sure to breathe in fully and exhale to completely empty the lungs with each breath.1

     

     

    Print Send
  • Foods That Can Cause Heartburn: Sweets 101

    Article Highlights
    Frequent heartburn sufferers can still indulge in desserts. Here’s a run down of which sweet treats are safe to eat and which are best avoided.

    Sweets and Heartburn: What to Avoid and Healthy Substitutes

    You don't have to completely give up on sweets to avert heartburn. The key is making smart dessert choices. Two types of treats that are best to avoid: high-fat dishes and chocolate. Tracking your symptoms1 as you eat and drink can be the first step toward managing heartburn.

    Foods that are high in fat slow down digestion. This causes food to stay in your stomach longer, which means more acid production. That in turn can cause acid to reflux into the esophagus and lead to heartburn. So instead of that luscious layer-cake, choose angel food. Instead of buttery chocolate-chip cookies, reach for crunchy biscotti. And instead of full-fat ice cream, scoop out some low-fat frozen yogurt. 

    Chocolate is another possible sweet heartburn trigger2. Studies show that chocolate relaxes the internal valve that keeps stomach acids in your stomach, thus allowing them to rise up into your esophagus. If this happens to you, get your (low-fat and caffeine-free) chocolate fix by selecting fat-free chocolate pudding or frozen yogurt. Boost the chocolate-y goodness with a dash of chocolate syrup.

    Print Send
  • How to Avoid Heartburn at Parties

    heartburn-tips

    Article Highlights
    Here's how to have a good time at social events--and not suffer the consequences of heartburn.

    When It's Party Time, Don’t Invite Heartburn

    Just because you suffer from heartburn doesn't mean you must avoid parties and other events. Learn your body, know your triggers, plan ahead and join in the fun! Below are some tips and tricks for managing heartburn while navigating the social scene.

    • Monitor your body so that you know the foods that are likely to set you off. Everyone’s body is different, but there are some common heartburn trigger foods: citrus, spicy foods, tomatoes and tomato sauces, chocolate, onions and garlic. To ensure there will be something at the party that’s safe for you to eat, ask if you can contribute to the offerings and bring your own trigger-free dish.
    • Move and mingle. Overeating can often result in heartburn. So don’t linger at the table at a sit-down dinner--visit other tables to chat with friends. Don’t stand near the buffet at a cocktail party. Instead, wander around and join conversations elsewhere. And stay away from the grill at a tailgate; toss a football to keep active. If there’s music (or even if there isn’t), dance!
    • Take your time. Sure, the food might be delicious, but there’s no need to shovel it in. Heartburn is more likely to occur when there is a lot of food in your stomach. Eat slowly, savoring your meal, and you’ll likely wind up eating less.
    • Stop eating early. Give yourself at least two hours to digest your food before going to bed.1 A tip: After eating, keep a glass of water in your hand as you mingle—you’ll be less likely to snack. The bonus? By the end of the night you’ll be very well hydrated, which also aids in digestion.
    • Dress to impress, not compress. Tight-fitting clothing or undergarments can put pressure on the tummy, which may lead to heartburn.2 Loosening your belt and wearing loose-fit clothing can help minimize symptoms. Don’t worry--you can still look fabulous in a relaxed-fit outfit!
    Print Send


The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis or recommended treatments. For severe heartburn or heartburn that persists after trying over-the-counter treatment or lifestyle modifications, visit your doctor to determine the right treatment for you. See the Terms and Conditions for more information.