How to Relieve Heartburn Naturally: Home Remedies You Can Try
Heartburn, also known as acid indigestion, is characterized by a painful burning sensation in the chest, a bit behind the breastbone, that would often move stealthily up to the throat.
This is usually caused by acid reflux, which could be a symptom of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In some cases, this may also be a sign of an ischemic heart disease.
Nearly 60 million people in the United States are affected by heartburn every month. While it is deemed as one of the most common medical conditions that exists today, treating it the wrong way may lead to several health complications.
Prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines are always available for people suffering from such condition. However, it is always best to learn how to relieve heartburn naturally, so as to avoid unwarranted side effects that may be caused by taking synthetic medicines.
How to Relieve Heartburn Naturally
1. Elevate your head as you sleep. Lying down causes the digested substances, including the acid, in your stomach to flow back to the esophagus. This is basically the reason why the burning sensation of heartburn tends to become worse at night. To help soothe the discomfort, elevate your head as you sleep by about six inches.
2. Grab an apple or a banana. Both of these fruits can act as natural pain reliever for acid reflux. Eating an apple several hours before sleeping can help ease the discomfort caused by the heartburn. On the other hand, banana acts as a natural antacid. When you feel the symptoms of heartburn, you can always grab a banana to counter the acid reflux and soothe the burning sensation it brings.
3. Drink more water. Drinking water always works wonder to the body. If you are feeling the first tinge of heartburn, grab a large glass of water immediately and drink it up. Doing this will flush the acid back down to the stomach.
4. Drink Vinegar. Although heartburn is primarily associated to acid reflux, it does not necessarily follow that it is caused by excess acid in the body. Drinking a tablespoon of vinegar can bring an acidic shock to the esophagus which will compel it to close and prevent the acid from going up.
Other Home Remedies That Work
Most of the things you need for natural heartburn remedies can be found right inside your home. Here are some of them:
- Baking Soda – This powder has been proven to be an effective heartburn treatment. Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, can treat heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. The remedy works by drinking a simple solution of one tablespoon of the powder mixed into a glass of water. If done correctly, this will get rid of the painful, burning sensation in the chest caused by the acid reflux in your stomach.
- Aloe Vera – Another home remedy for heartburn that provides a soothing effect is the aloe plant. You can drink a half glass of aloe juice before taking your meal to help ease the burning pain you feel in various parts of your body caused by the acid reflux.
- Chewing Gum – Chewing sugar-free gum for about 20 to 30 minutes after taking a meal can potentially help ease heartburn symptoms. Doing this is highly effective as it stimulates your salivary glands, thereby increasing your saliva flow, which in turn, clears away the acid accumulated in your gut.
Preventive Measures to Lessen the Risk of Heartburn
Heartburn can happen to anyone, anytime. However, you can significantly reduce your chanes of experiencing it by observing several simple health practices. Watch what you eat. Heartburn and acid reflux can be primarily triggered by the food you eat.
Spicy foods, tomato-based foods, raw onions, citrus and peppermint, among others, can potentially trigger the onset of the condition. On the contrary, eating more veggies, fruits, and whole grains can help reduce your chances of experiencing it. By substituting healthy foods for fatty, processed foods, you will lose weight, which reduces heartburn significantly.
Another factor that heightens the risk of heartburn is drinking alcohol, as well as carbonated beverages, caffeinated drinks and even fruit juices.
To minimize your chances of experiencing the condition, you have to regulate your intake of these liquids.
Do not lie down immediately after eating. Not a few people are tempted to lie down after eating, especially in the evening. But if you want to avoid experiencing heartburn in the middle of the night, see to it that you don’t lie down immediately after eating your dinner.
Wait for a couple of hours before going to bed, so as to keep the digestive juices from creeping up to the esophagus. There are actually a lot of ways on how to relieve heartburn naturally. Although it’s a common medical condition, you need to take care of it immediately before it gets worse.
However, there are circumstances that are best left to medical professionals. When your heartburn keeps recurring than usual, talking to your doctor is the best thing to do as it could be an indication of a more serious medical condition.