Beat the Burn

Most people experience it at one time or another – an uncomfortable warm, burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn or acid indigestion. Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart but is caused by stomach acid. It occurs when gastric acids back up into the lower esophagus. Common symptoms include burning in the chest area (usually below or behind the sternum), pain that intensifies when lying down, and sometimes coughing or wheezing.

Over 50 million Americans suffer from frequent heartburn (occurring 2 to 3 times a week). Heartburn can strike at any time and can interfere with sleep, daily activities such as work and exercise, and decrease your overall quality of life. It’s up to you to make these simple changes and say goodbye to heartburn. Learn how to beat the burn with these steps.


Exercise = Less Burn

You’ve heard that regular exercise is one of the best things you can do to increase overall health and longevity. Now you can add another reason to get your body moving. Physical activity helps keep your digestive tract running smoothly and also relieves stress, a major cause of heartburn. \r\n

\r\nTo help ease heartburn, fit some movement into your day, every day, whether that means hitting the gym, taking a 20-minute bike ride or simply strolling around the block. It’s a good idea to wait at least 30 minutes after eating before exercising. Some exercises such as crunches or a core workout on a full stomach can lead to heartburn. Also, avoid engaging in activities that require a lot of bending (such as gardening) directly after eating.

Q: I end up overeating because it makes me feel better and I never really get full. I'd like to lose weight but this makes it hard. Any suggestions?

A: Being persistently hungry can cause big trouble. So can overeating for comfort/pleasure. These two behaviors, say researchers from Baylor University's Children's Nutrition Research Center, are controlled deep within your brain by serotonin-producing neurons, but operate separately from each other — one in the hypothalamus, the other in the midbrain. They both can, however, end up fueling poor nutritional choices and obesity.

Eating for Hunger

When hunger is your motive for eating, the question is: "Does your body know when you've had enough?" Well, if you are overweight, obese or have diabetes you may develop leptin resistance and your "I am full" hormone, leptin, can't do its job. The hormone's signal to your hypothalamus is dampened, and you keep eating.

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