Home Remedies For Heartburn: 10 Ways To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux
Despite what its name implies, heartburn has nothing to do with your heart.
Rather, it’s a burning sensation in your chest that occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the 10-inch tube connecting your mouth to your stomach.
When it hits, heartburn can last for just a few minutes or as long as several hours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable so it’s no surprise if you’re looking for a way to get rid of the sensation fast.
When Can I Expect Heartburn To End
Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.
So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.
However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.
Can You Use Essential Oils For Heartburn
You certainly can you use essential oils to help relieve heartburn symptoms.
Essential oils provide us with an exceptional natural remedy to support our body and our digestive system.
There are a few oils that you could try at home. Bear in mind that different people react differently to essential oils, so be prepared to give a few a try, till you find what works best for you.
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When Should You Talk To Your Doctor About Heartburn
Have a conversation with your doctor as soon as you start noticing heartburn symptoms that recur often, since they may indicate youre experiencing GERD or another disorder. If youre unable to manage your symptoms with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter medication, talk to your doctor about the next steps. If you are experiencing pain in your chest, seek medical intervention immediately to rule out any other illnesses.
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Heartburn Relief During Pregnancy
There are two reasons why pregnant women might get heartburn. First, during pregnancy a womans body starts releasing hormones that relax abdominal and pelvic muscles in preparation for delivery. This can also cause muscles like the one that controls the valve between the esophagus and the stomach to relax, allowing acidic bile to flow back toward the throat. Secondly, as the baby grows, it puts pressure on the stomach, which can also lead to acid reflux. Avoiding trigger foods may help, along with these other tips to reduce heartburn:
- Chew slowly and thoroughly to break down the food as much as possible for digestion.
- Drink your nutrients through protein and fruit shakes.
- Eat small meals throughout the day.
- Elevate your torsonot just your headwhile sleeping.
- Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about over-the-counter heartburn treatments during pregnancy.
- Try sleeping on your left side, which makes it harder for acid to move backward through the esophageal valve.
Home remedies are an inexpensive and accessible way to treat heartburn pain. If the first remedy doesnt help, keep tryingeventually, one of these options will likely work for you. But if your heartburn keeps coming back or you find that its getting worse, speak with your doctor. Remember, heartburn is a symptomyou may need to treat the problem that is causing it.
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How To Get Rid Of Heartburn Naturally
You can improve heartburn symptoms or get rid of it completely by making a few small changes to your lifestyle. Lifestyle changes you might want to try include:
- eating smaller meals more often to help avoid overeating
- elevating your head and shoulders in bed so your head and chest are positioned higher than your waist
- losing weight if you are overweight
- quitting smoking if you smoke
- cutting out food and drink from your diet that can trigger heartburn
- limiting your alcohol intake
- wearing loose-fitting clothes that are not tight around your waist
- not eating close to bedtime
If you suspect a medication you are already taking may be causing your symptoms, do not stop taking that medication unless you have consulted your doctor first.
A Maintain A Healthy Body Weight
Do you know your body mass index ? If not, start now by entering your weight and height into a BMI calculator to use the NIH calculator and find your current BMI.
A healthy BMI is between 19 and 25, but anyone with a compromised LES should not be at the high end of normal. We recommend a BMI of 24 or less. Why is this important? We wrote a cornerstone article titled How is your excess weight destroying your LES , which we highly recommend you read if you have a BMI greater than 24.
This excess weight does two things that will increase your GERD symptoms. First, it distends the stomach, pulling down on the LES and stretching it out. Over a long-term, this will reduce the effectiveness of the LES to act as an effective barrier between the stomach and the oesophagus.
Second, it puts added pressure on the diaphragm, potentially pushing stomach content into the esophagus. Many research studies have proven that a reduction in BMI will reduce GERD symptoms. In an NIH published paper researchers concluded the following:
In summary, our findings suggest that, beyond being overweight or obese, the risk of GERD symptoms rises progressively with increasing BMI, even among normal weight individuals. This appears true for all degrees of symptom severity and duration, as well as for nocturnal symptoms. Notably, weight loss was associated with a decreased risk of symptoms.
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Dont Drink Too Much Citrus Juice
Many types of citrus juice, including orange juice and grapefruit juice, are considered common triggers for heartburn .
These ingredients are highly acidic and contain compounds like ascorbic acid, which could cause indigestion if you consume them in large amounts .
In addition to being acidic, certain compounds found in citrus juice could irritate the lining of the esophagus .
While citrus juice probably doesnt cause acid reflux directly, it could make your heartburn worse temporarily.
Some people with acid reflux report that drinking citrus juice makes their symptoms worse. Certain compounds in citrus juice, in addition to acids, can also irritate the lining of the esophagus.
What Foods Get Rid Of Heartburn
Eating certain foods can also help relieve heartburn symptoms.
8. Drink ginger tea
Ginger is an ancient remedy used for the digestive system. It can help relieve irritation and inflammation in your esophagus and digestive tract.
9. Eat fennel
Fennel is another soothing digestive remedy. Try grilling this low-acid vegetable as a hot vegetable dish, or drink fennel tea.
10. Eat mild vegetables
Mild vegetables like lettuce, celery, cucumbers, and sweet peppers are gentle on the stomach and dont cause gas. Less belching can help relieve heartburn symptoms.
11. Enjoy melons
If citrus fruits make your heartburn worse, try swapping them for melons. Theyre low in acid and a healthy option.
12. Try oatmeal
Whole grains like oatmeal are high in fiber, which makes you feel full for longer. You might be less likely to overeat, which can ease heartburn.
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Does Heartburn Go Away On Its Own How Long Does Heartburn Last If Untreated
Generally speaking, heartburn can last for a few hours before subsiding on its own.
However, sometimes this painful sensation can last for much longer.
Its duration varies depending on the causes.
For example, heartburn that occurs after eating spicy foods usually will last until the food has been fully digested.
Occasionally, symptoms may return after a few hours.
What Helps Heartburn Fast At Night
These tips can quickly help relieve nighttime heartburn.
22. Prop yourself up in bed
Keeping yourself upright in bed can help take some pressure off your stomach and valve and relieve symptoms.
23. Try baking soda and water
Baking soda can help neutralize acid. Try drinking a half teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in 4 ounces of warm water.
24. Take antacids
You can buy antacids from your pharmacy. These work by changing your stomach acid that causes heartburn.
25. Try over-the-counter histamine-2 blockers
Histamine-2 blockers help heartburn by changing how much acid your stomach makes. These can relieve symptoms for a few hours.
26. Try OTC proton pump inhibitors
You can try these medications from your pharmacy if nothing else is working. These should only be taken for 14 days at a time and only 3 times a year.
27. Take prescription medications
If nothing helps your heartburn, talk to your doctor. They can give you stronger prescription medications.
Sometimes surgery on your esophagus sphincter can help heartburn that doesnt get better with treatment. Talk to your doctor about ongoing heartburn.
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Natural Remedy: Use Baking Soda
You may find relief from infrequent heartburn with sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known as baking soda. Simply mix ½ teaspoon with four ounces of water to help neutralize the acid. Note this contains sodium and should not be used if you are on a sodium-restricted diet. Check with your doctor if you are taking any prescriptions drugs, are pregnant or have a chronic health condition before using baking soda to relieve heartburn.
Essential Oils For Heartburn
Although the power of essential oils to ease heartburn lacks scientific data, that hasnt stopped people from touting its benefits. Edible essential oils most commonly used for heartburn include lavender, lemon, ginger and orange. Add a drop or two to hot tea or water. Not all heartburn-friendly essential oils are ingestible. Eucalyptus essential oil may be used in a diffuser or in bath water instead. While the jury is still out on how effective these oils are for solving heartburn, there are studies that indicate they can help with issues like stress and anxiety, so there is little downside to giving them a try.
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Eat Smaller Meals Slower
Be mindful of how much and how fast youre eating at mealtime. Too much food in your stomach can put pressure on the valve that keeps stomach acid from coming up your esophagus, thus making heartburn more likely, says , the chief medical officer and co-founder of Redirect Health. Also, eating too fast can trigger heartburn, so Dr. Johnston says chewing slowly or taking smaller bites can help slow down the process.
Eat Smaller Meals Slower And More Often
If youre eating three square meals a day and have heartburn, you might want to mix things up. Too much food at too few sittings may be contributing to your discomfort. Instead, eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day, chewing slowly and thoroughly to maximize digestion. When the stomach is too full or the food is too fatty, the esophageal valve opens and food and acid move from the stomach back up toward your throat, leading to heartburn, says Scott Gabbard, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Meals that are more than 500 calories cause more reflux than lower-calorie meals, says Dr. Gabbard, and foods that contain more than 10 to 15 grams of fat tend to increase the amount of heartburn.
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How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy
They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.
Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.
Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.
While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:
Got Heartburn Maybe You Should Rethink Your Drink
A waitress delivers a coffee and beer in Medellin, Colombia, in this 2010 file photo. Both drinks can trigger acid reflux.hide caption
Many of us experience heartburn, or reflux, from time to time and when we do, were quick to point the finger at heavy, fatty meals. But that burning, uncomfortable feeling may also be the result of what were drinking: namely, coffee and other caffeinated beverages, and alcohol.
Alcohol has a direct effect on heartburn, says Kevin Ghassemi, a gastroenterologist at the University of California, Los Angeles. Temporarily, of course.
The reason, he explains, is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter located at the junction between the stomach and the esophagus.
The muscle is supposed to be closed, except when food is passing into the esophagus, explains Ghassemi.
But alcohol can relax the sphincter muscle and create an opening. When this happens, stomach acid can come back up into the esophagus, and thats reflux, Ghassemi says. Thats what creates the burning sensation.
Alcohol, coffee and other caffeinated beverages can relax the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus, allowing stomach acid to come back up. Mayo Clinichide caption
Its a similar story with caffeine. The caffeine thats in coffee or other caffeinated beverages also will relax the sphincter muscle, he says.
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Can I Cure Heartburn Naturally & Permanently
Dont worry: If They Can Cure It, You too Can
You have often noticed that after a good tasty, spicy meal, you get a burning sensation at the back of your throat or chest and a feeling that some acidic substances are trying to find its way back from the stomach into the esophagus.
You then say you are suffering from acidity for which another term is heartburn. This feeling in the chest can often be mistaken for heart disease symptoms and cannot be taken lightly.
You would need to have it diagnosed thoroughly to eliminate all probability of heart disease in your own interest you will feel far less stressed after you have taken this step.
And what is more, heartburn is easy to get rid of naturally, sitting in your own home. NO drugs or other form of treatment is necessary.
How Is Acid Reflux Diagnosed
If you experience heartburn 2 or more times a week, you may be suffering from GERD and should consult a gastroenterologist. Tests used to diagnose the condition may include:
- Gastrointestinal endoscopy: Involves inserting a small, flexible tube with a camera through the mouth to view the GI tract.
- Ambulatory acid probe test: A 24-hour probe study to monitor the esophageal pH
- Esophageal manometry: Done through a catheter that measures pressure and movement in the esophagus.
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Liquor And Acid Reflux
This is another drink to avoid.
Liquors are super-sweetened alcohol like Grand Marnier and Baileys, just to name a few.
These drinks are not only very acidic but also have zero nutritional value.
Special tip: you want to avoid any alcohol with added sweeteners. The same is valid for premixed drinks. Unfortunately, they often are sold right alongside straight alcohol without the added ingredients.
This makes things difficult to recognize. An example?
You can find premixed margaritas right next to the tequila.
And they are so different alcoholic drinks, as were going to see in the next paragraphs.
So, try to know in advance what are the ingredients to avoid added sugar, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives, as much as you can.
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Melon For Heartburn Relief
Melon has a pH of 6.1 and therefore it can be counted as one of the good foods for heartburn. Some people, however, may not respond well to melon and need to avoid it. So you can have some melon pieces every day or make a smoothie with melon and other ingredients that are also good to cure heartburn. Here is one recipe for a melon smoothie that also uses almond milk, cantaloupe, watermelon, ginger and banana. Almonds are also said to be a great remedy for heartburn as they neutralize stomach acid. While you can always snack on almonds, adding a few of them in this smoothie will not only make it tasty but will increase its efficacy in combating heartburn.
Make Melon Smoothie to Prevent Heartburn
- Fresh ginger root- 1 inch piece
- Place all the above ingredients in your blender and blend them together.
- Have this every morning if you have a consistent problem of heartburn.
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How To Cure Heartburn Four Quick Fixes And Long
How to cure heartburn you ask? Well, theres no easy answer to that question.
If youve been struggling with acid reflux for any length of time, then you know there isnt a quick fix to this disease as a whole. GERD has many symptoms, one of which is heartburn. At the crux of this disease is the lower oesophageal sphincter . Located at the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, the LES can weaken and no longer function as an effective barrier, allowing the acidic contents of the stomach to back-flow up into the oesophagus. When this happens, heartburn often follows. This weakening of the LES is progressive, so the more often you reflux, the more frequent the episodes become.
Learn more: GERD explained: The role of the LES
Medications can help relieve acid reflux symptoms by making the contents of the stomach less acidic however, they dont stop reflux from happening. Thats why managing GERD requires commitment and diligence: Watching what and how you eat and making lifestyle choices aimed at minimizing reflux can reduce your symptoms AND help stop the progression of the condition.
But sometimes, despite your best efforts to manage your GERD, heartburn strikes and you need relief . So though we cant provide a definite answer to how to cure heartburn? We can offer four quick fixes to help you cool the burn.