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How To Relieve Heartburn And Indigestion

Get Rid Of Heartburn With These Natural Fixes

How To Relieve Heartburn

You feel it coming on, that tell-tale burning sensation in your chest. Sitting, standing, lying down its all uncomfortable, and you need a solution to your indigestion woes.

Heartburn happens when stomach acid creeps up into your esophagus, and its a problem many of us have dealt with. You might reach for over-the-counter antacids and medications, but all too often those dont seem to provide enough relief. Luckily, you probably already have several natural, home remedies for heartburn in your pantry. These can be even more effective than antacids.

Safety And Side Effects

While the risk of trying ACV for GERD is low, there are some potential side effects, especially if you have GERD. After all, apple cider vinegar is corrosive.

Drinking straight apple cider vinegar or large quantities of diluted ACV is never recommended. You should also not have APV when trying to heal an ulcer.

Even diluted ACV can cause:

  • Throat irritation, including the urge to cough or clear the throat
  • Tissue burning in the mouth, esophagus, or stomach
  • Tooth enamel erosion, which can promote cavities

You should talk to your healthcare provider about:

  • Medication interactions like diabetes medications, laxatives, diuretics, blood thinners, and heart disease medicines
  • The delay in your stomachs ability to empty, sometimes caused by ACV

Diet And Lifestyle Measures To Ward Off Heartburn

Taking steps to combat acid reflux can help minimize the use of potentially dangerous drugs.

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The childhood admonition to refrain from swimming for an hour after eating, ostensibly to avoid cramp, is not nearly long enough for me anymore. I now have to wait at least two hours before attempting any vigorous activity, or chores that involve bending over, to avoid the miserable sensation of acid reflux, commonly recognized by its frequent symptom of heartburn.

Ive also found that a favorite breakfast food peanut butter is especially troublesome, along with smoked fish, pickled herring or brewed coffee on an empty stomach.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux Naturally

A Few Lifestyle Changes Are Worth Trying Before Resorting To Drugs For Controlling Gastroesophageal Reflux

If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.

Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest.

Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.

What The Science Says

There isnt enough clinical research showing ACV is a good remedy for acid reflux or GERD, but one study notes that ACV may be useful when taken before meals with other dietary supplements, including magnesium citrate, probiotic supplementation, and deglycyrrhizinated licorice .

In the study, participants saw significant improvement in their symptoms. However, they also also made dietary and lifestyle changes. Therefore, its not clear how much of the change was influenced by the apple cider vinegar.

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How Do I Treat Heartburn During Pregnancy

When youre growing a human being, you dont have time for that yucky acid reflux. But your usual go-to methods for treating it may not be safe for your unborn baby.

Instead, here are some of the safest and best ways to get rid of heartburn when youre pregnant:

  • Dip into some yogurt. Its probiotics and soothing texture make yogurt a great option for extinguishing heartburn or at least dousing the flames a little.
  • Drink milk with honey. According to the American Pregnancy Association, a tablespoon of honey mixed in a glass of warm milk may be just what you need to neutralize heartburn-causing acid.
  • Snack on almonds. Munching on a handful of almonds may provide heartburn relief since these nuts have a lower acidity level than others.
  • Eat pineapple or papaya. For some women, the digestive enzymes in pineapple and papaya have helped ease symptoms. Eating these fruits after your meals can aid digestion and reduce your chances of heartburn.
  • Try a little ginger. You probably knew ginger was a good remedy for an upset stomach. Well, that makes it a helpful candidate for fighting off heartburn, too. Among gingers many benefits, it can reduce inflammation and prevent stomach acid from traveling up the esophagus.
  • Chew sugar-free gum. Another effective method for taming the burn is to chew some sugar-free gum. One study found that chewing sugar-free gum for 30 minutes after a meal can reduce acid reflux.
  • Can Anxiety Cause Indigestion

    Stress and anxiety can affect the body and can aggravate symptoms of indigestion. The physiological stress due to anxiety and stress also affect indigestion. Because indigestion can be caused by anxiety, lifestyle and diet, or another medical condition, it may be difficult to know what is causing it.

    Contact a doctor to find out if anxiety is causing your indigestion, and to help you manage your anxiety if it is aggravating indigestion symptoms.

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    Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

    An analysis of the medical literature led by Dr. Jesper Lagergren of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found that GERD affected about 22 percent of people who were classified as obese, compared with about 14 percent of those who were not obese. After you eat, a muscular sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus opens to let food enter the stomach, and then closes to keep it from reversing direction. An oversized abdomen can put excess pressure on this sphincter and may prevent it from closing when it should, allowing contents from the acidic stomach to leach into the esophagus.

    Can Acid Reflux Cause Headaches And Dizziness

    Causes and How to Relieve Frequent Heartburn!

    Weve already covered the link between GERD and headaches, but did you know that dizziness can occur with both, too? Migraines or severe headaches have been linked to dizziness for a long time, but there is new evidence that GERD can contribute to this problem.

    Acid reflux and GERD occur when stomach acid bubbles up from the opening between the stomach and the esophagus. When the acid reaches the esophagus, it causes irritation or a burning sensation. In some cases, this backflow of stomach acids can even reach the eustachian tubes in your throat.

    They connect to your inner ear. The ear plays a large role in balance, and disruptions to the pressure in your ear especially with stomach acid can cause dizziness.

    GERD and acid reflux have also been linked to shortness of breath because of irritation and swelling in the airway. Shortness of breath, or dyspnea, is a major contributor to dizziness and loss of consciousness.

    link between gut health sometimes called your gut microbiota and your overall health. Ideally, every system in the body is balanced. When one is not, there can be a cascade of effects in areas that you wouldnt think are linked.

    When you suffer from recurring acid reflux, sleeping can be difficult because acid moves up your throat easier when you are lying down. Headache pain and acid reflux can affect your sleep, and can lead to symptoms of chronic fatigue.

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    The Real Cause Of Gerd

    So if too much acid isnt the driving force behind heartburn, what is? The real cause of GERD is an increase in intra-abdominal pressure .

    Heres how it normally works. A bundle of muscles at the end of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter , keeps your stomach contents from traveling up into your esophagus as acid reflux. Aside from swallowing and burping, the LES remains closed. However, if youre experiencing changes in your IAP, the sphincter relaxes and opens at inappropriate times. That allows GERD to become a problem.

    Which Chewing Gum Should You Choose

    If you like chewing gum, its best to choose a sugar-free gum made with xylitol.

    The main exception to this rule is for people with IBS. Sugar-free gum contains FODMAPs, which can cause digestive problems in people with IBS.

    Those who cant tolerate FODMAPs should choose a gum sweetened with a low calorie sweetener such as stevia.

    Make sure to read the ingredient list on your gum to confirm that it doesnt contain any ingredients you have an intolerance to. Check in with a dentist or dietitian for help deciding which type of gum is best for you.

    Recommended Reading: What Foods Help Ease Heartburn

    How Long Does Indigestion Last

    Because indigestion is a symptom and not a cause, the outlook depends upon resolving the underlying cause.

    If indigestion is caused by lifestyle habits, the prognosis is good. Prevention of the lifestyle cause can often resolve the symptoms and cure your indigestion.

    If indigestion is caused by medications, talk to your health-care professional about changing medications to ones that do not cause indigestion. Never stop taking a medication without the advice of your doctor.

    If indigestion is caused by a disease or medical condition, the prognosis is varied and dependent upon the resolution of that condition. Some conditions such as ulcers, GERD, and gastritis respond readily to medications. Conditions such as food poisoning or pregnancy are self-limited and symptoms should decrease over time. Hernias and gallstones, for example, usually require surgery, and the associated indigestion should resolve post-operatively.

    Other conditions are difficult to treat or do not respond well to medication such as pancreatitis, gastroparesis, depression, and cancer. Treatment of these conditions may involve several methods including lifestyle changes, medications, specialist care and/or surgery.

    What Foods And Drinks Cause Heartburn

    • Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter.
    • Coffee and orange or other acidic juices are some of the beverages that can worse or trigger heartburn.
    • Fatty foods, fried foods, and some acidic foods as well as spicy foods can cause heartburn.
    • Additional foods that make heartburn worse.

    Every person reacts somewhat differently to specific food groups. To track what foods worsen your symptoms, keep a food journal. In this journal, you should keep track of what you eat, the time you ate, any activity that worsened or made the heartburn better, and indicate which days you have heartburn symptoms. Over time, you will be able to correlate the offending foods with heartburn events. Print this and take this with you to your next doctor’s appointment to discuss possible causes of heartburn you may be experiencing.

    Heartburn Journal – Week of________________

    Pregnancy tends to aggravate heartburn because the lower esophageal sphincter is weakened during pregnancy. This weakened resolves after delivery of the baby. Pregnancy also distorts the organs in the abdomen and the increased abdominal pressure from the growing fetus causes heartburn. These changes promote the reflux of acid and heartburn.

    Approximately 17% to 45% of women who become pregnant will suffer from heartburn.

    Management of heartburn during pregnancy consists of many of the same home remedies and lifestyle changes for a person with heartburn who is not pregnant .

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    Connection Between Acid Reflux And Headaches

    Heartburn, or acid reflux, is a common problem. More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and more than 15 million people feel it daily. If you have regular heartburn that doesnt go away, or continues in spite of treatment with acid reflux remedies, you could have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease.

    The roughly one in five adults in America who have GERD may brush the condition off as simple indigestion, but it can develop into more serious issues. It may also be the cause of other problems you are having, like headaches.

    Find out how GERD is linked to headaches, and what you can do to treat them.

    When Should I Call The Doctor

    Because indigestion can be a sign of a more serious health problem, let your doctor know if you have any of the following symptoms:

    • Vomiting or blood in your vomit. It may look like coffee grounds.
    • Weight loss you canât explain
    • Loss of appetite
    • Stools that are bloody, black, or tarry
    • Severe pain in your upper-right belly
    • Pain in the upper- or lower-right parts of your belly
    • Feeling uncomfortable even if you havenât eaten

    A heart attack can cause symptoms that feel like indigestion. Get medical help right away if you have shortness of breath, sweating, or pain that spreads along your jaw, neck, or arm.

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    How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy

    They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.

    Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.

    Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.

    While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:

    How To Deal With Anxiety And Heartburn

    How to Treat Acid Reflux and Heartburn
    • Heartburn, and GERD , have several links with anxiety.
    • Some people already have GERD that gets worse when they have anxiety.
    • Symptoms of GERD can also trigger further anxiety, especially in those with panic attacks.
    • There are at least 4 links between anxiety and heartburn.
    • Treating heartburn independently can be effective, although anxiety treatment should still be prioritized.

    Also Check: What Is The Main Cause Of Heartburn

    What Medications Do I Take To Manage The Symptoms Of Gerd

    Many over-the-counter and prescription medications relieve GERD. Most of OTC drugs come in prescription strength too. Your provider will give you a prescription for these stronger drugs if youre not getting relief from the OTC formulas.

    The most common GERD medications:

    • Antacids include Tums®, Rolaids®, Mylanta®, Riopan® and Maalox®.
    • H-2 receptor blockers include Tagamet®, Pepcid AC®, Axid AR® and Zantac®.
    • Proton pump inhibitors include Prevacid®, Prilosec®, Zegerid®, Nexium®, Protonix®, AcipHex® and Dexilant®.
    • Baclofen is a prescription drug used to reduce the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter which allows acid backwash.

    Can Drinking Milk Help My Heartburn

    You may have heard that drinking a glass of milk can relieve heartburn. While it’s true that milk can temporarily buffer stomach acid, nutrients in milk, particularly fat, may stimulate the stomach to produce more acid.

    Even though milk might not be a great heartburn remedy, however, it’s a rich source of bone-building calcium. Try fat-free skim milk and don’t overdo it. Drink no more than 8 ounces of skim milk at a time — as a snack in between meals. Overfilling the stomach may increase heartburn.

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    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.

    How To Cure Gerd Without Medication

    Up to 40 percent of U.S. adults experience symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease once a month, and approximately 10 percent of the adult population takes a proton pump inhibitor for this condition. PPIs come with an ever-growing list of side effects and are difficult to wean from. Worse still, PPIs merely suppress symptoms while doing nothing to treat the underlying gut problems.

    Instead of opting for PPIs, GERD can be reversed by managing your guts health. This article will walk through how to replenish stomach acid and other digestive aids and how to restore the balance of good and bad GI bacteria through the Paleo diet, lifestyle changes, and possibly supplements. Keep reading to learn how to cure GERD without medication.

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