Heartburn can be a painful experience for many people, effecting about 1 in 18 Americans daily. That’s about 15 million people per day. The term “heartburn” is actually a misnomer. Heartburn is not, in fact, a burning of the heart, but of the esophagus or chest, and is caused by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophageal tract.
Stomach acid is very important to the human body because it helps to break down the foods we eat for easier digestion. When we swallow food, a sphincter between the stomach and esophagus keeps the gastric acid in our stomach from harming the sensitive lining of the esophagus. When the muscles of the sphincter are weakened or defective in some way, usually caused by scarring from ulcers or pressure from a distended stomach from overeating, obesity or pregnancy, stomach acid can splash back into the esophagus. This is known as acid reflux and is a leading cause of heartburn.
Acid Reflux Home Remedies
Acid Reflux also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a condition in which the gastric juices of the stomach travel back up into the esophagus causing heart burn. The long term effect of acid reflux is that the acid from the stomach can erode away the delicate esophagus lining leading to scar tissue. Some of the symptoms include chest pain, difficulty in swallowing, bitter taste in the mouth, tightness in the throat, hoarseness, and bad breath.
There are lots of home remedies for acid reflux which can lessen the effect of GERD and brings comfort to the patients. Amazing remedy for Acid Reflux is the apple cider vinegar. By adding one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to a half glass of water and sipping this mixture, while having your dinner can do wonders for your heart burn.
Ginger Root is another amazing natural herb that has a calming effect on the nerves and has the capacity to absorb stomach acid. For acid reflux, an ideal dose of ginger root capsules and papaya enzyme pills which are both available in a natural health food store can be purchased and taken regularly just after dinner.
Fennel Seed is natural home remedies for acid reflux. This aromatic herb can aids in digestion and also contain a compound known as Anethole. This compound suppresses spasms in the gastrointestinal tract and the stomach. A half teaspoon of this fennel seeds can be taken and chewed slowly after each meal.
An acid reflux diet should be carefully monitored and eating before bed and eating too large meals can be harmful if you suffer from acid reflux. Frequently eating greasy, fries and fatty foods should be avoided. Alcohol, beverages, and smoking are not good for patients with heart burn.
Fruit juice like pineapple, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice citrus fruits, and orange juice and dairy products like sour cream, milk shake, ice cream, and cottage cheese should be avoided. Some gassy foods like beans, cabbage, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, fizzy drinks and brussels sprouts also cause discomfort.
Home Remedies For Heartburn Relief
While heartburn can be lessened, or even cured, by many over the counter antacid treatments or through surgery, there are many natural Heartburn Home Remedies that can prove just as effective. The easiest heartburn home remedies have to do with prevention, so that you may fix the problem before any medication is necessary.
For example, eating smaller meals more frequently, enables the stomach to produce less acid, and is easier on the sphincter that protects the esophagus. In addition, staying away from foods that require a greater production of gastric acid should prevent heartburn from occurring. These foods include such items as onions, acidic juice, chocolate, coffee, and anything highly spiced.
There are many other modifications you can make to you environment and behavior to aid in the prevention of heartburn. For example, raising the head of your bed about six inches will ensure that gravity keeps your stomach acid where it’s supposed to be. In addition to that, make sure you wait at least two to three hours after you eat before you take a nap or go to bed for the night.
Waiting until the digestion process is well underway should ensure that any excess stomach acid stays put when you’re ready to get in bed. Also, stay away from alcohol, cigarettes, soda, and Aspirin, all of which can either relax the sphincter between the esophagus and stomach or irritate the lining of the stomach and esophagus.
When prevention is just not solving your heartburn troubles, a natural home remedies for heartburn may be the solution to your problem. Chewable papaya tablets may ease the pain of heartburn and drinking aloe vera juice can help heal the intestinal tract. Both of these items can be found in health stores.
Try drinking chamomile tea to relieve irritation, or ingesting about 500 mg of ginger with a meal to reduce suffering and stomach upset. Drinking more water and adding more fiber to your diet will help the body to absorb more acid and will help the body flush toxins more rapidly, resulting in less acid production, and less prevalence of heartburn.
The importance of home remedies for heartburn is most apparent when it comes to members of our society who generally cannot take doctor prescribed or over the counter medications, such as infants and pregnant women. There are, however, many preventative remedies for heartburn that can be used on both infants and pregnant women.
For infants, breastfeeding is best, but if breastfeeding seems to lead to heartburn, a mother can try changing up her diet every couple of weeks, reducing those foods that lead to heartburn until she finds a diet that works for her baby. In addition, diapers or swaddling that are too tight can lead to pressure on the stomach, which can cause heartburn in infants. Avoid placing infants squarely on their back to sleep, avoid smoky environments, and make sure the infant is burped well before placing down for a nap.
Pregnant women are encouraged to take over the counter antacids, such as Tums, for heartburn. However, if the chemical composition of these tablets is a discouragement during the growth of your baby, try chewing spearmint gum or mixing teaspoon of baking soda in a warm glass of water.
In addition, a glass of cold milk may aid in the relief of heartburn symptoms. Heartburn is an irritating and uncomfortable problem for many members of our society, but with these tips, even those people that are the most sensitive to traditional remedies and medications can find the relief they need from the burning and pain that is caused by acid reflux and heartburn.