Heartburn is a feeling of burning, warmth, heat, or pain that often starts in the higher abdomen precisely beneath the lower breastbone (sternum). This uneasiness can extend in waves upward into your throat, and you may have a unpleasant taste in your mouth. Heartburn is at times called indigestion, acid regurgitation, sour stomach, or pyrosis. It is not caused by problems with your heart, although occasionally heart problems can feel like heartburn.
Heartburn may cause problems with swallowing, burping, nausea, or bloating. These symptoms can at times last up to 2 hours or longer. In certain people, heartburn symptoms could cause sleep problems, a chronic cough, asthma, wheezing, or choking episodes.
Heartburn generally is worse after eating or made worse by lying down or bending over. It gets better if you sit or stand up.
Causes of heartburn
Heartburn occurs when food and stomach juices back up (reflux) into the esophagus, which is the tube that leads from the throat to the stomach. This process is called gastroesophageal reflux Common causes of reflux include:
- Incomplete closing of the valve (the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES) between the esophagus and the stomach.
- Foods and drinks, such as chocolate, peppermint, fried foods, fatty foods, or sugars; and coffee, carbonated drinks, or alcohol. Once heartburn occurs, the backflow of stomach juices can cause the esophagus to become sensitive to other foods, such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, spicy foods, garlic, and onions. Eating these foods may cause more heartburn.
- Pressure on the stomach caused by obesity, frequent bending over and lifting, tight clothes, straining with bowel movements, vigorous exercise, and pregnancy.
- Smoking and use of other tobacco products.
- Prescription and nonprescription medicines, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, prednisone, iron, potassium, antihistamines, or sleeping pills.
- A hiatal hernia, which occurs when a small portion of the stomach pushes upward through the diaphragm, which is the muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen.
- Stress, which can increase the amount of acid your stomach makes and cause your stomach to empty more slowly.
Most doctors advocate antacids for occasional heartburn. Sometimes, more potent or long-term antacid prescription medications may be needed. Occasionally, surgery is recommended to prevent reflux and heartburn. The primary objective is to identify the cause of the heartburn so it can be avoided in the future. Here’ s the list of home remedies for heartburn you should try it out!
Quick Heartburn Relief Remedies
There are many promising alternative treatments for heartburn, as well.
1. The Ginger Alternative
Many find that ingesting ginger with a meal helps to reduce suffering and stomach upset. Fresh ginger can be ground and added to foods or taken in tea or capsule form. Herbalists recommend consuming 500mg. of ginger with a full glass of water after each meal.
2. Digestive Enzymes
Enzymes which help to speed the digestive process often eliminate heartburn altogether. Papaya enzymes are sold in chewable capsule form, and are taken immediately following a meal with a full glass of water. Both ginger and digestive enzymes are not medically proven to help with symptoms.
3. Increase Fiber
Consuming more fiber nutrient foods is another natural way to alleviate future suffering. Bulk foods help to absorb excess acid and gas, and allow your body to rid itself of toxins more quickly. For those who respond poorly to high fiber vegetables, fiber pills and beverages are an easy alternative.
4. Add More Water
The more water you drink, the less likely you are to suffer the pains of heartburn. Drinking at least 8-glasses of water each day will rid the body of toxins and allow your body to expel acid naturally.
5. Try Tea
Green tea has been used for centuries in Japan as an after dinner drink. Green teas aid the body in the digestion process, and help soothe the stomach’s sensitive tissue.
6. Herbal Drinks
Herbal teas containing even trace amounts of peppermint, chamomile, ginger, licorice root and catnip help the stomach lining repair itself. Often, one cup of tea following dinner is enough to stave off future heartburn episodes.
7. Chewing Gum Heartburn Relief
It may sound strange, but gum stimulates the production of saliva, which is an acid buffer. Plus, chewing gum makes you swallow more often, which pushes those nasty acids back out of your esophagus. When you pick a pack of gum, just make sure it’s sugar-free so you also protect your teeth.