Treating nightly heartburn

There are few things more uncomfortable than a bout of heartburn when you’re trying to get to sleep at night. If you are part of the roughly 50 percent of Americans who suffer from regular indigestion, you know just how uncomfortable it can be.

Heartburn is caused by stomach acids backing up into the esophagus, leading to difficulty swallowing, a burning sensation in the upper chest and throat and excessive burping. Luckily, the condition is entirely treatable with a bit of care and ingenuity. Here are some tips to help improve your digestion and ease the burden on your stomach.

The best thing you can do is to cut out the foods that cause heartburn. This varies from person to person, but generally you’ll find that spicy foods and caffeinated items, such as coffee and, yes, chocolate, are responsible. Other foods can cause it, too, so try keeping track of what you eat for a week or two and see what may potentially be setting you off.

Try and eat smaller meals – overstuffed stomachs and tight waistbands can lead to indigestion fairly easily. If you eat a number of small meals through the day, your stomach will never be overly-full, which can keep your heartburn at bay. You may also want to bite the bullet and buy larger pants to relieve pressure against your stomach.

There are a number of medications, both prescription and over-the-counter, that you can try out. Your body may be deficient in digestive enzymes, in which case you may want to consider taking a dietary supplement, like Nu-Zymes Digestive Enzymes from Dr. Newton’s Naturals, to replenish them. Doing so can help your body restore the necessary enzymes for the proper breakdown of food, which may not only relieve you of your heartburn but also provide mental clarity and increased energy.

If you already feel the onset of heartburn, you can alleviate symptoms by making sure you stay upright. This will force the acid to flow back into your stomach. You may also want to consider sleeping with your head propped up by two or more pillows, though in general it’s best if you avoid eating two or three hours before going to bed.

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