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.
Fearing The Scales Its Time To Lose Some Extra Weight
Not eating too much is also key to minimizing heartburn as a large belly is known to be a major cause of reflux. If you dont believe us, just ask mummies-to-be about it!
The reason is simple. In healthy individuals, the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the chest cavity from the lower part of the body, assists the esophageal sphincter in its gatekeeping function by providing extra strength.
But when someone has too much belly fat, the pressure in the abdomen can push the lower esophageal sphincter, thus separating it from the diaphragm.
This condition is known as hiatus hernia, the primary reason for the heightened risk of persistent heartburn in overweight people and pregnant women.
Several studies support have successfully shown that all the kilograms adding up around your belly really make you more susceptible to reflux and heartburn while other papers also offer evidence that dropping extra kilos is effective in the fight against heartburn.
Enterosgel For Heartburn And Indigestion
If you experience indigestion, heartburn, bloating or flatulence after eating a particular type of food such as wheat, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, tomatoes, potatoes or peppers, for example, some naturopaths believe this could be due to a food intolerance that triggers digestive symptoms. You may find that taking a tablespoon of the toxin-binding gel, Enterosgel, before or after eating the food may help.
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What About Heartburn During Pregnancy
Indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy are the most common when a woman reaches the third semester as the growing uterus puts more and more pressure on the stomach as well as the intestines. This pressure alone can be so strong that it can push the stomach content right back into the food pipe and cause the burn.
Another important reason for pregnancy heartburn episodes is the hormone called progesterone, which is known to relax the muscles. And guess which muscle it also among the victims Youre right the lower esophageal sphincter! This gatekeeping valve therefore makes it easier for the acid to escape up into the food pipe. Progesterone can also be accused of slowing down the digestive processes, which increases the chances of heartburn occurring more often.
All this is quite normal for a mother expecting a child, but how can one deal with indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy? Firstly, a good strategy includes some lifestyle adaptations, for example reducing the portion sizes and eating several times instead, avoiding greasy or overly spicy dishes and regularly exercising to speed up the digestion.
C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:
- Avoid alcohol
- If you smoke, stop immediately
- Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
- Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily
For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.
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Wear Loose Fitting Clothes
Tight clothes can look really nice, but when they cinch your waist this can press on your stomach and cause acid to rise. Makes sense, when you squeeze your stomach in with tight jeans, belts, or corsets the acid has no room and so it rises to the only available space: your esophagus.
Instead, try wearing looser fitting clothes that wont press in on your stomach as much, even when you sit down.
Limit Your Intake Of Carbonated Beverages
Healthcare professionals sometimes advise people with GERD to limit their intake of carbonated beverages.
This is because studies have observed that regular consumption of carbonated or fizzy beverages, including soft drinks, club soda, and seltzer, could be linked to a higher risk of reflux .
One study found that carbonated soft drinks, in particular, worsened certain acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, fullness, and burping .
The main reason is that the carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages causes people to burp more often an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the esophagus .
Drinking carbonated beverages temporarily increases the frequency of burping, which may promote acid reflux. If they worsen your symptoms, try drinking less or avoiding them altogether.
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Opt For Smaller Meals Instead Of Large Meals
The more food youre consuming, the harder your stomach has to work to digest it. To lighten the workload on your stomach and find acid reflux relief, try to eat smaller meals throughout the day rather than a few large meals.
Note:The International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders3 says individuals prone to acid reflux symptoms should also avoid eating large meals or drinking too late at night. This can trigger symptoms and disrupt sleep.
Best Heartburn & Acid Reflux Medications In 2021
Heartburn is a condition that 60 million Americans experience at least once per month. The main causes of heartburn include acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease , a chronic form of acid reflux. The best medication for heartburn includes classes of heartburn medications: antacids, histamine-2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors .
To avoid these symptoms, you can take various kinds of medicationsâ from over-the-counter to prescription. To obtain access to some of these prescription forms of heartburn medication, consider signing up for Mira, an affordable alternative to health insurance that allows you to get up to 80% off on prescriptions.
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Awesome Natural Remedies For Heartburn
First, there is a gentle hiccup, then a burning feeling across the chest and throat comes along. You might think its heart attack were talking about, but were staying true to ourselves and want to tackle another common digestive issue instead: heartburn. While were sure that many of you already have your ways of getting rid of heartburn symptoms when they strike, we believe there are also several extremely effective strategies and remedies you might not know about yet.
To make sure youre ready next time when a heavy meal starts a fire in your chest, weve compiled a list of ways that will not only teach you how to deal with heartburn but also how to prevent it. Lets go!
What Is The Quickest Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn
Taking antacids is considered the quickest way to get rid of heartburn. These over-the-counter medications help neutralize stomach acid. They are one of the first recommended treatments. They may provide quick relief. However, antacid overuse can cause problems such as diarrhea or chronic kidney disease, especially if they contain aluminum and magnesium.
Other common ways to get rid of heartburn include
- H2 receptor blockers: These medications work to reduce the amount of acid that is made in the stomach. While they do not work as quickly as antacids, they provide longer relief for up to 12 hours. Examples of these include Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac and Axid AR. Although most people have no problems taking them, long-term use can cause vitamin B12 deficiency leading to an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Proton pump inhibitors: This class of medications block acid production. They also help to heal any damage caused to the lining of the esophagus. They are much stronger than the H2 receptor blockers and include Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Zegerid. Excessive use of these medications can cause diarrhea and nausea, vitamin B12 deficiency and an increased risk of bone fractures.
- Baclofen: This medication works to strengthen the muscular valve present at the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. However, it may cause nausea and fatigue in some people.
- Surgical procedures: In rare cases, these are required to help with severe heartburn symptoms.
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Side Effects From Misuse
Many of the side effects of antacids come from not taking them as directed.
Many antacids including Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums contain calcium. If you take too much or take them for longer than directed, you could get an overdose of calcium. Too much calcium can cause:
Excess calcium can also lead to alkalosis. In this condition, your body doesnt make enough acid to function properly.
If you feel like you need to use a lot of an antacid for relief, that might be a sign of another condition. If youve taken an antacid according to the directions and havent gotten relief, talk to your doctor.
Antacids can interfere with the function of other drugs. If you take other medications, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using antacids.
Some antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, contain aspirin. The Food and Drug Administration issued a safety alert about this type of antacid in June 2016. This alert was issued because of reports of serious bleeding related to aspirin-containing antacids.
If you take another medication that increases your risk of bleeding, such as an anticoagulant or antiplatelet drug, you shouldnt take these antacids.
Be sure to talk to your doctor before taking aspirin-containing antacids if you:
Lifestyle Changes To Managing Heartburn
Those who suffer from heartburn but have no other serious complications attached to it- can cure their condition by tweaking their lifestyles a bit.
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But What Do I Do In Case Of Persistent Heartburn
Sometimes, simple home remedies for acid reflux, like the ones you find in this article, arent enough to help you overcome the issue. If you have to put up with heartburn more than two or even three times per week, its better to visit a doctor.
You need to remember that while occasional heartburn is completely normal, the condition should not interfere with your daily activities, especially on a regular basis. In this case, you might be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, which requires a special kind of treatment. If you are afraid that you might have fallen victim to this digestive condition, here is a quick list of symptoms that shouldnt make you think twice about heading to your GP:
- burning in your chest/heartburn
- sore throat and hoarse voice
- painful or difficult swallowing
- bad breath and acidic taste in the mouth
- green, yellow or even bloody vomit
- throat pain during a meal
- breathing problems
- fast tooth decay
Eat Smaller More Frequent Meals
Theres a ring-like muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter where the esophagus opens into the stomach.
It acts as a valve and normally prevents the acidic contents of the stomach from going up into the esophagus. It typically stays closed but may open when you swallow, belch, or vomit.
In people with acid reflux, this muscle is weakened or dysfunctional. Acid reflux can also occur when theres too much pressure on the muscle, causing acid to squeeze through the opening .
Unsurprisingly, most reflux symptoms take place after a meal. It also seems that eating just one to two large meals per day may worsen reflux symptoms (
For this reason, some studies suggest that losing at least 10% of your body weight could significantly decrease symptoms of GERD in people with the condition .
Achieving and maintaining a moderate body weight can help reduce acid reflux in the long term.
However, if youre interested in this approach, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional to assess whether its right for you, and if so, how you can lose weight safely and sustainably.
Losing belly fat and maintaining a moderate weight might relieve some of your symptoms of GERD. However, make sure to speak with a healthcare professional before attempting to lose weight to treat this condition.
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Mineral Antacids For Heartburn And Indigestion
Mineral antacids contain substances such as calcium carbonate, aluminium hydroxide or magnesium trisilicate which react chemically with stomach contents to neutralise excess acid.
Antacids that contain magnesium salts may have a laxative action while those containing aluminium salts are more constipating. If these side effects are troublesome, then select an antacid that contains both magnesium and aluminium to reduce these intestinal side-effects.
My go-to antacid, to keep handy in the home and office, is Remegel. Remegels are chewy rather than chalky, and each chew contains 800mg calcium carbonate as an invaluable source of calcium.
Antacids are available as liquid suspensions or chewable tablets of which some are chalky, while others are more like a chewy sweet. These are ideal for keeping in your bag or a drawer to treat mild, occasional heartburn. For more troublesome heartburn, a liquid preparation are generally more effective than tablet preparations.
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:
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Natural Remedy: Use Baking Soda
You may find relief from infrequent heartburn with sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Simply mix ½ teaspoon with four ounces of water to help neutralize the acid. Note this contains sodium and should not be used if you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Check with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions drugs, are pregnant or have a chronic health condition before using baking soda to relieve heartburn.
Causes Of Heartburn And Acid Reflux
Lots of people get heartburn from time to time. There’s often no obvious reason why.
Sometimes it’s caused or made worse by:
- certain food and drink such as coffee, tomatoes, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
- being overweight
- some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers
- a hiatus hernia when part of your stomach moves up into your chest
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Maintain A Healthy Weight
As we briefly mentioned, being overweight can cause added pressure to build up near the stomach and abdomen. This pressure can ultimately manifest as heartburn and may pose other more serious issues later on down the road. For some, losing weight is an effective and natural remedy for heartburn.
Note: Make sure to discuss weight loss with your physician in order to find the best plan for your health.
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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