Remedies For Heartburn & Acid Reflux
If you are one of the millions of people who suffer from heartburn daily, then this article is for you. While commercial medication is effective and will ease your symptoms, natural remedies are a better alternative and if administered properly, can give just as much relief – if not more.
What Is Acid Reflux And What Are the Symptoms?
Acid reflux is often referred to as heartburn, although heartburn is, in fact, a symptom of acid reflux. The burning sensation that your heart feels occurs when stomach acid gets pushed up into the oesophagus, making you feel like your chest is on fire.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you are possibly suffering from acid reflux:
- An acidic taste at the back of the mouth
- Inflammation in the sinuses
- Tooth decay
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
Acid Reflux is uncomfortable and its enough to put a damper on anyone’s day. The good news is that it can be treated, or at the very least, it can be alleviated with natural solutions that don’t include the use of chemicals.
1. Don’t Over Eat
Rule number one, don’t overindulge! Acid reflux is at its worst after eating meals. This is because your stomach acids become more active. Usually, the lower oesophageal sphincter of the oesophagus prevents the acidic contents of the stomach from going up into the oesophagus, but if you eat too much, the valve battles to keep the acid in. We suggest that you stick to many smaller meals over the day instead of loading up on breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
2. Consider Losing Weight
Belly fat is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to acid reflux. This fat has a bad habit of pushing against the lower oesophageal sphincter, pushing the valve up so that it does not close properly as a result. This means that once again, acids aren’t contained in your stomach but are, instead, pushed up into the oesophagus. If you are overweight, losing a few inches might make all of the difference.
3. Eat Fewer Carbs
While scientists are still trying to figure this one out, studies do suggest that undigested carbs can encourage bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside the abdomen. The result – heartburn. This simply means that you want to ease up on the carbs, which will have an overall positive impact on your health.
4. Go Easy On The Coffee
Caffeine has been found to weaken the muscle of the lower oesophageal sphincter, thus hindering its performance. While many can drink coffee without experiencing heartburn, if you are prone to this ailment, then it’s likely that drinking coffee will worsen the effects.
5. Increase Your Calcium Intake
Calcium is an active ingredient found in most over-the-counter medicines. This natural mineral helps to alleviate the symptoms by tightening the lower oesophagus sphincter valve, reducing the chances of acids from entering the oesophagus.
6. Avoid Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can aggravate symptoms by increasing stomach acid, relaxing the lower oesophageal sphincter, as well as by impairing the ability of the oesophagus to clear itself of acid. While pairing a glass of red wine with your meal sounds divine, it could leave you feeling very uncomfortable.
7. Stop Smoking
If you are a smoker, our advice is to – stop. If not to reduce the feeling of heartburn, then for a number of other health reasons. Research suggests that tobacco smoking may contribute to acid reflux by compromising saliva so that it refrains from neutralizing stomach acid. Findings also hint that it interferes with the proper functioning of the lower oesophageal sphincter.
8. Don’t Eat Right Before You Sleep
Eating late in the evenings has proven to increase the chances of heartburn. This is because stomach acid production is at its highest during the first 3 hours after eating and if you lie down straight after a meal, then your body is not in the best position to digest food effectively. If you do eat close to bedtime, then you might want to consider the next point.
9. Elevate The Head Of Your Bed
Night-time heartburn is often referred to as nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux or night-time reflux. Scientists explain that when we lie down flat, the contents of the stomach flow back into the oesophagus, thus disrupting effective digestion. The result is an influx of acids within the food pipe. By elevating your body just slightly while you sleep, you can encourage food to stay within your stomach so that it can digest properly.
10. Avoid Mint
That after-dinner mint might taste delectable but it could play a guilty hand in making you feel like your chest is about to explode. Some studies have discovered that doses of mint (spearmint and peppermint too) may stimulate acid reflux symptoms, presumably by aggravating the inner lining of the oesophagus. While minty foods and drinks might feel like they are giving you relief at first, they could potentially cause more discomfort.
When To See A Doctor
If your symptoms worsen or are constant, we suggest that you seek medical advice from a doctor. The symptoms of Acid Reflux can also be similar to a more serious digestive concern called GERD and if you experience any of the following, you might want to consider requesting immediate advice from a professional practitioner:
- Extreme chest pain
- The dramatic loss of weight
- Choking often when eating
- Vomiting blood
- Red or black stools
Any of the above symptoms could indicate a more serious health issue that requires urgent medical attention.
- Natural Home Remedies For Heartburn – WebMD
- Home Remedies And Lifestyle Tips for Reducing Acid Reflux – Medical News Today
- 14 Ways To Prevent Heartburn And Acid Reflux – Health Line