Millions of people around the world experience heartburn. This burning sensation in the chest, which typically occurs just behind the breastbone, happens when content from the stomach heads back up into the esophagus. A sour taste or the sensation of food coming back up into your mouth can accompany heartburn. When this happens, the common thought is to reach for heartburn medication or other over-the-counter products that reduce the pain. We’re here to tell you that there are natural remedies to getting rid of heartburn.
People experience heartburn after certain meals, like an overly salty burrito with hot salsa, and the pain can worsen when they lay down or bend over. Heartburn can be caused by eating spicy foods, drinking caffeinated beverages, or genetics can influence how frequently a person experiences heartburn.
A Quick Anatomy Lesson
The esophagus is the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, and it pushes food down in a slow rhythm. The esophageal sphincter (you can laugh, it’s ok) is a ring-like muscle that serves as a valve to prevent acidic contents from traveling back up into the esophagus. As the food enters the stomach, stomach acid and enzymes begin to break the food down for digestion. Stomach acids are designed to dissolve food, so they are very powerful. In the case of heartburn, those stomach acids creep up into the esophagus, leaving you with an unpleasant burning sensation in the chest. To help ease heartburn, you may find the following remedies to be quite beneficial.
It is common practice for Americans to overeat. From super-sized meals to high-calorie foods, diet plays a large role in the development of heartburn. People with acid reflux and frequent heartburn have a weakened esophageal sphincter, meaning that it is easier for stomach acid to squeeze into the esophagus. Since heartburn typically occurs after a meal, one step to minimize this is to eat smaller portions. Not only that, it is beneficial to avoid acidic and spicy foods, because these will trigger a more intense reaction. You may also find it beneficial to consume smaller meals throughout the day.
Sleep On The Left Side
It is common for many people to experience heartburn during the night, and it can worsen when you lay down to go to bed. Most doctors suggest that it is beneficial to sleep with your head and shoulders on an incline to keep stomach acid down, but new research shows that sleeping on the left side reduces symptoms. A 2008 review of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) published in JAMA Internal Medicine found that sleeping on the right side aggravated symptoms. Sleeping on the left side, however, has improved heartburn symptoms.
No More Booze
Alcohol commonly increases the severity of acid reflux and heartburn. The reason for this is because alcohol increases the production of stomach acid and relaxes the esophageal sphincter. This impairs the ability of the esophagus to clear itself of acid. Several studies have shown that moderate alcohol consumption can induce heartburn, and controlled studies have found that wine and beer increase acid reflux symptoms.
Fresh Aloe Vera Juice
Most grocery stores sell 100% pure aloe vera juice. It is important that you get aloe juice that is free of sweeteners and other preservatives. Aloe soothes the skin when you have a sunburn, right? It does the same thing to your insides, reducing the burning sensation. It is beneficial to drink two tablespoons of aloe juice before meals to soothe the esophagus and stomach.
Don’t buy baking powder; you are not a cake. Baking soda is readily available and helps to neutralize acids. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in one cup of filtered water and stir to combine. Consume to reduce heartburn. Note that if you are on a low-sodium diet, consider that baking soda does contain sodium, so you may want to check with your health care provider.
Ease Your Stress
According to a report published in the 2004 edition of Psychosomatic Medicine, severe lifestyle or physical stress can induce heartburn symptoms. It is beneficial to seek techniques that help naturally lower stress. Many people find that meditation is beneficial for stress management, while others prefer things like progressive muscle relaxation, exercise, acupuncture, and aromatherapy.
Follow A Low-Carb Diet
Scientists have found that low-carb diets may relieve heartburn. The reason for this is that undigested carbs can cause bacterial overgrowth and pressure in the abdomen. Some studies suggest that this overgrowth is the result of people’s inability to digest and absorb carbs, especially refined and processed carbs. Follow a low-carb diet to help reduce heartburn. The ketogenic diet may be beneficial and you can find more information about that by clicking here.