Do You Have Chronic Heartburn?

You have that burning, bitterly foul taste in your mouth again. You feel cramped, bloated and feel as if you swallowed a bottle of Tabasco sauce. You wonder if inserting the garden hose into your mouth and turning it on might - JUST might - put out the burn inside. If this only happens a few times a year, you have regular heartburn. If this happens more than three times a week for two weeks, you may have chronic heartburn, called Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).

Other Symptoms

Not everyone gets the same symptoms of chronic heartburn. Here are a few more warning flags that indicate you have chronic heartburn:

* Feeling as if something is always stuck in your throat when you absolutely know there isn't

* Being woken up in the night with a burning sensation in the back of your throat or with a persistent cough

* Pain in the chest (always a sign to call the doctor)

* Persistent bad breath no matter what you do

* A sudden chronic cough

You Really Need To See The Doctor

With the cost of healthcare these days, no one wants to visit the doctor even for check-ups. But chronic heartburn can't be ignored and successfully home-treated. It usually gets worse over time, and may give you ulcers. Now ulcers are expensive to treat. But chronic indigestion is a lot cheaper to successfully treat in comparison.

There are many excellent prescription drugs on the market for chronic heartburn. To help them work their best, though, you need to make a few lifestyle changes.

Don't Panic

You have chronic heartburn because of several ways you are mismanaging your life. You are not a bad person for having chronic heartburn. Think of chronic heartburn as a warning flag to help you get into healthier habits, rather than as a punishment for "bad" habits. Habits you can get into that will relieve your chronic heartburn are:

* Wear looser clothing around your waist

* Sit up for at least an hour after you eat or drink before going to bed

* Exercise regularly, whether it's walking, yoga or doing more household cleaning chores. You can get a lot done and help your chronic heartburn.

* Eat smaller meals, and eat more frequently when possible instead of just tucking into three heaping platefuls per day.

* Avoid or reduce your intake of caffeinated and/or alcoholic beverages. Caffeine and alcohol, alone or together, will trigger your stomach to make pints of stomach acid it can't controp.