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Quiz: Which of These Helps Prevent Heartburn?

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If you have a burning feeling in your chest after eating, learn how to get relief.

Posted by Temple Health

Heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling that occurs when the acid in your stomach travels back up your esophagus. It can cause a burning sensation in your chest or throat and may also leave a bitter or acidic taste in your mouth. Heartburn can be caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or may occur due to your habits or certain foods you eat.

More than 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month. While occasional heartburn isn't dangerous, chronic heartburn may eventually damage your esophagus. The good news is many people may be able to prevent or minimize heartburn with lifestyle changes. Take this quiz to see what may help ease your symptoms.

 

  1. If you experience frequent heartburn, eat several small meals during the day instead of three large meals.
    • True
      When you eat to the point of being stuffed, it stretches your stomach. The valve between your stomach and esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), then relaxes, which may allow stomach acid to move back up into the esophagus. Eating smaller meals may stop this from happening. You should also eat slowly, rather than wolfing down your food.
    • False
      Please try again.
  2. As soon as you feel the symptoms of heartburn coming on, you should lie down.
    • True
      Please try again.
    • False
      When you lay flat, gravity works against you. Your throat and stomach are at the same level, so it's easier for stomach acid to remain in your esophagus. This is one of the reasons why heartburn seems worse at bedtime. If heartburn is making you uncomfortable at night, try raising your head above your torso with the use of extra pillows or a wedge-shaped cushion.
  3. There are specific foods you can eat to help neutralize stomach acid.
    • True
      Some foods have been shown to help neutralize stomach acid, including bananas, melons, yogurt and green vegetables such as spinach, kale and Brussels sprouts. Oatmeal and other high-fiber foods help you feel fuller quickly, so you're less likely to overeat which may also help prevent heartburn.
    • False
      Please try again.
  4. To prevent heartburn, eat high-fat foods because the fat helps absorb excess stomach acid.
    • True
      Please try again.
    • False
      Foods that are high in fat are harder to digest, which means they sit in your stomach longer. Your stomach then produces more acid, which can end up leaking upward into your esophagus, causing heartburn. High-fat foods include fried food, fast food, pizza, processed snacks, fatty meats and cheese.
  5. Eating high-acid foods, like tomatoes and citrus fruits, may actually help neutralize stomach acid.
    • True
      Please try again.
    • False
      Eating high-acid foods increases your chances of experiencing heartburn. Other common heartburn triggers include alcohol (especially red wine), carbonated beverages and caffeine. Smoking, pregnancy, being overweight and eating within two hours of bedtime may also trigger heartburn symptoms.

If you're experiencing heartburn, schedule an appointment with a Temple gastroenterologist to discuss your treatment options. Request an appointment today or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536).

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