Three Natural Reliefs for Heartburn
Heartburn can be so painful and severe that millions of people go to hospital emergency rooms every year afraid they are having a heart attack only to discover they are experiencing severe heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux.
Big sigh of relief when the doctor rules out cardiac problems, of course!
But, obviously severe heartburn can be very painful if sufferers routinely end up in the emergency room. Some people experience less painful heartburn, but still painful enough to disrupt their lives and make them uncomfortable.
Heartburn—an intense burning in your lower chest, abdomen, or throat—is a symptom of acid reflux.
This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, a valve at the entrance of your stomach, doesn’t close immediately after food passes through. The acid in your stomach then splashes up into your esophagus causing a burning, severe pain in the chest called heartburn that can last a few minutes or even several hours.
There are several natural ways to manage acid reflux that work well for most people.
Some foods commonly trigger heartburn. WebMD has a useful list of the top 10 heartburn foods to avoid which include spicy foods, citrus, high fat foods, caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages. When you experience heartburn symptoms think about the foods you ate most recently to help identify what might be your triggers. For most people, heartburn pain is avoidable by identifying the dietary triggers and avoiding them. Also, consider regularly eating foods that help prevent heartburn including bananas.
Heartburn most often occurs when you eat large amounts of food all at once or lay down right after you eat. Eat smaller, more frequent meals and do not lay down for at least two hours after eating to help avoid heartburn. Another key lifestyle choice that can cause heartburn is smoking. For your overall health, as well as to avoid heartburn pain, quit smoking. Maintaining a healthy weight and exercising will also help reduce bouts of heartburn.
There are several supplements that are reported to reduce the intensity and frequency of heartburn. For example, Probiotic supplements, Licorice and Aloe Vera may provide some relief. A warm cup of Fennel, Ginger, or Chamomile tea can also soothe heartburn symptoms. As with any supplement it is important to discuss them with your doctor before taking them.
If you experience heartburn pain, there are several over the counter options for immediate relief of pain. Antacids are good for quick results. Medications like Pepcid AC and Zantac block the production of acid. Frequent sufferers may buy Prevacid or Prilosec for relief, but these should not be used for more than a short period of time as indicated in the dosing instructions.
If you experience heartburn more than twice a week, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) which is an acid reflux disease. Natural remedies should help alleviate the symptoms, but you do need to be medically evaluated to address the underlying cause. To test for GERD your doctor will likely perform an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy or upper gastrointestinal series. If you are diagnosed with GERD, your doctor may instruct you to take an over the counter medication or give you a prescription. In addition, they will recommend making dietary and lifestyle changes.
While heartburn pain can range from mild discomfort to debilitating, the good news is that there are simple natural remedies can make a big difference. So, don’t let heartburn pain stop you in your tracks!