Have you noticed you tend to experience heartburn more frequently in the winter months? Heartburn, or acid reflux, is a very common issue that all of us experience at some point in our lives. However, for some people, it can be more of a serious, long-term issue.
Those who experience heartburn frequently often find it worsens during winter. So, what causes the symptoms to worsen in the colder months, and what can you do about it? Here, we will look at some of the most common causes and the ways to avoid them.
Avoid lying down for long periods of time
In winter, you may spend a lot more time lazing around and lying down. Whether it is sleeping in to avoid the cold mornings or laying on the sofa in front of the TV; lying down for long periods of time is known to link to heartburn. This is because when you are lying down, it’s easier for your stomach acid to leak through to the oesophagus.
If you do want to enjoy a day on the sofa, make sure you keep your upper body propped up. If you find your heartburn develops at night time, you can also elevate the head of the bed by around 15cms. Lying on your left side will also ease and eliminate heartburn at night – due to gravity, the shape of the stomach, and the angle of the connection between it and the oesophagus.
Keep comfort food to a minimum
Indulging in comfort food is often a highlight of the winter months for many people. However, consuming a fattier and creamier diet can cause havoc on your digestive system. When you eat these types of foods, they also stay in your digestive system for longer. This can increase gastric pressure on the muscle, leading to stomach acid leaking out into the oesophagus.
As tempting as it may be, try to limit the amount of comfort food you consume this winter. Sticking to a healthy diet will greatly reduce heartburn. Similarly, you should avoid drinking excess levels of alcohol.
Remember to keep moving
While it might be tempting to hibernate this winter, it’s important to keep moving. When you don’t stay active, it slows down your digestion and your metabolism. This causes more frequent bouts of heartburn.
Try and maintain a regular exercise routine throughout the winter months. If you can’t force yourself outdoors, try out indoor exercises instead.
Seek help if you experience persistent, severe heartburn
Sometimes, heartburn can develop into a chronic condition. If you experience persistent severe heartburn, then seeking treatment is important. There are a lot of treatment options you can try depending upon the cause and severity of the condition.
If you are concerned about regular heartburn that lasts past the winter months, book a consultation with Mr Woodward today. There are treatments available to help eliminate the symptoms and help you get back to enjoying a pain-free life.