(WAFF) - Heartburn can be a miserable experience. Doctors say there are some preventative measures you can take if it becomes problematic.
Jeanette Keith of Decatur Gastroenterology recommends smaller meals eaten more frequently throughout the day or eating slower.
"Find foods that are your triggers and minimizing their intake, no matter how good they are," she said.
She said even the position of your body can be a trigger and recommends sitting upright and not laying down on a full stomach. She said eating a big meal at the end of the day followed by not sitting upright for two or three hours can be problematic.
Other recommendations include switching from soda to water, exercising, and chewing sugarless gum, which promotes salivation and neutralizing acid.
Keith said there are several heartburn situations that signal a trip to a specialist. She said if it's accompanied by nausea, mild symptoms twice a week, or severe symptoms more than once a week, it's time to see a specialist.
"Heartburn may make you wish you were dead, but your heart will truly kill you," she said.
Keith said you should also have your heart checked out before the digestive tract. She also recommends watching one's weight, saying weight loss can reduce symptoms. She said even some medicine can make a difference.
"Any medicine can potentially upset your stomach. If you're noticing something different, from a medication that your taking, that should trigger a discussion with your provider," she said.
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