Every one of us has come across this nasty condition at least once. Especially if you love spicy food. Despite the name, heartburn is not something related to your heart. In fact, it involves your digestive system and eating habits. In simple words, when stomach acids back up in your food pipe, a burning sensation can occur in the chest. We call this a heart burn or acid reflux. For this, different medicines are available, such as omeprazole. However, natural home remedies are also quite popular all over the world to get rid of heartburn. This involves simple changes in your diet or lifestyle and herbal medication. Natural treatment of heartburn is mainly focused on the use of home treatment techniques to ease the problem.
Heartburn can be a great cause of irritation and discomfort. However, there is no need to worry. This article provides a complete list of simple and natural remedies to ease your heartburn in no time. In fact, you can easily fix your heartburn by trying these treatment techniques within the comfort of your own home.
What is Heartburn?
Heartburn is a very common and unpleasant medical condition. It usually involves slight hiccups followed by a burning sensation in your chest. In order to understand the exact cause, let’s revise the basics of our biology. As we know, our mouth connects to a food pipe or the oesophagus. When we eat, this food pipe carries the food particles to our stomach for digestion. A muscular valve is present where the oesophagus meets the stomach. This valve, or the lower oesophagus sphincter (LES), stops the stomach acid from coming out. When we eat, LES opens to enter the food particles into the stomach and then closes again. However, sometimes, LES can open too often or not close properly. This can cause stomach acids to seep into the oesophagus and travel upwards. Consequently, this can give rise to a burning sensation, or heartburn, in your chest.
There are different reasons which can result in LES not closing properly. In this regard, overeating is a very common cause. Putting too much food in your stomach can put pressure on the LES. As a result, this can cause it to not close properly. Furthermore, obesity or constipation can also put too much pressure on the LES. This is the reason why heartburn is a common condition during pregnancies as well.
Symptoms of Heartburn
Some of the common symptoms of heartburn include:
- A burning sensation in the chest. It increases when you bend over or lay down. It normally occurs after a heavy meal.
- An acidic or bitter taste in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- Cough or mild hiccups may also occur.
If left untreated or ignored for a long time, it can cause serious damage to the LES. Furthermore, it can also develop into gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a serious and chronic form of acid reflux. Typically, doctors tend to avoid medication to treat heartburn and, instead, focus on home treatment techniques to ease the symptoms.
Natural Remedies to Treat Heartburn
Heartburn is usually a by-product of unhealthy eating habits. However, spicy food and carbonated beverages are the most common causes. Furthermore, a large amount of fatty or junk food can also result in heartburn. Other than that, drinking a lot of alcohol, citrus products, coffee, and ketchup are some of the common causes as well. However, what may be the cause, heartburn is not something permanent. Here is a list of natural home remedies I have collected over the years to treat my heartburn.
1. Stop Overeating
As we discussed earlier, overeating is one of the most common causes of heartburn. D. O. Castell, J. A. Murray, R. Tutuian, R. C. Orlando, and R. Arnold conducted a research study. This research investigated the potential causes of acid reflux. It showed that taking large meals can increase your chances of heartburn.
Furthermore, taking large bites and eating fast can also lead to heartburn. Therefore, it is important to take small bites and eat slowly. This will allow the LES to open and close properly.
2. Try Losing some Weight
If you suffer from obesity, try incorporating small changes in your diet. Replace fatty food with fruits and vegetables. As we discussed earlier, obesity can put pressure on your LES. This can cause the LES to not close properly, resulting in heartburn.
Furthermore, frequent exercise or physical activity can also relieve your heartburn. Exercising can help your stomach digest food quickly. In fact, it is healthy for your body and mind as well. Moreover, it can help those suffering from weight gain. Instead of going to the gym, you can also try some easy exercise techniques at home.
3. Change your Fashion Style
Looking at the latest fashion trends, this one shouldn’t be hard anyway. If you wear tight-fitting clothes, try changing to more loose and baggy ones. Tight clothes might be compressing your stomach and putting pressure on the LES. This subsequently results in heartburns. Trying baggy clothes or loosening your belt can relieve pressure on your stomach.
4. Start a Low-Carb Diet
Next on our list of home remedies to treat heartburn is the simple act of fixing your diet. Journal of pediatric and Gastroenterology and Nutrition published a research study which highlighted that undigested carbs in our stomach can cause bacterial growth. This, in turn, can result in acid reflux, or heartburn. Incorporating a low-carb diet is an excellent way to combat this issue. The easiest thing is to include fruits and vegetables in your diet.
In this regard, research studies show the impact of a low-carb diet on acid reflux. One research study, conducted by the University of North Caroline, analyzed its effect. It showed that a low-carb diet can decrease gas-producing bacteria in the stomach. This automatically reduces the risk of heartburn.
5. Don’t Drink too much Alcohol
Try cutting back on those ‘drinking nights’ for a while. Alcohol can increase the severity of heartburn or acid reflux. It increases the production of acids in your stomach. Furthermore, it relaxes your LES. Lastly, it impairs the ability of the oesophagus to clear itself of acids. In this respect, a research study investigated the effect of alcohol on acid reflux. It showed that even a small amount of alcohol can cause heartburn in a healthy person.
6. Change your Beverages
If you are a fan of carbonated or caffeine beverages, it’s time to ditch them. Carbonated or caffeine beverages are on the top list of food items that cause heartburn. These beverages temporarily weaken the LES and cause belching. This happens due to the carbon dioxide gas present in them. Belching increases the number of acids escaping into the food pipe. This can ultimately increase the risk of heartburn.
7. Chew Gum
Now, this probably reminds you of ‘hip dudes’ during the 80s’. However, it is also a quick and easy way to relieve your heartburn. Chewing gum can increase the production of saliva in the mouth. This, in turn, is helpful in clearing acids from the oesophagus. If you deal with heartburns too often, try keeping chewing gum with you. Just pop it in your mouth and voila! You’re cured.
8. NO MORE CHOCOLATE!
This one will probably hurt the most. However, chocolate weakens the LES and increases the number of acids in the stomach. This increases the overall risk of heart burn. In this respect, The American Journal of Digestive Diseases published a research study. This study investigated the effect of chocolate on acid reflux. It stated that chocolate has adverse effects on LES. It weakened the LES, increasing the risk of acid reflux.
9. Ginger and Apple Cider Vinegar are your Best friends.
A friend in need is a friend indeed. And when you’ll be suffering from the intense pain of heart burn, these two will prove to be so. If you suffer from heartburn regularly, try adding these two in your everyday diet. You can drop a little piece of ginger in your tea as well. Mix three teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water and drink this slowly. Try this trick before meals or going to bed. This can reduce your chances of heartburn. Furthermore, it can also improve your digestive system.
10. Elevate your Upper Body and Head
One of the best ways to fight heartburn is with the help of gravity. If you feel heartburn growing, try standing up or elevating your upper body. This can prevent the acids from backing up the food pipe. Furthermore, some people experience heartburn during the night or while laying down. In that case, try elevating your head by placing an extra pillow underneath. This can cause the acids to go down the esophagus back into the stomach.
11. Mix Baking Soda and Water
This is THE easiest way to relieve heartburn. Baking soda acts as a neutralizing agent. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with water and drink it slowly. Baking soda contains sodium that can neutralize the effect of acids.
12. Check your Bedtime
Normally, heartburns occur right after you take a meal. Doctors usually advise avoiding meals at least three hours before going to bed. That is because gravity is one of the natural fighters of heartburn. Immediately laying down after a meal can cause stomach acids to travel upwards. This increases the chances of developing heartburns. In this respect, taking a short walk after dinner can also reduce your chances of heartburn. It can help your body digest food quickly.
13. Check your Sleeping Position
According to Dr Khan of Aga Khan University, sleeping on your left side can reduce acid reflux to a great extent. In fact, Dr Khan also advises his patients suffering from heart burn to sleep on their left sides during the night. According to him, this little trick has helped bring remarkable improvements in their heartburn symptoms. Try this little technique to ease yours as well.
14. Herbal Home Treatment for Heartburn
Herbal remedies are another way to treat different illnesses. People all over the world use Aloe Vera and Slippery Elm to ease the symptoms of heart burn. Slippery Elm strengthens the layer of mucous lining the stomach. This, in turn, creates a stronger barrier against acids. On the other hand, Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties. This can reduce inflammation in the oesophagus easing the symptoms of heartburn along the way.
Home remedies are easy fixes to small problems, such as heartburn. However, it is important to remember that they are not a substitute for medical treatment. If your heartburn remains persistent, it may be a symptom of some other underlying medical condition. In that case, it is best to consult a doctor or a physician or seek professional help.
Furthermore, home remedies to treat any medical condition, such heartburn involve the use of natural ingredients lying around your house. Their effectiveness might vary from person to person. For this reason, it is always important to check whether they work for you or not. This can include allergic reactions, regional conditions, or simply differences in metabolism.
The symptoms of heartburn are quite similar to a heart attack. If the situation gets worst, it is necessary to rush to the nearest hospital.
Heart burn is a very common, yet unpleasant condition which can result in massive irritation and frustration. The most common cause is unhealthy eating habits and dietary factors. On this note, natural home remedies are a popular way of treating heart burn all over the world.
It is important to watch what you are eating and how. Having a Low-carb diet and changing your eating habits is an excellent way to stop heartburn. Furthermore, eliminate risky food items from your eating menu. This includes alcohol, chocolates, carbonated drinks, and spicy food. Lastly, check your bedtime and sleeping positions to combat heartburn. Heartburn can be irritating and annoying. However, it is not something to stress over. You can easily manage your heart burn by making these little changes in your lifestyle and eating habits.