More Foods To Soothe Heartburn
Other foods and herbs have long been treatments for reflux and upset stomach. But keep in mind that while they may provide relief for some, “they won’t work for everyone,” says gastroenterologist Jay Kuemmerle, MD, of Virginia Commonwealth University. You might want to try:
- Fennel. This crunchy vegetable with a licorice flavor makes a great addition to salads. There’s some evidence that fennel can improve your digestion. It has a pH of 6.9, so it’s low in acid, too.
- Ginger. A long-standing natural treatment for upset stomach, ginger does seem to have benefits for reflux.
- Parsley. That sprig of parsley on your plate isn’t only for decoration. Parsley has been a traditional treatment for upset stomach for hundreds of years. And there’s some evidence that it can help with acid reflux.
- Aloe vera. This is another old treatment for GI problems that seems to help with reflux. You can buy aloe vera as a plant or as a supplement — in capsules, juices, and other forms. It works as a thickener in recipes.Just make sure itâs free of anthraquinones , which can be irritating to the digestive system.
Ways To Prevent Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Most of us are all too familiar with the painful, burning sensation in the center of the chest thats associated with heartburn.
In fact, up to 28% of adults in North America experience gastroesophageal reflux disease , a common condition that causes heartburn. GERD occurs when acid is pushed up from the stomach back into the esophagus, which leads to the heartburn sensation .
Although people often use medications to treat acid reflux and heartburn, many lifestyle modifications can also help you reduce symptoms and improve your quality of life.
Here are 14 natural ways to reduce your acid reflux and heartburn, all backed by scientific research.
Take An Acid Neutralizer
When heartburn hits and you need relief, try an antacid like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox. These medications act quickly to neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can reduce your symptoms. Dont have any on hand? Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water and drink to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Just use caution with this home remedy since its high in sodium and shouldnt be used by people on a sodium-restricted diet.
We also like H-2 blockers, also known as Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. These include such brand names a Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Tagamet, and Zantac. These medications dont work as quickly as acid neutralizers, but they are still very fast. H2 blockers should be taken about 30 minutes before you eat or when you typically experience symptoms.
The benefit of H2 blockers is that they work longer than antacids, but they dont have the same medical risks associated with proton pump inhibitors. As is true with all medications we highly recommend that you discuss use with your doctor before you begin any drug treatment, prescription or over-the-counter.
And remember that while these quick fixes may help relieve your GERD symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Your goal should be to stop reflux from happening in the first place, which is why we recommend several long-term solutions to cure heartburn.
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Sleep On Your Left Side
Sleeping on your left side may help put out the heartburn fire since it can allow fluid and materials to pool farther away from the esophagus areamaking them less likely to rise up through it, Dr. Levinthal says.
Science agrees. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology found that when people slept on their left side with a sleep device that safely elevated their head and neck, they had less esophageal acid exposure than those who snoozed on their right side.
Still, take this recommendation with a grain of salt, Dr. Levinthal says. While it likely can provide a small benefit, if youre set in your sleeping ways, the disruption to your shut-eye caused by forcing a new position may outweigh it.
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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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.
Should You Take A Heartburn Medication
Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are common over-the-counter and prescription medications used for acid reflux and GERD. While they can offer some relief in the short term and have their place in certain doctor-recommended treatments, they can also be problematic. A PPI essentially shuts down stomach acid production, and was originally designed as a prescribed short-term solution in the treatment of gastric ulcers, Stratos points out.
Long-term use of this heartburn medication has been associated with an increased risk of fractures, pneumonia, C. Diff illness, vitamin B12 deficiency, low magnesium levels, chronic kidney disease, and dementia, according to a 2018 review in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Theres also concern that chronic use is linked with type 2 diabetes. And, according to a study in the journal Gut, patients on PPIs are 73% more likely to have a severe case of COVID-19 if infected with the virus compared to COVID patients not taking the meds.
Its worth addressing the root cause of GERD and recurring heartburn rather than just living with it or masking it with medication. Aside from the fact that GERD is extremely uncomfortable and you deserve to feel good after you eat, long-term, it can injure the esophagus and, at worst, increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer, which is estimated to kill more than than 16,000 people this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
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How Supplements Can Help
All the suggested supplements are effective for relieving heartburn-the ones in blue immediately, those in black within a month or so. Try each methodically to see which one or combination works best for you. All can be used in addition to prescription or over-the counter heartburn drugs.
Take A Mindful Eating Approach
Eating quickly and overeating are connected to heartburn and reflux. Sometimes you may not even realize that youre eating quickly. You may not notice that you keep eating even after your body is signaling that its full.
Practicing mindful-eating techniques may help you slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Heres how:
- Pause before each meal. Take a moment to look at your meal. Observe what is on your plate and enjoy the way the food smells. Also, take a moment to notice how hungry you are before you take your first bite.
- Eliminate distractions at mealtime. Avoid reading, checking your phone, or watching television while you eat.
- Chew each bite thoroughly.
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Vinegar To Cure Heartburn
Vinegar has long been used to get rid of heartburn. Although there is no medical proof of vinegar being a remedy for heartburn, people who use it swear by its efficacy. You too can use vinegar- white or apple cider vinegar- to treat your heartburn but only after diluting it with water. It may or may not give you the required relief from acid reflux but you can know that only after experimenting with it at least once.
- Add the vinegar to your glass of water and mix well.
- Now have this water.
- You may have it 2-3 times a day if you dont notice any discomfort.
- Take it before meals or before bedtime if you cant sleep due to heartburn at night.
Warning: Never use vinegar undiluted. When done so, vinegars acidity may cause damage not only to your esophagus but also to your tooth enamel. Always dilute the vinegar with water before consuming it and wash your mouth with clean water after having it to protect your tooth enamel. If you are not comfortable after having diluted vinegar, immediately stop having it.
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: Fastest Way To Stop Heartburn
Let Your Stomach Loose
Tight waistbands or belts that dig into your stomach place unnecessary pressure on your abdomen.10 Swallowing an antacid and undoing the button of your pants or taking your belt down a notch or two after eating will provide instant relief. Maintaining a healthy weight is, however, a better long-term solution.
Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy
Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.
When youâre pregnant, youâre more likely to have indigestion because of:
- hormonal changes
- the growing baby pressing on your stomach
- the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up
You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:
- you had indigestion before you were pregnant
- youâve been pregnant before
- youâre in the later stages of pregnancy
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Bring Lifestyle Changes To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Wrong eating habits and certain other habits make it difficult for your body to digest food properly. There are some other lifestyle habits that lead to heartburn and you need to change them. Here is a list of such lifestyle changes that you must adopt if you want to get rid of heartburn.
What Medications Can I Take For Heartburn During Pregnancy
Its important to be extremely careful about the medications you take when pregnant.
For heartburn relief, over-the-counter antacids are all considered safe medications to use during pregnancy.
As always, consult with your provider about any medications youre taking even if theyre considered safe.
If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking an over-the-counter medication, call your doctor immediately.
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Stop Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Fortunately, you have several options for heartburn relief:
- Try eating smaller meals, and don’t eat two to three hours before bedtime.
- Avoid foods that may trigger heartburn, such as fried food, citrus, tomato, spices, peppermint, chocolate, and carbonated drinks.
- Cut back on alcohol and caffeine.
- Stop smoking if you smoke.
- Lose weight if your doctor says you’re overweight.
- Cut back on aspirin and pain relievers if you take them often.
Talk with your pharmacist about other self-care tips you can use. If changing your style of eating isn’t enough, consider trying one of these heartburn medications.
How To Get Rid Of Indigestion At Night
If you eat dinner too fast or choose foods that are too greasy, fatty, or spicy, you may suffer from indigestion in the evening. Consuming a lot of alcohol at night can also cause stomach inflammation, which may lead to symptoms of indigestion like heartburn, upper abdominal pain, or nausea.
To get rid of indigestion at night, you should keep the head of your bed elevated, avoid late night meals or eating within two hours of bedtime, avoid exercise before bedtime, avoid a night cap , and no smoking before bedtime, Dr. Tharakan advises.
Other ways to fix indigestion at night include:
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How A Doctor Can Help
If you have heartburn two or more times a week and changes to your diet or eating pattern haven’t helped, consult a doctor. A gastroenterologist can perform tests to measure the acidity in your stomach and see if frequent acid reflux has damaged your esophagus.
GERD is often treatable through a combination of lifestyle changes and medication. But persistent symptoms of reflux need thorough evaluation by a gastroenterologist who can find the underlying cause and discuss available treatment options.
The Johns Hopkins Heartburn Center
GERD is an ongoing condition that often requires more attention than over-the-counter treatments can offer. The Heartburn Center at Johns Hopkins Medicine provides personalized care to help patients find relief.
Home Remedies For Heartburn
Heartburn is a common problem that causes a burning sensation in your chest and throat. It may also be accompanied by a bitter taste. Other related symptoms may include gas, nausea, bloating, and difficulty breathing. The symptoms usually get worse after eating a large meal or while lying down.
The burning sensation is caused by acidic stomach juices rising into the esophagus when the valve between the esophagus and stomach does not close properly. This is why heartburn often occurs after eating fatty, fried or acidic foods.
Heartburn can also be due to a hiatal hernia, which means part of the stomach is pushing through an opening in the diaphragm and into the chest. Heartburn is also a common condition during pregnancy.
Other health conditions or lifestyle choices that can cause heartburn include smoking, obesity, caffeine intake, alcohol consumption, eating spicy foods, lying down immediately after eating and taking certain medications, such as aspirin or ibuprofen.
Occasional heartburn is common and no cause for alarm. A variety of natural treatments can provide relief from heartburn symptoms.
However, if heartburn occurs frequently and interferes with your routine, then you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease . See your doctor immediately, as untreated GERD can seriously damage your esophagus.
Here are the top 10 home remedies for heartburn.
Try Taking Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice
DGL works to treat acid reflux because it helps to reduce inflammation in your esophagus.
Inflammation, a reaction caused by your immune system, can be helpful when you need to heal a wound or fight an infection, but it can also worsen health problems like acid reflux for some people. This is because your immune system releases inflammatory cells called cytokines that can damage the lining of your esophagus.
Although DGL has been proven to work when combined with other acid reflux treatments, more research is needed to see how it works on its own.
DGL generally comes as a chewable tablet and can come in multiple flavors for people who don’t like the taste of licorice. To use DGL for acid reflux, you should take one 400 mg tablet 20 minutes before you eat a meal or 20 minutes before going to bed if you have nighttime symptoms.
Other herbal remedies that may also help with acid reflux include: