Food gobblers increase their chances of heartburn in two ways. First, they swallow a lot of air. Belching typically follows. The rising air sends acidic digestive juices flying up to the esophagus. Second, since wolfers don't have time to chew their food into easily digestible pieces, their stomachs are forced to release extra acidic digestive juices to break down the abnormally large pieces. This added acid can cause heartburn.
The type of food matters, too. Most chronic heartburn sufferers know that high-acid foods can trigger the condition. So can alcohol and coffee - and lying down after a meal. It's not common knowledge that fatty foods can also activate heartburn. Indirectly, they relax a valve in the esophagus that normally prevents the acidic gastric juices from backing up into the esophagus.
Some diners take antacid pills to relieve heartburn because their alkaline ingredient helps neutralize the acid. One should not use this remedy on a steady basis, however, without seeking medical advice, because antacid pills alter the body's acid-base balance. A frequently overlooked remedy is a glass of plain water, it dilutes the acid.
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