Video:How to Make a Heartburn Recordwith Dr. Matt Foster
If you experience frequent heartburn, but you're not sure why, it might be a good idea to keep a heartburn record. In this About.com video, learn how to track and record your heartburn patterns, so you know what foods to avoid.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Make a Heartburn Record
Hi, I'm Doctor Matt Foster and I'm here to talk about how to make a heartburn record for About.com.
If you experience frequent heartburn, it might be a good idea to make a heartburn record to keep track of triggers and symptoms. You can then share this with your doctor in order to provide the information needed to develop a treatment plan. It may also show you that just making a few lifestyle changes can provide great relief.
Keep a Consistent Heartburn Record
Before you begin, it is important to remember that this will work best if used consistently over a period of time. I suggest about three to four weeks, but you are going to need to do this at least a week for any patterns to start showing.
You can either print a copy of a chart that is already made up, such as the one found at about.com, or you can make your own either by hand or on a computer. If you plan to either use a pre made chart or make one yourself on the computer, it is important that you print off enough sheets to last you through the tracking process. If you try and print a new sheet every time you experience symptoms, you are much more likely to put it off and either give up or record with less accuracy.
Be Aware of Patterns in Heartburn Record
It is important to record the date and time of day that your symptoms occur. Are you having heartburn everyday or just sporadically through out the week? You may start to notice a pattern about what time of day you are most likely to experience heartburn and in turn avoid habits and food that serve as triggers. Also note how long your symptoms last.
Record Heartburn Symptoms
Next record what symptoms you experience. Is there a burning in your chest behind the breastbone, chest pain, coughing, or sore throat, are you experiencing reflux, an acidic or bitter taste, are you having difficulty swallowing, or have the feeling of food still stuck in your throat? Write down anything that you experience, and also note the symptom giving you the most trouble. You might even make check boxes for some of your more frequent symptoms.
Include Foods Experienced During Heart Burn
A very important part of this journal is recording what foods you ate prior to experiencing heart burn. Write down anything that you ate or drank recently, and try to become familiar with foods that are common heartburn triggers. Don't forget to record the snacks or drinks that you have through out the day, such as coffee or soda. Recording what you eat is going to help immensely in developing a personalized plan to avoid heartburn triggers.
In addition to recording what you eat also right down your daily actions or habits. Did you eat large meal, lay down or exercise right after eating, did you sit all day? Go ahead and record anything that may affect your heartburn.
Write down any treatment that you used to relieve your heartburn. Record if it worked and if so for how long.
One final tip is to not forget your good days. If you go for an extended period of time without heartburn, record what you did differently, these good days are goal after all.
Good luck with your heartburn and for more information check us out on the web at About.com.