Heartburn hurts. If you suffer from this painful and embarrassing affliction, you may be interested in learning about heartburn remedies which will provide you with soothing relief. Luckily, there are a range of remedies for heartburn which will stop the irritating pain and allow you to feel good again.
In order to help you get the inside scoop on the latest “stop heartburn” solutions, we’ve created a detailed guideline. We’ll look at the most impressive treatment options, with a mind to helping you to put together a treatment plan which is just right for your needs and budget. There is bound to be one remedy for heartburn on our list which is perfect for you. Experiment with a single treatment or try them all in order to manage your symptoms…
First, let’s talk about what heartburn actually is and why it happens.
Heartburn is not related to the human heart organ. However, certain side effects of heartburn may be similar to symptoms of heart attacks or heart diseases. Heartburn occurs when the esophagus is irritated by acids of the stomach. This irritation triggers a burning sensation within the uppermost portion of the abdomen or just under the bone of the breast.
Usually, the power of gravity prevents stomach acid from leaving the tummy (where it belongs!). However, sometimes, a part of the body which is known as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) doesn’t close as completely as it should. In such a case, gravity isn’t enough to keep stomach acid from “refluxing” into the esophagus.
People who get heartburn now and then probably shouldn’t be too worried about it. Those who get it a lot may have a chronic health condition known as GERD. GERD stands for gastoesophageal reflux disease and it may lead to severe health issues. People who suspect GERD should seek out medical attention from their family doctors.
It’s estimated that 2 in 10 American citizens suffer from heartburn every week. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to this disorder, due to changes in their bodies which occur as their fetuses grow within their wombs.
Heartburn may be caused by a loose LES, which in turn, is triggered by an excess of food in the tummy or excess pressure on the tummy. Certain foods and drinks may also contribute to a slack LES, including tomato, garlic, onion, cocoa and coffee (to name just a few). Greasy foods also tend to spark heartburn episodes. In addition, booze and cigarettes are triggers.
Which Heartburn Remedies Work Best?
First off, you can try something gentle by experimenting with a home remedy which does offer benefits to many people. It’s a cheap fix for heartburn, it’s safe for your body and the only ingredient that this treatment requires may be right there in your own kitchen already! If it isn’t, you can pick it up for just a few dollars at any grocery store.
This cure-all is one teaspoon of baking soda mixed into a large glass of water, and this quick treatment does have the power to dramatically reduce – or eliminate – the symptoms of heartburn. This treatment works by neutralizing the acid that is causing the burning sensation. Just don’t overdo it – in other words, don’t ingest more than three teaspoons of baking soda over the course of 24 hours.
The only downside of this home remedy is that it contains plenty of sodium. If you’re not interested in this natural treatment for heartburn, let’s talk about some other options which may work well for you.
Does Chewing Gum Relieve Heartburn?
Oh, as one last “natural” tip, consider chewing gum in order to relieve your heartburn symptoms! Any typical chewing gum which contains bicarbonate should work well! This is also an inexpensive way to deal with heartburn! Just check the ingredient list on a pack of gum in order to ensure that it contains bicarbonate (most do!). Bear in mind that sugar-free gums which contain sorbitol may have laxative effects. So, do use them in moderation.
Consider Over-the-counter Medications
If home remedies don’t work well for you or appeal to you for some other reason, you’ll find that OTC (over-the-counter) remedies are fine choices. These sorts of remedies do work well for most and they are also very simple to access.
You’ll find OTC treatments for heartburn at a host of online retailers (and shopping online may allow you to save money!) and at grocery stores and drugstores.
Examples of over-the-counter treatments for heartburn are antacids, which typically contain a range of vital minerals which ease symptoms, such as magnesium and calcium. Aluminum and bicarbonate are also common ingredients in OTC antacids.
Certain antacids will interfere with the effectiveness of particular prescription-grade medications, such as H2 blockers and Proton Pump Inhibitors. If you’re taking these prescription-grade meds, you should talk to your doctor about whether or not OTC antacids are really right for you. Typically, these forms of antacids are taken before meals.
Think about Getting a Prescription Remedy
Lastly, if your symptoms are severe, it may be time to ask your doctor for help, via a prescription medication for heartburn. One example of a common prescription-strength remedy for heartburn is a Histamine-2 Blocker, which contains higher doses of active ingredients than OTC remedies do.
Such extra-strength formulas will stop heartburn in its tracks – however, they may not be great for dealing with other GERD side effects, such as esophagitis.
So, how do these forms of heartburn treatments work? Well, they function by blocking the production of acid after a person eats a meal. Therefore, they should be taken at least half an hour before a meal is consumed. Some people also take these meds before bed, to stop acid production while they doze.
Histamine stimulates acid production, especially after meals, so H2 blockers are best taken 30 minutes before meals. This dosage schedule will optimize the anti-histamine properties of these drugs. They can also be taken at bedtime in order to suppress the nighttime production of acid. Examples of prescription H2 blockers which are trusted and well-known include Axid and Pepcid. However, there are plenty more. Talk to your family doctor in order to find out which formula is best for your body.
A second prescription-grade option is Proton Pump Inhibitors, which are nicknamed, PPIs. These drugs inhibit acid production for longer periods of time, versus H2 blockers. Take your PPI according to your doctor’s instructions. Usually, these drugs should be taken 60 minutes before a meal. Examples of brand-name Proton Pump Inhibitors include Nexium and Aciphex.
Lifestyle Changes May be Very Beneficial Treatments
Many people who want to eradicate heartburn symptoms from their lives choose to embrace different lifestyles in order to achieve their goals. This can be very beneficial, especially if bad habits, such as smoking and drinking alcohol are triggering heartburn. After all, quitting smoking will definitely be positive for your life (and long-term health), and limiting or quitting drinking will do wonders for your live and your state of mind!
Aside from giving up tobacco and booze, or moderating drinking, you should consider eliminating trigger foods from your diet. For example, if you’re fond of junk food, which is so often greasy, you’ll find that giving it up or drastically minimizing the amount that you consume is great for your health. In addition, reducing the amount of coffee that you drink and avoiding other triggers, such as spicy fare and tomatoes, may be enough to significantly reduce your heartburn symptoms.
You may take medication or use home remedies as you embrace these advantageous lifestyle changes. It’s really up to you how much you do to combat heartburn. In most cases, the degree of frequency and severity of heartburn will dictate how much a person needs to do in order to change things for the better.
In other words, if your symptoms are mild, baking soda or an OTC antacid may be more than adequate. In contrast, if heartburn symptoms are adversely affecting your quality of life on a regular basis, it may be smart to put more energy into seeking out the right prescription-grade medication and investigating (and utilizing) lifestyle adjustments.
Moderate exercise and drinking plenty of pure water will also help a lot. If you’re not getting enough physical activity and you don’t drink enough pure water, you may be making it harder for your body to function as well as it should. Luckily, most of the lifestyle changes which are associated with tackling heartburn are very easy to undertake, and some may even be pleasant (such as exercise, which releases good hormones which are known as endorphins).
Choose the Right Heartburn Treatment Today
Finding the right heartburn treatment to test out should be easier now that we’ve outlined the most practical and commonly-used options. Hopefully, our detailed guide will give you the proper toolkit for improved health. While it may take some time to find the perfect treatment and lifestyle changes, you should be able to experience a lot of relief quickly when you do take our expert advice on board. Bear in mind that our advice is not a substitute for medical advice from a licensed physician.