The Heartache of Heartburn - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

The Heartache of Heartburn

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By: Larry Studt, M.D., Occupational Health & Medicine Program, Sacred Heart and St. Joseph Hospitals

We've all gone through it. You go to the all-you-can-eat taco bar, and about a half-hour later, you feel like you have a three-alarm fire burning in your stomach. Occasional heartburn is common and usually isn't anything to worry about. However, you should talk to your doctor about persistent or severe heartburn because this could be the symptom of a more serious problem.

While over-the-counter heartburn medications are generally safe for most people, you should always check with your doctor before taking any medication.

There are some simple tips to help reduce heartburn. These include:

  • Limit caffeine, fried, spicy or rich foods, and foods that are acidic like oranges or grapefruit
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes – tight clothes, especially near your waist, can put pressure on your stomach, leading to heartburn symptoms
  • Steer clear of big meals or late-night meals, and eat slowly
  • Don't lie down directly after eating a meal
  • Chewing gum encourages the production of saliva, which can help keep acid in your stomach
  • Excess weight can worsen heartburn – maintain a healthy body weight to help keep heartburn at bay

Watching what – and when – you eat can help improve your heartburn symptoms. If you're still not feeling relief, be sure to talk with your doctor.

 To learn more, watch the "Ask the Doc" video!

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