How to ease heartburn without medication ::

Ever have that burning feeling in your chest?

About 30% of American adults struggle with heartburn and acid reflux.

With numbers increasing, 5 On Your Side’s Monica Laliberte looks at options for relief that don’t include medicine.

From spicy foods and citrus to coffee and fatty options, they’re some of the things we eat that can lead to problems..

“I cut out coffee, to only one cup a day, hot chocolate sporadically and that was one of my favorite treats, tomato sauce, tomatoes,” said Valia Portela of the changes she made to help with her heartburn.

CR recommends people try diet changes before automatically using medication.

“Proton-pump inhibitors, like Prilosec, Prevacid, or Nexium can be really expensive, and when these drugs are used over the long-term they’ve been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, kidney disease, and dementia,” Trisha Calvo with Consumer Reports.

A recent study found simple lifestyle changes can effectively target symptoms and keep chronic heartburn and acid reflux at bay.

One of the most important factors: maintaining a healthy weight.

Getting at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day, and eating more whole grains and less red meat and added sugars.

Smoking is another heartburn trigger.

The chemicals in cigarettes can interfere with normal digestion.

Also know, study participants who limited their coffee, tea and soda to no more than two cups a day, had fewer symptoms.

It worked for Portela.

“Those little changes made me feel much, much better,” she said.

For occasional, unexpected mild heartburn, try an antacid to neutralize it.

For a spicy meal, C-R says a low-dose histamine blocker like Tagamet, or Pepcid AC can minimize problems.

If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, or for weeks or months at a time, contact your doctor.

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