Milk and Heartburn
A lot of people experience the burning sensation in the chest that occurs when acid from the stomach escapes into the esophagus. If this happens on a regular basis, you could have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which can occur when the sphincter that separates the stomach and esophagus does not tighten properly.
You may have noticed that a glass of milk can help with the symptoms of heartburn. The reason for this is twofold. First, milk neutralizes the acid. Second, it dilutes it and washes it back down into the stomach. For this reason, many people use a glass of cold milk as a home remedy for heartburn.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you make milk your go-to remedy for heartburn and GERD symptoms. First, make sure that you reach for skim milk instead of low-fat or whole milk. The fat in whole milk can cause a rebound effect, leaving you with a worse case of heartburn than you had before.
Second, milk will not cure the underlying cause if your heartburn occurs because of GERD. It will only temporarily improve your symptoms. If you get heartburn often, there are several changes you can make to help prevent it. If you smoke cigarettes, stop. They can weaken the esophageal sphincter. Wear loose and comfortable clothing. Avoid eating foods that cause heartburn symptoms, such as fatty, acidic and spicy foods. Abstain from eating less than three hours before bedtime, or before lying down. When you eat out at one of Albany’s restaurants, drink water instead of coffee, soda or beer. Contact a doctor if self-help measures do not improve heartburn symptoms.