The only real way to get longer term relief from your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms is to understand the causes of your problem and then make decisions that will work on the real problem and not just on symptoms.Heartburn is a sign that your digestive system is not working properly. Your digestive system should be able to process food, extract nutrients and pass any waste out of your body but when something is going wrong you will suffer a variety of digestive disorders which may include…· Heartburn· Acid indigestion· Stomach pain· Flatulence and Belching· ConstipationUnfortunately reaching for antacids or laxative is not a good long term solution. All these medicines do is treat the symptoms of your condition which may bring short term relief but you are likely to get recurring problemsInstead think about the causes of your problem. The most common causes for heartburn are1. A diet low in fibre2. Too much oily and high fat fast food3. Over eating4. Poor eating habitsLets take these one at a time1. If your diet is low in fibre your digestive system becomes sluggish, food spends too long in your stomach and in your intestine. You should really aim for between 24g and 30g of fibre a day, but there is no need to measure just ensure you are eating some of the following high fibre foods with each meal; oats, wholegrain cereal, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables2. Oily foods or foods that contain high levels of fat (particularly animal fats) are very hard to digest. Some meats will remain in your gut for several weeks. This makes your stomach produce more acid to break the foods down which leads to you suffering heartburn. Try to see fast foods as an occasional treat rather than as a regular part of your diet.3. We all over indulge occasionally. Eating large meals is part of the way we socialise and celebrate. The problem is that if you overfill your stomach you are stopping it doing its job properly. The stomach needs a little space so that the food can mix with gastric juices and begin to break down. If your stomach is really full acid can be forced out and into your esophagus where it causes pain and damage.4. Hands up if you regularly eat on the go, or wolf down a sandwich while working at your desk. The fast pace of modern life means we often do not take time for food. This means food is not properly chewed and eating while stressed will create a very acidic environment in your stomach. Try to take time for your food, eat slowly and take a gentle stroll after your meal. If your boss complains point out that you will probably be more productive in the afternoon if you take a proper break.By making these very simple changes to your lifestyle you are treating the heartburn problem at its root. Persist and you may never have to take over the counter remedies again.