Heartburn is one of the most common complaints people have. Heartburn is a feeling of burning in your chest. It’s a symptom of acid reflux or GERD. Getting to the bottom of your reflux or GERD is essential, but in the meantime, I’ve outlined some natural heartburn relief methods you can incorporate today to start feeling better.
Masking heartburn with over the counter medicine or natural remedies will not solve the problem. A good lifestyle plan needs to be put in place so you can recover from this digestive ailment.
Symptoms of Heartburn
Certain foods or drinks can trigger heartburn in people. Heartburn is a sensation of burning in the chest. It’s due to stomach acid backing up in the esophagus. The esophagus is about 10 inches long. It’s a muscular organ that connects the throat to the stomach. It is also called the food pipe. A person experiences heartburn in the upper and central part of the chest just behind the breast bone.
Reasons For Heartburn
Most experts tell you to stay away from spicy dishes, fatty foods and fried foods when you are suffering from heartburn. These foods may trigger heartburn, but HOW you eat is more important than WHAT you eat according to experts. The evidence for avoiding certain foods to reduce heartburn is just not there.
- Eating Too Close To Bedtime. Digesting food while in a reclining position or lying down is a pretty good way to ensure heartburn. The contents of your belly don’t have the benefit of the gravitational pull of standing or sitting while eating. Try not to eat 2 to 3 hours before going to bed. If you have GERD, it’s even more important to follow this rule.
- Snacking All Day Or Eating Too Much Food. Some dietary theories tell us to eat mini meals all day long, however, this is a good way to get heartburn. Eating too frequently during the day should be avoided. Also if you tend to eat large meals at one sitting, your stomach may just back some up into the esophagus.
- Being Obese or Overweight. Excess weight creates more pressure on your abdomen which can slow the food down as it makes it way through the digestive system. Also being overweight can put a strain on the sphincter muscle that keeps the contents in your stomach and from being able to back up into the esophagus.
- Eating The Wrong Foods As I stated before, there is scant research that links certain foods to heartburn. But that doesn’t mean that certain foods can’t give you heartburn. So if you have bad experiences with certain foods, then you will do yourself a favor by not eating them. The point is, slightly acidic and spicy foods don’t drive up acid levels in your stomach to cause such bad symptoms. Think about it, our stomach is filled with stomach acid already, why would a food tip the scale? Experts say that the stomach makes 2 liters of hydrochloric acid a day! What difference would a slightly acidic food make?
Natural Remedies For Heartburn
- Baking Soda– Try one teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in one glass (8 oz) of water. The baking soda neutralizes the acid. You can do this a few times a day. You should not use this remedy every day. Baking soda is high in salt and can cause problems long term.
- Aloe Juice – Aloe Juice is very soothing when applied topically and it’s also soothing when taken internally. Try drinking a half cup of aloe juice before meals.
- Elevate Your Head – Elevate your head 6 inches when you sleep by using a wedge-shaped pillow under your mattress like the therapeutic one shown here. Do not lie down 3 -4 hours before bed.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – In most cases, acid reflux is caused by too little stomach acid. If you’re not producing enough acid, your sphincter muscle won’t tighten up which creates food and acid to back up into the esophagus. Try adding a little more acid in the form of apple cider vinegar. Try one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water. (always dilute apple cider vinegar)
- Bananas and apples – Both fruits buffer acid. Eat a banana a day or try eating an apple a little before bed.
- Mustard – Yes that’s right. Mustard is alkalizing and contains a weak acid. Take one teaspoon straight. Preferably when you feel heartburn coming on.
- Fresh ginger tea – Cut a tablespoon of fresh ginger and add to a cup of hot water to make fresh ginger tea. Ginger is known for its ability to calm the stomach.
If you need more support with healing your gut, sign up for this free digestive health webinar.
This webinar will help answer these questions plus more. Get the information you need to start healing heartburn and IBS so you can feel better again.
Why 70% of those with digestive problems are shocked to learn they’re fighting a losing battle to these two gut triggers.
Specific anti-inflammatory foods to eat (and not eat) to stop suffering.
Do you have any heartburn remedies to share? I’d love to hear them. Please leave a comment.
Linda is a Certified Integrative Health Coach