Avoid Your Trigger Foods
You may have already discovered that certain foods can trigger your heartburn and reflux symptoms. Try keeping a food and symptom diary to help you identify foods that worsen your reflux, and steer clear of them. Here are some common food triggers:
- Coffee and tea
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
Some people find that sweets and high-glycemic index foods and meals that are too hot may trigger heartburn.
The Problem With Acid Reflux Medications
Due to the uncomfortableand in some cases, unbearablesymptoms, many people turn to over-the-counter and prescription medications for quick heartburn relief. The most common types of medications used are H2 blockers and proton-pump inhibitors , which both suppress stomach acid production really effectively. But as with any drug, there can be side effects. The short-term effects of these drugs may include constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. All uncomfortable but not particularly worrisome or serious.
Long-term use of H2 blockers and PPIs, however, can have more serious consequences. Stomach acid plays a crucial role in breaking down food for proper digestion and absorption, so continual suppression of the acid may lead to nutrient deficiencies. Additionally, PPIs may increase blood levels of the hormone gastrin, which can leach calcium from the bones. This combination can increase the risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis. The acidity of the stomach also works to kill bacteria that can cause illnesses. So, chronically low stomach acid levels can leave you at risk for infections. Additionally, the FDA recently put a warning on a commonly used H2 blocker, ranitidine, because it contains a cancer causing chemical called NDMA.
A Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
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.
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Stop Eating At Least Two To Three Hours Before Bed
You want to give yourself time to digest before heading to bed. This allows the stomach to empty before you lie down.Your body depends in part on gravity to help move food through your digestive tract, says Leila Kia, M.D., a gastroenterologist at Northwestern Medicine’s Digestive Health Center in Chicago. Avoid eating within three hours of hitting the hay, since lying down can allow stomach acid to travel up into the esophagus more easily. Kia also recommends either elevating your upper body with an under-the-mattress wedge or using 6-inch risers to lift the head of your bed. Need to eat closer to bedtime? Keep your meal modest, says Kia, as large meals take longer to digest and increase pressure in the stomach that can drive acid upward.You want to give yourself time to digest before heading to bed. This allows the stomach to empty before you lie down.
Eat A Mediterranean Diet
Eating a more plant-based, Mediterranean-style diet may help ease heartburn symptoms as much as medication, according to new research. Researchers at New York Medical College reviewed two years of patient charts and found that those who were instructed to follow a plant-forward Mediterranean diet had the same reduction in acid reflux symptoms as those who were prescribed proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec. Lead study author Craig Zalvan, M.D., FACS, explains that, unlike animal proteins, plant-based protein is not easily broken down in the stomach often being absorbed in the intestinesand thus reduces the amount of acid that’s produced during digestion. Plus, the Mediterranean diet has ample other health benefits, including for your heart, weight and brain health. Not to mention, it’s delicious delicious.
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Use Baking Soda For Heartburn
Treating heartburn with baking soda might just be a lifesaving trick as this home remedy is almost in everyones cupboard You might not even know its there! The power of baking soda comes from its ability to neutralize the stomach acid and thus calm down your burning food pipe.When the burn strikes, simply dissolve a little bit of baking soda in a glass of water and make sure you drink it slowly. And before you run to the kitchen and see whether theres any left, just wait a second. Do not use baking powder or anything similar, only baking soda! And if youre on a low sodium diet, you might want to consult a medical professional before using baking soda for heartburn.
Sleep On Your Left Side
If youre prone to nighttime acid reflux, you may want to rethink your sleep position. Many doctors suggest sleeping on an incline, which , may help keep stomach contents in the stomach. But the side you sleep on may also play a role.
Theres evidence you could have less acid reflux while sleeping on your left side, says Dr. Khan.
In fact, many of Dr. Khan’s patients who made the switch to sleeping on their left sides after previously sleeping mainly on their backs or right sides have seen a noticeable improvement in their heartburn symptoms, he says. Some research seems to back up the idea that sleeping on your right side can make heartburn symptoms worse: In a 2008 review of GERD studies published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers found that sleeping on the right side seemed to aggravate symptoms.
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And Those Carbonated Drinks Might Also Make Things Worse
No, we dont want to sound like an old cassette, telling you to avoid fizzy drinks like cola and soda in each article, but theres simply no denying that these things will do you more harm than good. Experts have demonstrated various times that when drinking carbonated water, colas and sodas, the lower esophageal sphincter is temporarily weakened, especially when compared to drinking plain water or fresh juice.
Mix Baking Soda With Water
You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.
help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
Recommended Reading: What Foods And Drinks Cause Heartburn
Ginger Can Help Heartburn
If your mother gave you flat ginger ale when you had an upset stomach as a kid, it may have seemed like a treat but there was a good reason behind it. Ginger has long been known to help calm stomach troubles, including stomach bloating and acid reflux. Carbonation and added sugar aggravate the stomach though, so youre better off drinking ginger tea.
Get Rid Of Heartburn With These Natural Fixes
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.
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Also Rethink That Second Cup Of Coffee
OK, well admit it. There were many studies examining the effect of coffee and, more specifically, caffeine on acid reflux symptoms like heartburn, but their results were not conclusive. While some findings indicate that caffeine as well as other compounds in one of the worlds most popular drinks may actually weaken the lower esophageal sphincter and thus worsen your heartburn issues, some studies dont seem to be sufficient evidence for such connections.
So, where does this leave us? Experts say that whether or not coffee has influence on acid reflux depends on every individual. This simply means that if you are no stranger to heartburn, you might want to test whether caffeine makes a painful day even worse or not. Some suggest that decaffeinated coffee can make all the difference, but well leave this for you to test out.
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.vii
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Apple Cider Vinegar For Heartburn
It seems counterintuitive that something acidic like vinegar could help treat heartburn, but heres a twist: Sometimes, the painful sensation occurs if your stomach doesnt have enough acid to help digest the food, says Brenda Rea, M.D., R.D., a professor of medicine at Loma Linda University in California. The longer food sits in your stomach before being broken down, the greater the risk that it will cause indigestion and heartburn. A teaspoon of diluted unprocessed apple cider may provide your stomach with the acid it needs to digest the food. Its worth noting that there is no scientific proof that the vinegar trick works , and it could make your heartburn worse, so proceed with caution.
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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Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux
If youve experienced the occasional bout of heartburn, you know how uncomfortable the painful burning sensation can be. Whether it’s a desire to go all-natural or to address heartburn symptoms that don’t respond to medication, some people turn to diet and lifestyle modifications and natural remedies to relieve symptoms.
The pain may be caused by the backflow of your stomach contents into your esophagus , known as acid reflux. Or, it may be caused by a more severe or chronic form of reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease .
Verywell / Emily Roberts
Here’s a look at several remedies and lifestyle modifications that may help.
How To Get Rid Of Heartburn While Pregnant
Here are some easy tips you can try at home to get rid of heartburn and indigestion:
Well, the nights are difficult for new mums. From the acid flux sensation to the tiredness of the day, nights are no longer rest time.
So, we gathered some changes you could incorporate into your routine.
Right below, we explore how to get rid of acid reflux while pregnant.
First on the list is the best way to get rid of heartburn at night while pregnant.
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Baking Soda With Water
This is also one of the most commonly used combination. This combination of baking soda with water has been used to treat heartburn for many decades. The reality about this specific combination is that baking soda when combined in water becomes an alkaline solution. So, this alkaline solution can easily neutralize the acid of the stomach and therefore it will lead to less burning sensation of heartburn. Apart from this, it is also beneficial in relieving indigestion. Further, this is entirely safe to use. When uses in limited quantity, it has no side effects.
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.vii
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Less Alcohol = Natural Heartburn Relief
Alcohol increases the amount of acid in your stomach, additionally relaxes your lower esophageal sphincter as well as makes it harder for your food pipe to clear itself of unwanted acid. This is not only bad news for those already familiar with reflux issues as studies suggest that even moderate amounts of alcohol can lead to the same symptoms in otherwise healthy individuals.
If you want to avoid the burn, simply skip that second beer or a glass of wine and enjoy some fresh water. Your stomach will thank you later.
Is Heartburn The Same As Acid Reflux
While people often use the terms heartburn and acid reflux interchangeably, they have two different meanings.
Acid reflux is a medical condition, whereas heartburn is merely a symptom of acid reflux. Therefore if you have heartburn, you are experiencing acid reflux.
Heartburn is often mild and infrequent, caused by a specific trigger. Acid reflux, on the other hand, is a chronic condition that occurs more frequently acid reflux that occurs more than twice weeklyis known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease , the most severe a form of heartburn.
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How To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux Before It Starts
If you suffer from acid reflux, you likely know there are many modifiable lifestyle factors that can help you manage and prevent the uncomfortable symptoms. For starters, maintaining a healthy weight and not smoking can greatly decrease your risk of acid reflux and improve overall health. There are also a number of other strategies that may help prevent the onset of acid reflux: