Home remedies for heartburn can be effective in easing your symptoms without having to visit the hospital. Almost all of us have fallen victim to the unpleasant burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn or acid reflux. It occurs when the stomach acid goes up the esophagus. The discomfort due to heartburn can be nerve-wracking.
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What is heartburn?
Often confused with acid reflux, heartburn occurs when your stomach acid rises to the esophagus. Due to this, you may feel like the tube between your mouth and stomach is burning. The main symptoms of heartburn include sharp pain or a burning sensation in the chest and a taste of the acid in the mouth. Heartburn can also make it harder for you to swallow.
Heartburn can also be a symptom of serious digestive issues, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If the heartburn worsens or frequently occurs, consult the Best Gastroenterologist in Lahore to seek treatment.
If heartburn remains untreated, it can damage your lungs, heart, esophagus, and other organs. It can result in issues like asthma, sore throat, oral decay, and much more.
Causes of a heartburn
Heartburn or acid reflux can be a symptom of an underlying digestive issue. Things that can trigger heartburn are:
- Spicy, oily, and acidic foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Alcohol consumption
Home remedies for heartburn relief
Following are some simple home remedies for heartburn:
1. Avoid food triggers
Some foods can lead to heartburn. These foods include chocolates, sodas, tomatoes, onions, and fatty or oily foods. Eating healthy can lower the risk of heartburn.
A well-balanced diet contains a variety of foods that are good for your health and are less likely to cause heartburn. Consuming fiber can help regulate your bowel movements and help with digestion.
2. Keep a food diary
To identify which foods are causing heartburn. Keep a journal that contains details of what you ate. You should also mention if you noticed any symptoms after having a specific type of food.
It allows you to document your symptoms and understand the triggers causing heartburn.
3. Apple cider vinegar
Usually, consuming anything acidic can worsen heartburn, but apple cider vinegar is an exception. It can improve heartburn symptoms in some people, but it can also make it worse.
Moreover, the quantity you are consuming matters when it comes to treating heartburn. Due to its acidity, dilute one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water.
4. Baking soda and water
It is a simple remedy that is right in your kitchen. Baking soda acts as a neutralizing agent for your stomach acid. According to Medical News Today: Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda in half a cup of water to get immediate relief from heartburn.
Excessive use of this remedy can backfire because consuming too much baking soda can disturb the pH levels in your stomach. OTC medications available in the market are safer in the long run.
5. Herbal teas
Switching the fizzy drinks with herbal teas is beneficial for your overall health, especially heartburn. Teas such as chamomile tea, green tea, and fruit teas can make it easier for you to digest food and relieves heartburn.
However, avoid mint tea as it can trigger heartburn. Drinking too much herbal tea can cause problems, such as headaches, stomach issues, and sleep problems.
6. Increase fiber intake
Fiber can aid digestion by bulking up the stool and making it pass through your digestive tract with ease. Lack of fiber can cause stomach issues such as constipation.
Fiber is a part of a well-balanced diet. You can get your daily dose of fiber from fruits, vegetables, pulses, legumes, whole wheat products, porridge, etc. It also helps maintain your gut health, lowering the risk for digestive issues.
7. Sugar-free gum
A study done in 2005 with 31 people found that chewing sugar-free gum may reduce heartburn. Due to the small size of participants in this study, it is not a solid case to support this claim.
However, it may remove stomach acid from your esophagus by stimulating saliva production. Avoid consuming gum that has high sugar content as it can damage your teeth and cause other problems, such as diabetes. It is also best to avoid mint gums as they can trigger heartburn.
Ginger is a staple in every kitchen and is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It may also relieve nausea and heartburn. Most people already have ginger in their diets.
If you are not getting enough ginger, you can add more of it to your food. Moreover, you can try ginger which may result in weight loss. Consume ginger in moderation, as taking it in excess can adversely affect your health.
9. Stop smoking
It is general knowledge that smoking is a health hazard, but many of you may not know that smoke, even passive, can lead to heartburn.
Smokers with heartburn should stay away from smoke during a heartburn episode. Cigarette smoke may worsen the symptoms of existing heartburn.
10. OTC medications
Antacids are OTC medications available for the treatment of heartburn. They temporarily relieve you of the symptoms of heartburn.
Nonetheless, you should not take heartburn lightly and consult a Gastroenterologist in Islamabad to get a prescription medication.
11. Healthy weight
Maintaining a healthy weight according to your body can help you stay away from many digestion problems, including heartburn. Being obese can put extra pressure on your stomach, pushing the acid upward.
Those who suffer from heartburn may find relief in shedding off some weight, lessening the recurrence of the disease.
12. Raise your head while lying down
Heartburn can also result in sleeping problems. It may hinder your sleep. Putting a few pillows to elevate your head may not be enough.
Sleeping in an upright position makes it easier for your stomach acid to stay in your stomach while sleeping. A few ways that you can elevate your upper body is by using an adjustable bed or wedge pillows.
How to prevent heartburn?
Heartburn can offer to occur out of the blue and leave you feeling unwell. Even though these home remedies or medications may improve heartburn symptoms, some precautions can help prevent them.
a) Do not sleep right away after dinner!
Sleeping right after a meal can make you uncomfortable at night because of heartburn. Take your meals a few hours before you go to sleep. It gives the stomach a chance to clear itself out and lowers the risk of heartburn at night.
Physical activity can help you digest your food and burn calories. It also poses many benefits to gut health. Do not exercise after having a meal. Wait for at least two hours after hitting the gym after the meal. Doing minor physical activity after meals can also help with food digestion.
c) Change your eating habits!
Are you unable to resist the yummy buffet in front of you? It can be challenging. Do not eat in excess, as it can result in heartburn. Opt for smaller portions instead of eating more at once in order to avoid overeating.
Chew your food thoroughly for proper digestion. Eat slowly, so food breaks down properly, rather than gulping down your food all at once. Moreover, add foods that can make heartburn better such as oatmeal, non-citrus fruits, and healthy fats.
d) Wear loose clothes
Tight and uncomfortable clothes can sometimes be the reason behind heartburn. Fitted clothing can squeezes your stomach, upsetting your stomach acid. It may result in heartburn. Wearing comfortable clothes can support the digestion of food and prevent heartburn.
e) Try calming methods
Stress and anxiety can cause heartburn too. If you experience heartburn often, especially in stressful situations or when you feel anxious, try calming techniques to manage your stress. Stress management can help prevent many diseases, including heartburn.
Heartburn is when your stomach acid travels up your esophagus resulting in a burning feeling or pain in your chest. The home remedies for heartburn mentioned above can provide you some relief.
Some foods and beverages can lead to heartburn which you should avoid. A journal may help record your meals and any symptoms that may occur after having them to track which foods are problematic.
Other remedies like baking soda with water and apple cider vinegar may help provide instant relief for heartburn, but it is not a long-term solution.
Keeping yourself healthy and active can act as a preventative measure for heartburn. If you suffer from heartburn often, altering your lifestyle can make you feel better. Making healthy choices and managing your stress levels can keep you away from heartburn.
Smoking can also contribute to heartburn, so quitting smoking can protect you from heartburn. Other things to avoid are caffeinated beverages, mint, carbonated beverages, and other foods that result in heartburn.
Heartburn can also be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A doctor can provide you with an accurate diagnosis and provide treatment. Acid traveling up your mouth can cause problems such as sore throat, tooth decay, and esophagus damage.