Preparedness and Your Health: Heartburn

by Bev Sandlin

Staying healthy is a critical part of preparedness. Please share your thoughts and experience with the SCP family!


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1. Heartburn can be caused by a number of factors.

Certain foods can be associated with reflux events, including:
– Citrus fruits
– Chocolate
– Drinks with caffeine
– Fatty and fried foods
– Garlic and onions
– Mint flavorings
– Spicy foods
– Tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, chili, and pizza

Other factors that may contribute to heartburn include:
– Alcohol use
– Being overweight
– Pregnancy
– Smoking


If you have heartburn, you shouldn’t lie flat. Elevate the head of your bed to about 4 to 6 inches. You can do this by putting blocks under the legs of the bed, or by slipping a wedge under the mattress at the head of the bed. If you try to use more pillows, it probably won’t help any. Keeping the bed on a slant will help stop the heartburn from returning. Also, taking an over the counter antacid, such as Maalox or Win Gel, will help relieve the burning. Some things to avoid when you have heartburn is: caffeine, tobacco smoke, fatty meats, dairy products, and especially chocolate. Here are a couple herbs that can help: gingerroot; take in capsule form just after you eat. Start with 2 capsules, then increase dosage as needed. You will know you have had enough when you start to taste ginger in your throat. You can also take bitter herbs in liquid or capsule form just before you eat. Before you take these herbs, however, make sure you check with your doctor first.

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