Raise The Head Of Your Bed
Try elevating the head of your bed about 4 to 6 inches off the ground to prevent heartburn and reflux. When the upper body is elevated, gravity makes it less likely for stomach contents to come back up into the esophagus. Its important to note that you must actually raise the bed itself, not just your head. Propping yourself up with extra pillows puts your body into a bent position, which can increase pressure on your abdomen and aggravate heartburn and reflux symptoms.
You can raise your bed by placing 4- to 6-inch wood blocks securely under the two bedposts at the head of your bed. These blocks can also be inserted between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up. You may be able to find elevating blocks in medical supply stores and some drugstores.
Sleeping on a special wedge-shaped pillow is another effective approach. A wedge pillow slightly elevates the head, shoulders, and torso to prevent reflux and heartburn. You can use a wedge pillow while sleeping on your side or on your back without causing any tension in the head or neck. Most pillows on the market are elevated between 30 to 45 degrees, or 6 to 8 inches at the top.
Top 15 Heartburn Remedies
Just because heartburn is common doesnt mean you have to suffer with it. Left untreated, frequent acid reflux can develop into more serious health problems. Here are the top 15 heartburn remedies…
Despite humorous commercials touting heartburn remedies with funny words like plop-plop and fizz-fizz, heartburn is no joke. More than 60 million Americans suffer from it at least occasionally, according to the American College of Gastroenterology.Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, occurs when acidic stomach juices flow backward into the esophagus, irritating the esophageal lining. The resulting pain can be uncomfortable, annoying or excruciating. It can hurt as much as a heart attack, says Paige Hastings, a certified nurse practitioner at The Little Clinic in Nashville, Tenn.But not everyone has such pain you could also feel a bitter or acidic taste in the back of your throat or the awful sensation of food or liquid washing back into your mouth and down the gullet.In fact, frequent heartburn and food sticking in the throat are signs of gastroesophageal reflux disease .Untreated, these problems can lead more serious problems, including strictures , ulcers, cancer and pneumonia, explains Patricia Raymond, MD, a gastroenterologist based in Virginia Beach, Va.
Gerd Diet: Foods That Help With Acid Reflux
Getting a case of acid reflux once in a while isn’t unusual, but some people suffer from burning discomfort, bloating and belching almost every time they eat. About 20% of the population has gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic acid reflux condition that’s diagnosed by a doctor.
Normally, the esophageal sphincter protects the esophagus from stomach acid. However, if the sphincter relaxes, food can push upward through the loosened opening and cause acid reflux.
“Diet plays a major role in controlling acid reflux symptoms and is the first line of therapy used for people with GERD,” says Ekta Gupta, M.B.B.S., M.D., gastroenterologist with Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Don’t Miss: What Gets Rid Of Heartburn When Pregnant
Best Foods To Eat When You Have Heartburn
The foods you eat affect how much acid is produced by the stomach. So, it is necessary to consume the right combination of food items and drinks so that you dont experience heartburn. You should eat foods that have low-acid content because the acid in the stomach combined with the acid in food can make the condition worse. Here is a list of the best foods to eat when you have heartburn.
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.
Read Also: Best Foods To Eat When You Have Heartburn
Eating Apples May Help To Decrease The Frequency Of Heartburn
Apples are a convenient and healthy snack that can also potentially help to reduce acid reflux symptoms. These fruits are actually packed with pectin, a soluble dietary fiber that’s been found to sometimes decrease the frequency of heartburn.
“Soluble fiber is needed to help regulate digestion and has been shown to decrease heartburn in somestudies,” registered dietitianJeanette Kimszal told INSIDER. “Apples are also a rich source of minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These nutrients are helpful for lowering stomach acid.”
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 tubes base, called the lower esophageal sphincter, acts as a valve. When this valve is relaxed, food youve 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 youre taking in some cases. But, more often than not, theyre 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: How To Relieve Heartburn At Home
Foods That Help Acid Reflux Go Away
Updated on / by Addison
Acid reflux is a common condition that is also sometimes called acid indigestion, heartburn or pyrosis.
In acid reflux, some of the stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. Under normal conditions, the esophageal sphincter, a ring of muscle that sits between the esophagus and stomach, acts as a valve that keeps everything flowing from the esophagus to the stomach. In acid reflux, the sphincter doesnt work, and stomach acid backs up into the esophagus.
Stomach acid contains such powerful acids as hydrochloric acid that protect the stomach from pathogens and break down food. The stomach has a protective lining, but the esophagus does not. Stomach acid getting into the esophagus thus causes heartburn, a painful burning feeling behind the breastbone. Heartburn can last for hours, and eating makes it worse. In some cases, the stomach acid goes all the way up to the back of the throat, and the patient experiences a sour or bitter taste.
Acid reflux has multiple causes. Conditions like ulcers, stomach tumors, or hiatal hernias can all cause it, as can some medications. Acid reflux can also be caused by obesity, stress, and overconsumption of alcohol, coffee, spicy food, soda, and table salt. There are various medications that can help acid reflux, but there are also dietary changes you can make to reduce symptoms.
Cooking Tips To Prevent Heartburn And Indigestion
If you suffer from heartburn, you can use different cooking approaches, which may help to alleviate stomach problems including acid reflux.
- Try cooking with as little fat as possible.
- Skip deep frying and pan frying.
- If youre going to sauté, use non-stick sprays as opposed to butter.
- Broiling, steaming, boiling, grilling and roasting are healthier ways to cook meats and veggies because they dont require high levels of fat.
- To get flavor into your food, use heartburn friendly spices as well as broths and low-acid juices instead of oils, which are high in fat.
In addition to eating heartburn-friendly foods and cooking with less fat, it is important to remember that eating large meals and eating before going to bed are likely to increase heartburn. Be sure to pay attention to portion control and timing of meals to avoid indigestion.
Read Also: Why Do I Get Heartburn A Lot
Home Remedies For Heartburn: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux
Despite what its name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.
Rather, it’s a burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the 10-inch tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.
When it hits, heartburn can last for just a few minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable so it’s no surprise if you’re looking for a way to get rid of the sensation fast.
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.
Recommended Reading: Things To Eat To Stop Heartburn
Common Foods And Beverages That Trigger Heartburn
Although it is possible to experience heartburn when hungry, it is more likely to occur after you eat. Many foods that cause heartburn and indigestion for some people have no effect on others. To get to the bottom of whats causing your heartburn, try keeping track of what you ate right before symptoms occurred in a food journal. You might also want to note which foods seem to relieve your symptoms. Over time, youll be able to notice trends so you can adjust your diet accordingly.
Here are the most common foods that trigger heartburn symptoms for most people:
- Alcohol can cause the LES to relax, which triggers heartburn.
- The acid in coffee, orange juice, and other acidic beverages may trigger heartburn.
- Spicy, fried, and fatty foods are common heartburn triggers.
- Acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes may trigger symptoms.
Do You Experience Heartburn Chat With A Doctor Today For Just $29
Heartburn most commonly causes a burning sensation in your chest, right behind your breastbone.
It can also result in other symptoms, including:
- Pain in your chest whenever you bend over or lie down
- A bitter, hot, or sour taste in the back of your throat
- A burning sensation in your throat
- Trouble swallowing
While heartburn symptoms can occur anytime after eating, people most commonly experience acid reflux right after they eat, especially if they overeat, or if they bend over or lie down too soon after eating.
Don’t Miss: How Do I Cure Heartburn
Are There Ways To Prevent Heartburn
Changing what you eat and the way you eat may mean youre less likely to get heartburn in future. As well as eating a balanced diet to help to prevent digestive issues, try the following:
- eat smaller, more frequent meals
- cut down on fatty or fried foods, which are harder to digest
- eat lean meat and fish, as they’re lower in fat
- eat high-fibre foods, such as wholemeal bread, brown rice, fruit and vegetables, beans and oats
- drink plenty of water to help your digestion
- cut down on tea, coffee and colas, as caffeine can trigger heartburn
Making some simple lifestyle changes can also help prevent heartburn. Things to try include:
- losing weight if you are overweight
- avoiding stress, if you can, and making time for relaxation
- stopping smoking
- not lying down for at least 3 hours after eating
Eating Oatmeal And Whole Grains Can Help Reduce The Acid That Builds Up And Causes Heartburn
“Acid is the irritating factor in heartburn and the fiber in oatmeal and whole-grain products like whole-grain bread and pasta can help reduce it. The high fiber content of these foods helps to absorb and reduce the acid that builds up and causes heartburn,” registered dietitianEmily Wunder told INSIDER.
When cooking these whole grains, you may want to avoid pairing them with ingredients that are known to trigger heartburn, like tomato or garlic.
Read Also: What Foods Can Relieve Heartburn
What Are The Food Triggers For Acid Reflux
A food diary is an invaluable tool for working out the foods which act as your triggers record what and when you eat and drink, what activities you were involved in after eating and what symptoms you experienced. Keeping a journal or using an app or tracker for at least a week can help identify your personal food triggers.
Typical culprits can be divided into three categories:
- Foods which are acidic in nature and cause irritation to the lining of the oesophagus such as tomatoes, onions and citrus fruits, as well as spices.
- Food and drinks which cause the stomach to distend, including carbonated drinks and large, calorie-dense meals.
- Foods which promote relaxation of the LES including caffeinated drinks like coffee, chocolate, mint, alcohol, fatty and fried foods as well as carb-rich meals.
Eating any of these foods late in the evening whether as a full meal or substantial snack may also aggravate symptoms.
Disproving The Stomach Acid Theory
When you look at the data, blaming GERD on too much stomach acid doesnt make sense. Stomach acid actually tends to decline, not rise, with age, while GERD risk increases with age. In fact, 40-year-olds, on average, generate about half as much as stomach acid as 20-year-olds do. And, according to one study, over 40 percent of people age 80 and up may be producing almost no stomach acid at all. Whats more, my patients with heartburn and GERD have responded very well to HCl supplementation, which actually increases their stomach acid. Thats the opposite of what we would expect if excess stomach acid were to blame for the problem.
You need adequate stomach acid to kill opportunistic pathogens, help properly digest food, and maintain optimal health. Reduced stomach acid correlates with a wide range of health problems, and PPIs can easily exacerbate the condition.
Dont Miss: Is Milk Good For Heartburn Relief
Recommended Reading: Signs Of Heartburn In Women
Consuming Aloe Vera Can Sometimes Help Reduce Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
“Aloe vera is famous as a natural healing agent and also appears to reduce gastric acid levels naturally. It is available as a living plant but the leaves or liquid form are sometimes sold separately in grocery and health food stores,” bariatric surgeonDr. Michael Jay Nusbaum told INSIDER. He also said the liquid form of aloe can be used as a thickening agent when preparing certain dishes.
Liquid aloe vera can have a slightly sour taste, so you may want to add a drizzle of honey if you plan to consume it undiluted. And if you want your aloe vera to be as fresh as possible, you can keep a live plant in your home and remove its leaves as needed.
Why Does Heartburn Occur After Eating
When you swallow food, it passes down your throat and through your esophagus en route to your stomach. The action of swallowing causes the muscle that controls the opening between your esophagus and stomach, known as the esophageal sphincter, to open, allowing food and liquid to move into your stomach. Otherwise, the muscle remains tightly closed.
If this muscle fails to close properly after you swallow, the acidic contents of your stomach may travel back up into your esophagus. This is called reflux. Sometimes, the stomach acid reaches the lower part of the esophagus, resulting in heartburn.
Eating is a necessity, but getting heartburn doesnt have to be an inevitable result. There are steps you can take to soothe the feeling of heartburn after a meal. Try the following home remedies to relieve your symptoms.
Don’t Miss: I Have Heartburn Every Night
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.
Otc Acid Reflux Medication
There are several over the counter acid reflux medications that you can use to treat acid reflux. You should, however, keep in mind that every medicine works differently for everybody. An acid reflux medication usually curbs the production of acid in the stomach.
Generally, antacids are readily available in the markets with different brand names. We can use them to ease the symptoms, but they dont repair or block acid production. You should take them after eating a meal to avoid chest discomfort.
That being said, if they are overused, they may cause constipation or diarrhea.
Also, antacids are used in combination with some H2 blockers and proton inhibitor pumps. This is because it increases the efficacy of the medication.
Also Check: Whats A Natural Remedy For Heartburn
Recommended Reading: Does Pepcid Help With Heartburn