Hey lovely people, I’m back with a post subject that is really important to me and my body: Heartburn. It’s a health problem that I’ve personally experienced problems with, and it has affected my life for many years now.
It started when I began my first year at university, all of those home cooked meals were a world away. My best shot at cooking a meal was pesto pasta, which resulted in fast food takeaways just out of convenience. Plus, the added stresses of uni took their toll on my digestive health.
However, I found that my issues with heartburn were quickly and successfully reduced. Simple lifestyle changes and learning to love my tummy more worked wonders. I just needed to listen to my body and give it more of what it needs.
WHAT IS HEARTBURN & INDIGESTION??
Many people will experience heartburn and indigestion at some point their lives, but little know what heartburn really is and hence don’t know how to treat it. I simply thought it was normal to have the “burning feeling” after eating. It wasn’t until my final year at university (stress level: very high) that I finally decided that I needed to identify the problem.
Rennie® accurately describe heartburn as:
“Heartburn is the name given to the burning feeling or heat that begins in your chest and rises upwards to the throat. Heartburn is usually caused by acid reflux. Which is when the ring of muscle at the entrance of your stomach doesn’t close tightly allowing stomach acid to rise up into the oesophagus”
So if you’ve ever experienced that burning, acid pain going up your chest after eating, you may have experienced heartburn.
SYMPTOMS OF HEARTBURN
The symptoms of heartburn can vary, but here are a few that you may experience:
- A burning sensation in your chest or throat after eating
- A hot sour or salty tasting fluid in the back of your throat and difficulty swallowing
- Pressure behind the breastbone
- Feeling bloated
- Needing to burp
- Feeling sick
WHAT CAUSES HEARTBURN & INDIGESTION?
As a busy student at university, my life was pretty hectic. Everyday was a new assignment to complete, test to revise for, part-time job to work, and social life to keep up with. I was eating quick, micro-wave meals, grabbing on-the-go lunches, and drinking way too much caffeine. Needless to say, it did become overwhelming and the daily stress took it’s toll on my body. Eventually, I developed a variety of stress-induced health problems including IBS and heatburn & indigestion, as stress can put serious strain on your bodys’ digestive processes.
I started to develop heartburn and indigestion problems after eating, mostly at night after dinner, so much so that it became “the norm” for me. Plus, I noticed that this was at it’s worst after a late, rushed, unhealthy dinner right before bed. That burning heat feeling would ache for a good few hours of the night. Now I know that it was due to acid leaking into the oesophagus in the lying position.
THINGS YOU CAN DO TO LOVE YOUR TUMMY MORE
The key thing to treating heartburn on a long term basis is learning to actively loving your body and tummy. When I was a young student, I failed to see reason in caring about what I was fuelling my body with, how it reacted, or what my body was feeling. But by making active changes to my lifestyle and giving my body the self-love it deserves, I’ve managed to successfully control my heartburn and indigestion problems. There are plenty of ways to love your tummy more and make healthy additions to your lifestyle, whilst reducing heartburn in the process.
CHANGING MY DIET
At university, my diet was appalling to say the least. I had very little time and money, and lacked any interest in cooking healthy meals from scratch… much to my own detriment. One aspect of my life that has changed massively since my uni days is my diet, and it has significantly improved my problems with heartburn.
Certain foods can increase the likelihood of you experiencing heartburn, and I happened to living on a diet high in all of them for my whole 5 years of studying. Fried or greasy foods can cause heartburn as they have an effect on your stomach valve and can cause it to relax. It’s also worth noting that consuming coffee and alcohol on the regular can also make heartburn more likely, and I was drinking plenty of both when my heartburn was at it’s worst. I just didn’t put two and two together, and I continued to make poor lifestyle choices and decided to deal with the consequences later. It really wasn’t what my body needed and I wasn’t giving myself any self love.
Now, I eat a healthy balanced diet with much lower fatty meat content and I eat fast food very rarely as a treat, rather than it being a regular occurrence. I also only drink one/two units of alcohol a week and maybe one or two coffees a day dependant on whether I need the boost. Something as simple as adding a digestion-aiding herbal tea to your daily routine can also ease heartburn, and ever since I worked at a health food store I always keep a pack of camomile knocking around to soothe my mind and body before bed.
When I first started working out at the gym, I’d finish my dinner at around 8pm, head straight off to the gym, and have the worst heartburn after an hour of cardio. Something as simple as having dinner slightly earlier, and going to the gym 2 hours after eating, can reduce the chances of developing heartburn. It makes a lot of sense to allow your body to get to work on that digestion without any interruption.
The same goes for sleeping – It’s best to allow your body to digest your food for 2/3 hours before hitting the hay. As I mentioned earlier, that process of “lying down after a meal” disrupts the digestion process when acid levels are high, and they begin leaking into your food pipe hence the heartburn.
ADDING MORE MINDFULNESS
I’ve spoken a lot about the power of mindfulness before on my blog and social, and I stand by the fact that mindfulness activities can add a lot of positivity to your mental health on a daily basis. Mindfulness is simply the process of recognising what is really happening in the moment. This can distract and relieve the stresses and anxieties of everyday life and ground you back to the world again.
Mindfulness, whether in the form of meditation or just a little time to myself, is a very effective way of dealing with everyday stresses of a busy modern lifestyle. I would also recommend doing more outdoors (even the sight of nature can be a mood-booster), doing exercise to get your endorphins flowing, or grounding yourself with some floor yoga.
I began relieving my daily stresses as much as possible which helped to reduce my problems with indigestion and acid burn. Run a warm bath, enjoy a chapter of a good read, and let yourself relax. Your body will thank you for it later!
HOW CAN RENNIE® HELP?
If you need a little help with treating the symptoms of heartburn, Rennie® may be able to help. They specialise in providing fast-acting relief of the symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. So you no longer need to cope with the discomfort that heartburn can cause. Rennie® comes in a wide range of flavours and pack sizes including: Rennie peppermint tablets for heartburn and indigestion and Rennie Liquid Heartburn Relief Oral Suspension. Always read the label.
What are your experiences with heartburn and digestive health?
How have you learned to love you tummy more?
*** This post is in conjunction with Rennie® but all thoughts are my own ***