Each day during January, Via Christi is offering One Healthy Thing you can do to create a better 2014. Today’s tip comes from Kyle Vincent, MD.
If you suffer from heartburn or reflux, one thing you can do is to change your daily meal habits.
Eating a smaller meal for dinner has been found to help prevent heartburn. Eating less at night also can help you lose weight over time.
American customs have evolved so that now we tend to make dinner our largest meal of the day. But in many other regions of the world, where people live longer and are healthier than in the United States, the cultural norm is for people to eat a large breakfast and lunch, followed by a much smaller evening meal.
Consuming less caffeine and fewer alcoholic beverages also can help prevent or reduce episodes of heartburn. If you do find yourself suffering from heartburn, raising the head of your bed when you go to sleep can help lessen the symptoms.
Heartburn is often caused by a hiatal hernia, which occurs when the junction between your esophagus — which is your food tube — and your stomach slips up into your chest. When this happens, acid that normally stays in your stomach comes up into your esophagus and causes a burning sensation.