Heartburn is a pain that is fairly common among adults. Heartburn is a burning pain the chest that can grow worse while bending over or while laid down. Heartburn is often experienced after eating and may also occur at night. Although heartburn is not very serious, it is still incredibly bothersome. In order to prevent and get rid of heartburn, it is important to understand why you may be experiencing heartburn symptoms.
What is heartburn?
When your esophagus becomes backed up by stomach acid, this creates the feeling that we know as “heartburn.” The sphincter of your esophagus weakens as you swallow, to allow food to enter. Although, if your sphincter remains weakened, stomach acid can also rise up through the esophagus, and occurs frequently when laid down or bending over. This is what causes the burning sensation that is called heartburn. Those who are overweight or pregnant may experience heartburn symptoms more often.
What Causes Heartburn?
Diet and nutritional content of the foods you eat may make a significant contribution to heartburn symptoms.
- Food: Foods that are associated with heartburn include: chocolate, spicy foods, fatty foods, peppermint, onions, tomatoes and tomato sauces, alcoholic beverages, coffee, sodas, and citric juices and flavorings. Not only do the foods you eat contribute to heartburn, but the amount of food and variety of foods you may eat in a single sitting can also contribute to heartburn. If you eat past the point of feeling full, your stomach could be too full, causing the sphincter to weaken and send stomach acid upward. In addition, foods that are fatty in content require more time to break down, and may sit in your stomach much longer than low fat foods, increasing your risk of heart burn. Eating within two hours before bed can also cause heartburn symptoms; this is related to the difficulty of your digestive system to work properly while your body is laid down.
- Lifestyle: If you live a sedentary lifestyle, this may also contribute to heartburn symptoms. If you plan on exercising, don’t do it after a meal, especially not a fatty meal, because this can cause heartburn as well, related to bending over.
- Medications: Research has shown that NSAIDs, Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can contribute to frequent heartburn. Ask your doctor if frequent heartburn may be related to a medication you are taking. It has been found that arthritis medications, sedatives, narcotics, birth control, antidepressants, and vitamin supplements may be related to experiences with heartburn.
- Standing upright while eating makes it easier for the body to digest food.
- Eating healthy increases the speed of digestion, and encourages a well-maintained digestive system. The heavy consumption of low nutritional value foods can cause the digestive system distress, which in turn can cause heartburn.
- Wear comfortable clothing that doesn’t restrict your stomach or lower body. If you are full, remove your belt to improve the comfort of your stomach.
- Keep active. Exercise often and try to keep in shape. Those who are overweight will have more frequent heartburn symptoms.
- Eat slowly. Feeling rushed or stressed while eating may encourage you to eat more before realizing you’re full, and also eases digestion. Eating slowly will also reduce stomach upset.
- Do not eat within two hours before resting. Eating before resting can make digestion difficult, causing heartburn symptoms.
- Do not smoke. Not only does the cessation of smoking improve your overall health, it will also improve heartburn symptoms.
If your prevention is not effective, and you are still experiencing heartburn, continue with resolution techniques. Relieving heartburn symptoms can be done by the use of ten different methods of heartburn resolution.
Top Ten Ways to Get Rid of Heartburn
Drink water when you start to feel the effects of heartburn. This can help to keep stomach acid from coming back up into your esophagus.
Drink teas that can reduce heartburn symptoms. Teas that reduce heartburn symptoms often have ginger as a main ingredient.
3. Drink vinegar
Although it may not seem like it would due to acidic content, drinking a tablespoon of vinegar can combat the stomach acid rising through your esophagus much more effectively than water and tea. However, vinegar doesn’t taste as pleasant. The effects of vinegar can even close the esophagus to completely stop the effects of heartburn.
Salivating actually reduces the effects of heartburn. Thinking about your favorite food, or chewing gum can make you salivate. Salivating has a similar effect of drinking water to keep stomach acid down.
5. Drink vegetable juices
This can also combat stomach acid, much like vinegar. Carrot, beetroot, radish, and cucumber juices are all known to have combative effects against heartburn.
6. Lemon juice
Fresh squeezed lemon juice mixed with water can reduce the gas in the stomach, and reduce heartburn symptoms.
Milk has very beneficial qualities for your body, such as reducing heartburn, and also maintaining bone strength.
Eating an apple has been shown to reduce heartburn symptoms, although may not eliminate symptoms.
One of the most common cures of heartburn. Tums and Pepto Bismol are both very successful at getting rid of heartburn. Tums and Pepto Bismol are available at most retailers that offer over-the-counter medication and drug stores.
10. Speak with your doctor if you are continually experiencing symptoms of heartburn to develop a plan to help aid your heartburn, or evaluate if the heartburn could be a sign of something much more serious.
If heartburn symptoms persist, you may not be experiencing heartburn. Check with your doctor to see if the symptoms you are experiencing could be related to more significant problems, such as GERD, or chest pains related to cardiac distress.
Heartburn can interrupt the quality of life, although, with the many tips for prevention and resolution, it can easily be managed and even removed from your life. If the tips for prevention and resolution are all followed, the frequency of heartburn can be reduced or even eliminated.