Natural Remedy: Use Baking Soda
You may find relief from infrequent heartburn with sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Simply mix ½ teaspoon with four ounces of water to help neutralize the acid. Note this contains sodium and should not be used if you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Check with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions drugs, are pregnant or have a chronic health condition before using baking soda to relieve heartburn.
Is It Just Heartburn Or Gerd
Frequent heartburn can be a major issue. If you experience heartburn two or more times a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease .
In this chronic condition, frequent exposure to stomach acid irritates and damages the esophagus. Over time, that can lead to problems such as difficulty swallowing. An estimated 40 percent of Americans report symptoms of GERD but the condition can significantly improve with lifestyle changes.
If youâve tried home remedies and lifestyle adjustments and still have frequent heartburn, consult with your family doctor or a gastroenterologist. There are multiple treatments that can help, including medications and minimally invasive surgery for acid reflux.
Follow A Low Carb Diet
Growing evidence suggests that low carb diets may relieve acid reflux symptoms.
In fact, some researchers suspect that undigested carbs may cause bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen, which could contribute to acid reflux (
Excessive alcohol intake can worsen acid reflux symptoms. If you experience heartburn, limiting your alcohol intake might help ease some of your discomfort.
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Get Rid Of Heartburn And Gerd Forever In Three Simple Steps
Note: this is the sixth and final article in a series about heartburn and GERD. If you havent done so already, youll want to read Part I, Part II, Part III, and Part IVa, and Part IVb before reading this article.
In this final article of the series, were going to discuss three steps to treating heartburn and GERD without drugs. These same three steps will also prevent these conditions from developing in the first place, and keep them from returning once theyre gone.
To review, heartburn and GERD are not caused by too much stomach acid. They are caused by too little stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines. Therefore successful treatment is based on restoring adequate stomach acid production and eliminating bacterial overgrowth.
This can be accomplished by following the three Rs of treating heartburn and GERD naturally:
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Types Of Otc Heartburn Medicines
There was a time when the most common OTC remedies for heartburn were either chalky antacids or medicinal effervescent tablets. Anything stronger was usually very expensive, available only by prescription, and reserved for those who were diagnosed with bleeding ulcers or other serious digestion-related conditions.
In the 1980s, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration started approving OTC versions of several of these medications. Here are the three most popular types available without prescription:
Acid neutralizers use chemical bases, such as calcium carbonate, to reduce the stomachs acidity level. When a base interacts with an acid, the pH level moves closer to neutral, thus reducing the effects of stomach acid on the esophagus. Antacids provide almost immediate relief because they interact directly with stomach acids, unlike the medicines described below, which must first enter the bloodstream. The soothing effects of antacids can be short-lived, however. Common antacids include Tums, Rolaids, and Alka-Seltzer.
Proton pump inhibitor
Histamine 2 receptor antagonist
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The Best Drinks For Heartburn
Chronic acid reflux is likely to inspire any number of lifestyle changes, and choice of beverages may be one of them. Many go-to drinks like coffee and sodas are likely to aggravate heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux, which in its chronic form is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If youre used to reaching for soft drinks, caffeinated beverages or certain fruit juices when youre thirsty, consider switching to alternatives that may actually relieve symptoms rather than trigger them.
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What Lifestyle Changes Relieve Heartburn
There are several ways to treat and avoid heartburn with lifestyle changes .
Lose weight and maintain your ideal weight. Excess weight increases the pressure on the stomach, increasing the chance of acid reflux into the esophagus.
Avoid foods that aggravate heartburn and replace them with healthy foods. Avoid foods that trigger heartburn . Consider keeping a food journal to alert you to foods that make your heartburn worse. Decrease the amount of food you eat.
Elevate the head of the bed: If you are experiencing heartburn at night, elevating the head of the bed will decrease reflux.
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Heartburn Medicine Factors To Consider
When shopping for a new heartburn medicine, there are a number of important factors to consider. Some consumers might only need short-term relief from occasionally eating trigger foods. Others might need a longer-term treatment for chronic acid reflux, GERD, or a sensitive stomach. It isnt unusual to experiment with different types of heartburn medicines in order to find the one that brings the most reliable relief. Here are some important factors to consider while looking:
Relief onset time: While traditional antacid brands offer relief in seconds or minutes, H2RAs and PPIs generally take hours or even days. This delay isnt necessarily a bad thing since these medicines provide longer-term relief. When comparing H2RAs and PPIs, keep in mind that H2RAs usually have a faster onset time, but the effects of PPIs last longer. If faster relief of an occasional bout of heartburn is the goal, try an H2RA first. For more frequent acid reflux, a PPI might be more appropriate.
Mechanism: Different types of heartburn medicine use different mechanisms to address the same basic problem. Antacids chemically neutralize stomach acids but dont affect acid production. H2RAs enter the bloodstream and block acid production. PPIs actually shut down acid production. Consumers should consider the severity and frequency of their heartburn symptoms and shop accordingly.
C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:
- Avoid alcohol
- If you smoke, stop immediately
- Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
- Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily
For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.
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Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly
When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.
Try Baking Soda Or Apple Cider Vinegar
Some items in your kitchen can help to get rid of heartburn. Baking soda, for example, helps neutralize the acidity in your stomach and can temporarily alleviate acid reflux .ii Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight fluid ounces of water and sip slowly for temporary relief .ii Another remedy that some people swear by for reducing acid reflux is a teaspoon to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar mixed into a glass of water. However, there is no clinical evidence that this works.iii
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How Much Do H2 Blockers Cost
H2 blockers are available in brand and generic versions. Generics tend to be cheaper than brands.
Generic appears to be more affordable than . The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of generic famotidine is about $7, which is 59% off the average retail price of $17.08. The lowest GoodRx price for the most common version of cimetidine is around $17.80, which is 67% off the average retail price of $54.48.
What To Do If Heartburn Is Severe Or Frequent
For mild, occasional heartburn, over-the-counter medications such as antacids and histamine blockers can help relieve symptoms. Always read the product label before taking an antacid or histamine blocker and never take a larger dose or take doses more frequently than directed.
If you’re experiencing heartburn frequently, consult your doctor before taking heartburn medications regularly since these drugs can interfere with many other medications and affect underlying health conditions you may have.
If you have severe heartburn, as well as if it persists or worsens after taking steps to relieve it, consult your doctor. In some cases, heartburn can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease , or possibly a side effect of a medication you’re taking.
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Side Effects Of Antacids
Side effects from antacids are rare. However, they can occur, even when you use them according to the directions.
What Is The Quickest Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Taking antacids is considered the quickest way to get rid of heartburn. These over-the-counter medications help neutralize stomach acid. They are one of the first recommended treatments. They may provide quick relief. However, antacid overuse can cause problems such as diarrhea or chronic kidney disease, especially if they contain aluminum and magnesium.
Other common ways to get rid of heartburn include
- H2 receptor blockers: These medications work to reduce the amount of acid that is made in the stomach. While they do not work as quickly as antacids, they provide longer relief for up to 12 hours. Examples of these include Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac and Axid AR. Although most people have no problems taking them, long-term use can cause vitamin B12 deficiency leading to an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Proton pump inhibitors: This class of medications block acid production. They also help to heal any damage caused to the lining of the esophagus. They are much stronger than the H2 receptor blockers and include Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Zegerid. Excessive use of these medications can cause diarrhea and nausea, vitamin B12 deficiency and an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Baclofen: This medication works to strengthen the muscular valve present at the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. However, it may cause nausea and fatigue in some people.
- Surgical procedures: In rare cases, these are required to help with severe heartburn symptoms.
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What Causes Heartburn Then
As Stratos explains, you have a lower esophageal sphincter . With the exception of swallowing or burping, it remains tightly shut to prevent the acidic contents of your stomach from splashing back up. When the LES opens, though, the acid has access to your more fragile esophagus, which can lead to some of the nasty acid reflux symptoms.
So, next question: Whats up in your body thats causing the LES to open when it shouldnt?
One of the main causes of GERD is increased intra-abdominal pressure, says Stratos, which can be triggered by:
- Conditions including SIBO , gut dysbiosis , or maldigested food.
- Eating large meals
- Poor stress management. Stress diverts blood flow away from the digestive tract and reduces the production of gastric enzymes that break down food properly, Stratos says.
- Certain clothing that will put physical pressure on your stomach, like high-waisted jeans, legging, or tight belts.
And that brings us back to stomach acid. It may seem counterintuitive, but low stomach acid is actually more likely to contribute to be at play here. Without enough of this helpful stomach acid to break down food, maldigested food gets into the GI tract and GI pathogens overgrow, perpetuating the problem, explains Stratos.
Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. Theres often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes its caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn When It Happens
As soon as you feel that tell-tale burn begin to well up, you can take action. The short-term goal is to optimize digestive function and restore stomach acid, says Stratos. In the moment, one option is to take bitter herbs, which will stimulate pancreatic enzymes and bile to break down food and, downstream, decrease the overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria that causes intra-abdominal pressure. Reduce your intake of carbs, which will remove the fuel source for the bugs. And while hydration is important, avoid trying to drink a lot of water , as that will dilute stomach acid .
If you are stressed, take a nice, long inhale and exhale in order to send blood flow back to your digestive system.
You may have also heard the recommendation to take apple cider vinegar to get rid of heartburn. While some people do find this useful, Stratos suggests diluting a tablespoon of ACV in water before knocking it back, as straight-up will be too harsh.
Buying Guide For Best Heartburn Medicines
Believe it or not, sometimes we do eat the whole thing. Occasional food indiscretions, especially with spicy or acidic dishes, can lead to a painful but temporary discomfort known as heartburn or acid reflux. For many years, the strongest cures for these ailments were only available by prescription, and often expensive. Fortunately, the FDA has approved a number of advanced heartburn-relief medicines for over-the-counter sales, including some of the best-known brands on the market. Now heartburn relief is available at your nearby drugstore, no prescription required.
If youre looking for a powerful pill-size ally in the fight against heartburn and acid reflux, we at BestReviews have created this shopping guide to walk you through the sometimes challenging process of finding exactly the right medication to meet your particular needs.
Heres what you need to know the next time your favourite pizza or spicy taco decides not to play fair.
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Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux
If youve experienced the occasional bout of heartburn, you know how uncomfortable the painful burning sensation can be. Maybe you want to go all-natural or you want to treat heartburn symptoms that don’t respond to medication. If this describes your situation, consider turning to diet and lifestyle modifications, as well as natural remedies to relieve your symptoms.
Heartburn may be caused by the backflow of your stomach contents into your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that transports food to your stomach. When you have backflow from your stomach, the medical condition is called acid reflux. Your pain may also be caused by a more severe or chronic form of reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease .
This article will look at several acid reflux remedies and lifestyle modifications that may help.
Verywell / Emily Roberts
Apple To Get Rid Of Heartburn
You can also go for apple in order to treat heartburn. Apple has antacids that helps prevent the formation of acids in the stomach. What you have to do is eat a whole apple to get rid of the problem of heartburn. Consume a whole apple before going to bed. This will prevent the problems of heartburn. If you do not like apple them you can also go for banana. Banana is also one of the most simplest remedies for heartburn treatment. It also helps with the problem of acid reflux. What you can do is eat a banana daily and you will be able to avoid the problem of heartburn naturally at home.
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Antacids For Quick Relief
H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors work better than antacids, but if you need something for very quick relief, antacids are an option. Antacids dont do anything to prevent GERD, but they can be used on demand for symptom relief. They are cheap and available over the counter.
Common antacids contain and/or magnesium , and provide relief of heartburn within 5 minutes. However, they only work temporarily for 30 to 60 minutes tops.
Side effects of antacids are mild and include constipation, nausea, and diarrhea. Dont overuse them: Some brands contain calcium, and too much calcium can lead to kidney stones.
If your symptoms continue for more than 2 weeks with an antacid, you may need a stronger medication.