While common, heartburn is far from pleasant. This painful condition happens when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, resulting in a burning sensation that reaches up to the neck area.
There are many possible causes of heartburn. Drinking alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated drinks, and acidic food and juices are just some of the common causes of the condition, but heartburn may also be caused by hormone imbalance and other related conditions such as obesity, pregnancy, menopause. If heartburn occurs frequently, the patient may also be suffering from GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. In such cases, the advice of a family doctor or a holistic practitioner can be valuable.
Luckily, and because heartburn is pretty common, people have found ways to deal with the burning sensation all without leaving the comfort of their own homes.
7 Home Remedies for Heartburn
Here are some of the most popular and effective heartburn remedies:
1. Loosen your belt. Heartburn happens because stomach acid goes up the esophagus. To help the acid settle down, you can try loosening tight-fitting clothes.
2. Straighten your back. When you are slumped, your internal organs are more compressed, making it difficult for the acid to find space in your stomach. Standing up straight helps the acid come down quickly. In addition to maintaining a great standing posture, you can also stretch to widen and lengthen your torso and spine.
3. Raise your upper body. Bedridden patients suffering from heartburn can try sitting down. The goal is to elevate everything above the waist, not just raise the head with another pillow.
4. A baking soda recipe to neutralize stomach acid: mix ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water. However, note that baking soda is high in salt and can cause swelling, nausea, and other side effects.
5. Stop smoking. Smoking can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps stomach acid right where it needs to be.
6. Start chewing gum. Chewing gum stimulates the flow of saliva which, in turn, helps wash away acid that accumulated in the esophagus. Choose a natural chewing gum found in health food stores and avoid ones made with toxic synthetic sweeteners like aspartame.
7. Alleviate with aloe. Drink about ½ cup of aloe before meals to help relieve the inflammation in the esophagus. Use with care; aloe can also serve as a laxative.
While these offer relief, the best way to deal with heartburn is to avoid it. Steer clear of acidic, caffeinated, and carbonated drinks. If you suspect that heartburn is brought about by other physical conditions, such as stress or to hormone imbalance, try to work your way around stressful situations, or talk to a physician. Simply be familiar with how your body reacts to substances and situations and actively avoid your common heartburn triggers.