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How To Stop Heartburn Without Tums

Mechanism Of Action Of Antacids

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In our stomach, the gastric juice contains acid which helps in digesting food.

The pH of the acid is 1-2 which is very low .

Normally, the stomach lining is made of specialized cells which secrete mucous along with the gastric acid the mucous protects the gastric lining and cells beneath the mucous from damage caused by the acids.

Due to poor diet, lack of exercise, obesity, indigestion and several other factors including some illnesses, the cells secrete more acid than the stomach can handle, which causes the mucous layer to erode.

This exposes the cells beneath the protective layer and makes them prone to damage. The damage, in turn, excites the nerves in the stomach which induces pain.

Not just that, excessive acid exposure causes severe ulceration and inflammation in the stomach, exacerbating the effects of acidity.

The acidity of stomach can be momentarily neutralized by antacids which are weakly basic . In the reaction of acid and base, the final product formed is salt and water which increases the overall pH of the stomach from acidic to neutral .

This reduces the tendency of the acid to damage the tissues in the stomach, thus reducing pain and any other harmful effects that the acid could cause.

Only weak bases are used as antacids and not strong bases because they neutralize too much acid and become fatal.

Antacids are usually taken to treat occasional heartburns and not the frequent ones because they can only neutralize acids for a short period.

How To Use Apple Cider Vinegar To Treat Acid Reflux

You may try using apple cider vinegar to relieve acid reflux symptoms, but theres no guarantee itll work. Its thought this home remedy helps balance your stomach pH by neutralizing stomach acid.

Its generally accepted as safe to consume a small amount of apple cider vinegar. Dilute it with water. This should relieve any burning sensation caused by the acid in the vinegar.

Diluting it may also help prevent the acid from damaging the enamel on your teeth. To further avoid this, drink it through a straw, if possible.

Many people find the taste of apple cider vinegar to be sharp or sour. You may consider adding honey to the solution to taste.

  • Dont lie down after eating.
  • Elevate the head of your bed several inches.

Sometimes conventional treatments arent enough. Serious complications from acid reflux can include esophageal scarring or ulcers.

To avoid these complications, your doctor may recommend a surgery called fundoplication. In this procedure, the upper part of your stomach is wrapped around the lower esophagus. This strengthens the esophageal sphincter to prevent reflux.

Although anecdotal evidence suggests apple cider vinegar may be a useful remedy, there isnt a firm medical basis for this treatment. If you do explore this option, remember to:

  • Consume apple cider vinegar in small quantities.
  • Dilute the vinegar with water.
  • Speak with your doctor if your symptoms dont improve or worsen with use.

Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Really Bad Heartburn

How To Cure Heartburn Four Quick Fixes And Long

How to cure heartburn you ask? Well, theres no easy answer to that question.

If youve been struggling with acid reflux for any length of time, then you know there isnt a quick fix to this disease as a whole. GERD has many symptoms, one of which is heartburn. At the crux of this disease is the lower oesophageal sphincter . Located at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the LES can weaken and no longer function as an effective barrier, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to back-flow up into the oesophagus. When this happens, heartburn often follows. This weakening of the LES is progressive, so the more often you reflux, the more frequent the episodes become.

Learn more: GERD explained: The role of the LES

Medications can help relieve acid reflux symptoms by making the contents of the stomach less acidic however, they dont stop reflux from happening. Thats why managing GERD requires commitment and diligence: Watching what and how you eat and making lifestyle choices aimed at minimizing reflux can reduce your symptoms AND help stop the progression of the condition.

But sometimes, despite your best efforts to manage your GERD, heartburn strikes and you need relief . So though we cant provide a definite answer to how to cure heartburn? We can offer four quick fixes to help you cool the burn.

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Treating Heartburn And Gerd

Heartburn is a feeling of burning pain in your lower chest, behind the breastbone. It comes from acid backing up from your stomach to your throat. You may have seen ads for heartburn drugs, such as Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are called PPIs . They keep the stomach from making too much acid. They have been shown to heal irritation of the tube between the throat and the stomach .

In most cases, you dont need a PPI for heartburn. You can get relief from a less powerful drug. And when you do need a PPI, you should take the lowest dose for as short a time as possible. Heres why:

Change Your Eating And Drinking Habits

14 Remedies for Heartburn Relief: Tips and Tricks To ...

You may be able to control your indigestion with changes to your eating habits.

It can help to eat small meals often, rather than larger meals 3 times a day, and to not eat within 3 hours of going to bed at night.

Cutting down on drinks containing caffeine, and foods that are rich, spicy or fatty, can also ease symptoms.

Recommended Reading: Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally

Elevate Your Upper Body

Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body.

According to the Mayo Clinic, lifting your head with extra pillows isnt usually enough. Instead, the goal is to elevate your body from the waist up.

If you have an adjustable bed, set it at a suitable angle to provide relief. If your bed isnt adjustable, you can change the angle of your sleeping surface by using a wedge pillow.

Why Do We Get Immediate Relief From Antacids

I agree, symptoms of heartburn and GERD are caused by stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus. Whats crucial to understand is that any amount of acid in the esophagus is going to cause problems. Thats because the delicate lining of the esophagus isnt protected against acid like the stomach lining is. You dont have to have excess acid in your stomach to have heartburn.

Also, symptom relief doesnt imply that the underlying cause of the problem has been addressed.

Stomach acidity may not be the actual reason for your heartburn. Instead, the prevailing scientific theory is that GERD is caused by a dysfunction of the muscular valve that separates the lower end of the esophagus and the stomach. This is known as the lower esophageal valve, or LES. The LES normally opens wide to permit swallowed food and liquids to move down easily into the stomach. If LES is working efficiently, stomach acid will not enter your esophagus. If the LES is malfunctioning, as it is in GERD, acid from the stomach moves up back into the esophagus and damages its delicate lining. It doesnt matter how much acid there is in the stomach. Even a small amount can cause serious damage. Unlike the stomach, the lining of the esophagus has no protection against acid.

Recommended Reading: Why Am I Getting So Much Heartburn Lately

Maintain A Healthy Weight

If you are overweight, dropping a few pounds can help resolve heartburn symptoms not least because you are less likely to eat high-fat foods on a diet. Losing as little as 2.5 pounds can help reduce heartburn symptoms, according to David A. Johnson, MD, Professor of Medicine and Chief of Gastroenterology at Eastern Virginia School of Medicine.7

A Maintain A Healthy Body Weight

Instantly Stop Pregnancy Heartburn and Indigestion (WITHOUT TAKING ANYTHING!)

Do you know your body mass index ? If not, start now by entering your weight and height into a BMI calculator to use the NIH calculator and find your current BMI.

A healthy BMI is between 19 and 25, but anyone with a compromised LES should not be at the high end of normal. We recommend a BMI of 24 or less. Why is this important? We wrote a cornerstone article titled How is your excess weight destroying your LES , which we highly recommend you read if you have a BMI greater than 24.

This excess weight does two things that will increase your GERD symptoms. First, it distends the stomach, pulling down on the LES and stretching it out. Over a long-term, this will reduce the effectiveness of the LES to act as an effective barrier between the stomach and the oesophagus.

Second, it puts added pressure on the diaphragm, potentially pushing stomach content into the esophagus. Many research studies have proven that a reduction in BMI will reduce GERD symptoms. In an NIH published paper researchers concluded the following:

In summary, our findings suggest that, beyond being overweight or obese, the risk of GERD symptoms rises progressively with increasing BMI, even among normal weight individuals. This appears true for all degrees of symptom severity and duration, as well as for nocturnal symptoms. Notably, weight loss was associated with a decreased risk of symptoms.

Also Check: Relieve Heartburn With Baking Soda

Tips & Tricks For Avoiding Heartburn

  • Stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime to give your stomach time to empty before you lie down to sleep.
  • Eat slowly and take smaller bites.
  • Follow a diet and exercise program to shed extra pounds, as excess abdominal fat can force stomach acids up into the esophagus and make heartburn worse.
  • Quit smoking, as smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps stomach acids out of your esophagus.
  • Ditch those tight jeans, since they can put added pressure on the abdomen.
  • Avoid specific foods that trigger your heartburn

What Are You Going To Do To Cure Your Heartburn

Are you simply going to treat the heartburn with short-term remedies or are you going to attack the real underlying problem that is driving your symptoms? I suspect that the larger long-term recommendations are a bit intimidating and you are not sure if you can make that type of commitment. You are not alone.

Here is an approach that may help you ease into building your path to relief and good health:

  • Take a longer-term view of your problem. Attack the symptoms with short-term solutions while designing a longer-term approach.
  • Read up on each of the longer term recommendations of a healthy BMI, GERD-friendly diet, and lifestyle changes. Become an expert.
  • Select one of those three long-term recommendations to work on first. You cant make all those changes at the same time. We suggest you first make the lifestyle changes, then work on your BMI, and finally change our diet.
  • Set a reasonable timeframe to make this program work for you.
  • Work with a GERD expert, they will be a valuable partner as you design your plan.
  • We know you can do this because so many others before you have succeeded. Dont delay, this is your disease and its your quality of life that is at risk. You can do this!

    This article is from Reflux MD

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    Which Proton Pump Inhibitor Is The Best

    A meta-analysis of 41 studies compared a number of PPIs head to head, including esomeprazole, omeprazole, pantoprazole, and lansoprazole. All of the studies, except for two that compared esomeprazole and omeprazole, found that there were no differences among the PPIs in the treatment of GERD.

    Two of the studies suggested esomeprazole was better than omeprazole, but both studies used higher dosages of esomeprazole compared with omeprazole meaning it was not a true comparison of effectiveness.

    What Are Prescription Medications For Heartburn

    How to Soothe Heartburn Naturally Without the Use of Antacids

    If over-the-counter antacids and acid blockers do not relieve your heartburn, your healthcare provider may give you a prescription for other medicines, such as:

    • Prescription-strength acid blockers: In prescription-strength , Zantac®, Tagamet®, Pepcid® and Axid® can generally relieve heartburn and treat GERD.
    • Proton pump inhibitors: These are drugs that block acid production more effectively. Proton pump inhibitors include Aciphex®, Nexium®, Prevacid®, Prilosec® and Protonix®.

    There are some proton pump inhibitors that can be purchased over-the-counter. Talk to your healthcare provider about these medications and what is best for you.

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    How To Soothe Heartburn Naturally Without The Use Of Antacids

    Millions of Canadians suffer from heartburn at least once a month, not to mention the hundreds of millions of dollars they spend each year on antacids to provide relief from this ailment.

    The chief symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation in the lower chest, just below or behind the breast bone, along with a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth.

    The problem lies with the faulty functioning of the valve that controls the flow of food from the esophagus to the stomach. When this valve is not functioning properly or is weakened, or too much pressure is placed on it, acid backs up from the stomach to the esophagus, giving rise to a burning sensation.

    The good news is that heartburn is highly preventable by a modification of lifestyle and the cultivation of good habits.

    The Underestimated Heartburn Solution:

    When it comes to finding a solution to heartburn, spicy foods may be the last thing that comes to mindâjust ask any pregnant woman! However, the fact is that many people have actually used cayenne to put an end to their heartburn, since, like apple cider vinegar and honey, it actually helps the body to increase its production of hydrochloric acid. Cayenne can be taken in a range of formsâtincture, capsules, powder form or fresh. It can be taken with water, or added to meals. If taking cayenne just with water, though, ensure you consume some food beforehand, to provide a buffer between it and your stomach and to minimise the burning sensation felt. If you are not used to taking it, begin with small amounts and work your way up.

    Also Check: What Is Heartburn And Acid Reflux

    Adjust Your Sleep Position

    Elevating your head and chest higher than your feet as you sleep can help prevent and ease acid reflux and heartburn. You can do this using a foam wedge placed under the mattress or by raising bedposts using wood blocks. Beware of piling pillows, as this usually isn’t effective and may even make your symptoms worse. Additionally, sleeping on your left side is thought to aid digestion and may work to limit stomach acid reflux.

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

    How to get rid of HEARTBURN (5 surprises)

    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.

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    Adopt New Bedroom Habits

    Do you have trouble sleeping at night due to heartburn? If so, try sleeping on your left side this position seems to help. Experts also recommend keeping your upper body elevated to make it harder for acids to flow up the esophagus. Raise the head of your bed or use a thick wedge-shaped body pillow when sleeping to keep heartburn at bay.7

    References

  • Definition & Facts for GER & GERD. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. . Accessed 09/01/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • Baking Soda for Heartburn. Gastrointestinal Society 2019. . Accessed 09/01/2019. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • Does apple cider vinegar help with acid reflux? Medical News Today. . Accessed 10/11/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • Remedies: Chewing Gum for Heartburn. The New York Times. . Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • What to drink if you have acid reflux. Medical News Today. . Accessed 10/14/19. Referenced text is highlighted in source PDF.
  • * Onset of acid neutralization does not imply the onset of symptom relief.

    What Causes Heartburn And What Does It Feel Like Exactly

    Stomach acid is needed to break down the food you eat, something your stomach has no trouble handling. Your esophagus, on the other hand, is irritated by it.

    To keep stomach acid in your stomach and out of your esophagus, a circular ring of muscle at the tube’s base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. When this valve is relaxed, food you’ve consumed is allowed to pass through to your stomach. When contracted, this valve prevents this food and acid from backing up into your esophagus.

    If this valve relaxes abnormally and stomach acid is allowed to travel back into your esophagus, acid reflux occurs. Heartburn is the most well-known and obvious symptom.

    It can feel differently depending on its severity, but heartburn symptoms include:

    • A burning sensation in your chest, behind your breastbone
    • Burning pain that rises up toward your throat
    • Having a bitter or sour taste in your mouth

    Acid reflux and heartburn are sometimes caused by an underlying medical condition, or even a medication you’re taking in some cases. But, more often than not, they’re triggered by things like your diet and lifestyle choices making the occasional bout of heartburn fairly common.

    Common triggers of heartburn include:

    • Overeating or eating too quickly
    • Lying down too soon after eating
    • Consuming certain foods, including caffeine, carbonated beverages, alcohol, peppermint, citrus, tomato-based products, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
    • Being overweight
    • Stress and anxiety

    Recommended Reading: Chest Pain That Feels Like Heartburn

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