HomeNewsWhat Can You Do If You Have Heartburn

What Can You Do If You Have Heartburn

Simple Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Heartburn Without Medications

Do You Have Acid Reflux or GERD?

If you suffer from heartburn, then you are aware of the discomfort and the burning sensation that goes along with it. The burning sensation in your throat and chest from the heartburn is unpleasant and can be triggered by many types of foods especially spicy, acidic or fatty foods. Even people who suffer from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a chronic condition that causes heartburn, know well the crushing chest pain followed by the burning sensation in their throats. Many people often resort to taking medication to get relief from heartburn. However, the fact is that while these drugs can provide you with temporary relief, they can cause potential harm in the long run. Instead of resorting to taking medications, you can actually turn to some natural home remedies to deal with heartburn. So how to get rid of heartburn without medications? Lets find out.

Why Do I Get Heartburn Every Day

If youre dealing with heartburn occasionally as a result of the food you eat, thats completely normal. Eating too much or eating trigger foods can lead to acute cases of heartburn, even in people who arent living with GERD. If youve noticed that you get heartburn every day no matter what you eat or what position you sleep in, youre probably dealing with GERD.

Risk factors for GERD include being overweight, being pregnant, smoking cigarettes, taking certain medications, and hiatal hernias. For more information about preventing GERD through lifestyle changes, talk to your doctor.

Understanding The Oesophagus And Stomach

When we eat, food passes down the gullet into the stomach. Cells in the lining of the stomach make acid and other chemicals which help to digest food. Stomach cells also make mucus which protects them from damage from the acid. The cells lining the oesophagus are different and have little protection from acid.

There is a circular band of muscle at the junction between the oesophagus and stomach. This relaxes to allow food down but then normally tightens up and stops food and acid leaking up into the oesophagus. In effect, the sphincter acts like a valve.

Acid Reflux and Oesophagitis

Read Also: Why Do I Have Heartburn After Eating

How Does The Doctor Evaluate Heartburn

Your doctor may order several different tests and take the following steps to evaluate persistent heartburn that hasn’t gone away even after you modify factors such as your diet:

  • Your doctor may ask for an EKG to help rule out heart-related problems.
  • Your doctor will perform an examination to see if you have any abdominal mass or a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach and the LES move above the diaphragm.
  • Your doctor will check your blood pressure.
  • Your doctor will take a careful medical history to see if medications are causing the problem.
  • Your doctor may ask for a gastric emptying study to see how fast food goes out of your stomach or a test to show how well the esophagus and the LES work.
  • Your doctor may refer you for an upper endoscopy. In this test, a flexible tube with a tiny camera helps the doctor assess the esophagus and look for damage or abnormalities.

What Lifestyle Changes Help Heartburn

The best way to avoid heartburn discomfort is to prevent it. These lifestyle changes can make a big difference:

  • Avoid trigger foods: Foods that promote heartburn include fried and fatty foods, caffeine, chocolate, spicy foods and carbonated beverages.
  • Lose weight: Being overweight increases the likelihood that you’ll experience heartburn.
  • Avoid eating late at night: Try to eat three hours before going to bed. At a minimum, you should wait at least one hour after eating.
  • Elevate the bed: Physically lift the head of your bed about six to eight inches so you’re sleeping on an incline. If that’s not possible, use a wedge pillow for lift.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco: These substances increase the chances of heartburn attacks.
  • Wear looser clothing: Tight clothing can put pressure on your digestive system.

Recommended Reading: Relief From Heartburn At Night

Naturally Alkaline Artesian Water

A July 2012 study in the “Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology” showed that drinking high-alkaline water with a pH of 8.8 instantly neutralizes pepsin, the enzyme that converts to digestive acid when it comes into contact with certain substances. It was also shown to serve as an acid buffer, protecting the esophagus against contact with additional acids. Drinking plenty of water is essential for good health, and that’s especially true if you have acid reflux. However, there are two qualifications: First, water should be consumed in smaller amounts throughout the day to prevent regurgitation, a common problem with acid reflux. Second, water should not be consumed in quantity with meals because it interferes with digestion and may cause food to expand, stimulating acid production.

How Common Is Gerd

GERD is very common. The condition and its symptoms touch a huge number of people: 20% of the U.S. population.

Anyone of any age can develop GERD, but some may be more at risk for it. For example, the chances youll have some form of GERD increase after age 40.

Youre also more likely to have it if youre:

  • Overweight or obese.
  • Smoking or are regularly exposed to second-hand smoke.
  • Taking certain medications that may cause acid reflux.

Recommended Reading: What Drink Is Good For Heartburn

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.

Calcium Citrate Powder To The Rescue

7 Foods to Avoid if you have Heartburn or GERD/GORD

It is a good idea to take around 150 mg of calcium citrate powder after your meals. You can dissolve the powder in a small amount of water and have it after each meal, particularly at bedtime to prevent acid reflux during the night. The role of calcium is often not properly understood in the prevention of GERD. There are preparations like Tums and Rolaids which are made from calcium carbonate and serve as antacids. However, these products do not really have any substantial impact on the level of acidity of the stomach or on the esophagus. Calcium citrate, which is a mild acidic form of calcium, is known to work better than calcium carbonate. This is because of the reason that calcium citrate is more soluble than calcium carbonate. Thus, this form of calcium gets absorbed by the esophagus cells faster. However, keep in mind that calcium supplements are not the same thing as calcium citrate. Calcium citrate has to be taken in a solution form so that it can easily reach the lower esophagus, preventing heartburn and acid reflux without resorting to medications.

Don’t Miss: What To Eat Or Drink When You Have Heartburn

When Should I Be Concerned About Heartburn

While heartburn is a fairly common condition that can be caused by your diet, it can also lead to serious damage if you dont treat and manage your heartburn. Heartburn causes damage to the esophageal lining, which can lead to conditions such as esophagitis and Barretts esophagus. People living with GERD who develop Barretts esophagus are more likely to get esophageal cancer, which is a major concern.

Even if youre not experiencing severe heartburn or your heartburn isnt present every day, you might want to talk to your doctor about avoiding heartburn. By managing your weight, eating a healthy diet, and avoiding cigarette smoke, you can reduce heartburn and the long-term effects that it can cause.

Avoid Spicy Foods And Keep Some Dazzle In Your Diet With Low

Image: bhofack2/Thinkstock

The fiery feeling of heartburn is the last way you want to remember a great meal. But when your doctor says you have chronic heartburn caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease , you may worry that a bland and disappointing menu is in your future. “That may not be true,” says Dr. Kyle Staller, a gastroenterologist at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. “The foods that trigger heartburn are different for everyone.” He suggests keeping a journal to determine which foods cause symptoms.

Common culprits

Some foods and ingredients may intensify heartburn, such as spicy foods, citrus, tomato sauces, and vinegar.

Fatty and fried foods linger longer in the stomach. That may increase stomach pressure and force open the muscles that keep stomach acid out of the esophagus.

Other common heartburn triggers include chocolate, caffeine, onions, peppermint, carbonated drinks, and alcohol.

Recommended Reading: What Does It Mean When You Have Constant Heartburn

Knowing When To See The Doctor

  • 1Go to the emergency room with severe chest pain. If you are having severe chest pain, you should call an ambulance or go to the emergency room whether you think it’s acid reflux or not. It could be a heart attack instead of acid reflux.XResearch source
  • 2Visit the emergency room if you have other symptoms of a heart attack. If you have shortness of breath, are dizzy, or break out in a cold sweat, go to the emergency room or call an ambulance. You should have your heart checked out to make sure it’s ok.XTrustworthy SourceFamilyDoctor.orgFamily-focused medical advice site run by the American Academy of Family DoctorsGo to source
  • 3Visit your doctor if your heartburn is chronic. Having heartburn regularly or having chronic night symptoms is a sign of GERD. It can also lead to complications, such as food sticking in the bottom of your esophagus. Additionally, if you don’t control the symptoms, you can be at higher risk for other diseases, such as esophageal complications or esophageal cancer.XResearch source
  • Treatment includes over the counter medications and antacids as well as proton pump inhibitors. It is important to talk to your doctor about your symptoms because there are very effective medications available that can relieve you of discomfort.
  • What Can Trigger Heartburn

    Heartburn can be triggered by many different things that are a part of your daily life. For many people, heartburn can be caused by certain eating and lifestyle habits. These habits can involve things like eating large portions of food, eating too close to bedtime or even having high stress levels.

    Certain foods and drinks can also trigger heartburn for some people. Some foods and drinks that could trigger your heartburn can include:

    • Onions.
    • Caffeinated beverages.
    • Carbonated beverages.

    Your lifestyle habits can also play a part in why you might experience heartburn. These everyday factors often contribute to medical conditions that cause heartburn, like GERD or hiatal hernia. Some lifestyle habits that can trigger your heartburn include:

    • Being overweight.
    • Having a high stress level.
    • Wearing tight clothes and belts.

    Read Also: I Have Bad Heartburn Everyday

    What Are My Options If These Treatments Don’t Work

    If a person continues to have heartburn, a health care professional may recommend adding a drug such as metoclopramide . This drug empties food and acid quickly from the stomach so less can back up into the esophagus. Reglan also helps tighten the lower esophageal sphincter.

    If a person still have symptoms, a health care professional will then recommend one of the drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Examples of these drugs are omeprazole , lansoprazole , esomeprazole , rabeprazole , and pantoprazole . These tablets prevent the stomach from secreting acid. They are very effective and are typically taken only once a day. These drugs usually are prescribed if other drugs have not helped. They may have to be used indefinitely.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux And Oesophagitis

    • Heartburn: this is the main symptom. This is a burning feeling which rises from the upper tummy or lower chest up towards the neck.
    • Other common symptoms: these include pain in the upper abdomen and chest, feeling sick, an acid taste in the mouth, bloating, belching, indigestion and a burning pain when you swallow hot drinks. Like heartburn, these symptoms tend to come and go and tend to be worse after a meal.
    • Some uncommon symptoms: these may occur and if they do, can make the diagnosis difficult, as these symptoms can mimic other conditions. For example:
    • A persistent cough, particularly at night, sometimes occurs. This is due to the refluxed acid irritating the windpipe . Asthma symptoms of cough and wheeze can sometimes be due to acid leaking up .
    • Other mouth and throat symptoms sometimes occur, such as gum problems, bad breath, sore throat, hoarseness and a feeling of a lump in the throat.
    • Severe chest pain develops in some cases .

    You May Like: What Takes Away Heartburn Naturally

    Are There Any Tests For Heartburn

    If it is obvious from the symptoms that a person has heartburn, no tests or exams may be necessary. Advice in regard to lifestyle modifications, diet, or medications may begin immediately.

    If your health care professional is not sure about the diagnosis, or if he or she is concerned about damage done by chronic heartburn, tests may be ordered. This is true especially if the patient has already been prescribed medications that are not relieving the heartburn.

    There is no simple blood test for heartburn. The tests used to diagnose heartburn include the following:

    Spasm Of The Esophagus

    Heartburn and Reflux Differences

    The esophagus is the muscular tube that passes behind the heart, and carries food, liquid, and saliva from the mouth to the stomach. In a condition called diffuse esophageal spasm , the tube contracts uncontrollably, causing trouble swallowing and chest pain.

    Rarity: Ultra rare

    Top Symptoms: dry cough, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone, heartburn, trouble swallowing, burning chest pain

    Symptoms that never occur with spasm of the esophagus: shortness of breath

    Urgency: Primary care doctor

    Don’t Miss: Why Do I Keep Getting Heartburn After I Eat

    What Kinds Of Complications Are Caused By Frequent Heartburn

    • Excess stomach acid in the esophagus can cause ulcers, damage to the inner layers of the esophageal wall, and narrowing .
    • Very rarely, the esophagus may bleed or tear completely because it is so damaged. In severe cases, a person may vomit blood or have small amounts of blood in bowel movements, found only on testing the stool.
    • Regurgitated stomach acid can damage the respiratory tract, causing asthma, hoarseness, chronic cough, sore throat, or tooth damage . A person may feel as if he or she has a lump in the throat.
    • If the acid exposure continues for long periods of time, the esophagus becomes thick and damaged. A person may then have difficulty swallowing and food becomes stuck.

    Being Overweight Or Pregnant

    While the two are not related, they do set you up for increased indigestion. When you have added weight around your abdomen, either from being pregnant or overweight, it puts additional pressure on your stomach. This causes your stomach contents to want to go elsewhere and the only place for stuff to go is up. Pregnancy-related reflux generally disappears once the mother gives birth.

    Recommended Reading: What To Eat To Cure Heartburn

    What Are The Main Symptoms Of Gerd

    The main symptoms are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without heartburn. Instead, they experience pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning or trouble swallowing. You may feel like you have food stuck in your throat, or like you are choking or your throat is tight. GERD can also cause a dry cough and bad breath.

    Opt For Losing Weight

    Studies have shown that obese patients have gotten relief from heartburn symptoms after they lost weight. This is because the extra weight on your body puts a lot of strain on your stomach, which is not able to keep the acid down. This is why the acid starts to head up towards your esophagus. By getting into shape and losing some weight, you will not only get rid of heartburn without medications, but you will also start feeling healthier also.

    Don’t Miss: Does Throwing Up Help Heartburn

    Resist The Urge To Overeat Or Eat Quickly

    When it comes to preventing heartburn, watching portion sizes at meals can go a long way. Having a large amount of food in your stomach may put more pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid out of your esophagus, making acid reflux and heartburn more likely. If you’re prone to heartburn, consider eating smaller meals more frequently. Eating quickly can also be a trigger of heartburn so be sure to slow down and take time to chew food and drink beverages.

    Your Burning Chest: How To Stop Acid Reflux And Gerd

    Digestive Health, Gastroenterology

    If youve ever felt a fiery sensation behind your breastbone or tasted something like battery acid in the back of your throat, then you might have had acid reflux, also commonly known as heartburn.

    Youre certainly not alone. In the United States, about 1 in 5 people have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, which is characterized by acid reflux and heartburn.

    But what is acid reflux exactly? And what can you do about it?

    Also Check: Does Sparkling Water Cause Heartburn

    Dairy And Plant Milks

    Anyone who’s been to the supermarket lately knows that milk doesn’t just mean cow’s milk anymore. Unless you’re lactose-intolerant or otherwise allergic, cow’s milk, which is alkaline, may be OK, but for some people it can also trigger allergies. Goat’s milk, however, is recommended over cow’s milk because it’s easier to digest. However, there may be better choices. Plant-based milks made from soy or almonds are not only safe, but when the final product has an alkaline composition, this may actually help neutralize acid lingering in the esophagus.