Prescription medications for heartburn seem convenient, but their long-term side effects are not. Proton pump inhibitors or PPIs that treat the painful condition could carry a steep price for relief. Studies hint that these medications contribute to nutrient deficiencies, joint pain, bone fractures, infections, cardiovascular diseases, and dementia. Heartburn is a symptom of underlying conditions that may require medical intervention, but lifestyle adjustments can still go a long way toward reducing it, promoting healing, and staving off further damage and illness. Cool your heartburn with these evidence-based home remedies.
Obesity — particularly abdominal obesity — can double a person's risk of developing gastric reflux symptoms such as heartburn. An Italian study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology suggests losing 10% of one's weight (for those who are overweight) helps reduce heartburn and PPI use in people with GERD; losing excess weight around the waist can reduce upward pressure on the LES, the muscular ring that separates the stomach and esophagus. Gastric reflux occurs when this ring weakens and allows stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Losing weight is one of the most effective ways to obtain long-term heartburn relief without medication.
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