If you ever felt a burning sensation after a meal, you might be one of the millions who suffer from heartburn or acid reflux. This very common condition may be triggered by many seemingly innocent actions we do on a daily basis, and changing some of your habits might be just what you need to ease this problem.
We at Bright Side also feel heartburn sometimes after having a large meal, and we decided to find out what habits might make it worse.
1. You’re wearing tight clothes.
Although tight clothes can make you look very attractive, wearing them too often isn’t the best choice for your health. In addition to causing problems with blood circulation, ill-fitting clothes can aggravate acid reflux. Because tight jeans and belts push against your stomach, they can make the unpleasant symptoms of heartburn even worse.
2. You’re sleeping flat.
Although sleeping without a pillow might be good for your neck and spine, it certainly won’t help if you’re suffering from acid reflux. Medical experts recommend raising the head of your bed up to 8 inches, which can encourage the healthy downward flow of stomach acid while you’re sleeping. You can use extra pillows or simply put blocks underneath your bed frame to make sure your head is lifted.
3. You’re lying down after meals.
If you feel like you want to go to bed after having a large meal, we totally get it. But if you suffer from heartburn, this habit might be worth breaking. When you are lying down, all the food you just ate pushes against the valve between your esophagus and stomach. It’s better to sit upright after meals and wait for at least 2 to 3 hours before going to bed.
4. You’re drinking water during a meal.
Although staying hydrated is absolutely crucial for your health, the time you drink water also matters. You might feel the need to have a glass of water to flush down a heavy meal, but doing so may result in heartburn. Drinking too many fluids during your meal dilutes the stomach acids you need for proper digestion. And if you like to drink your water with ice, the cold drink will cause your blood vessels to constrict and solidify fats, making the food even harder to digest.
5. You’re drinking coffee a lot.
While coffee has a number of health benefits, and many people can’t imagine a day without a hot cup of java, you might want to limit your caffeine intake if you ever suffer from acid reflux. Coffee can make the symptoms of heartburn worse, and if you notice you feel bad after drinking it, gradually cutting back on it might be the right choice to make.
6. You’re working out too hard.
There’s no doubt that being active is one of the best things you can do to stay healthy. But the kind of physical activity you choose can make you feel better or worse. If you’re suffering from acid reflux, high-impact exercises, such as cycling, gymnastics, or weight lifting, can worsen the unpleasant symptoms of heartburn and bloating. But it doesn’t mean you have to cancel your gym membership, just opt for moderate and low-impact exercise, such as yoga or riding a stationary bike.