Many people have experienced heartburn once in a while. If you yourself have had a run in with that painful, burning sensation, you probably have found yourself trying to find ways to ease your discomfort. Thankfully, there are several tips to relieve heartburn at home that you can put into play. Here’s how to. help heartburn fast.
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What is Heartburn?
Heartburn is extremely common and can be incredibly unpleasant. It is usually triggered when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus.(*) This causes a burning feeling in your esophagus. Sometimes this can simply be triggered by certain foods you consume, other times it can be a result of acid reflux associated with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). In this case, it is important to consult your doctor.
There are plenty of over the counter medications (h2 blockers, Tums, Rolaids, Gaviscon) or prescriptions (like proton pump inhibitors) you can try as well, but these tips are on top (or aside) from using antacids. Always speak to your doctor and or pharmacist before you take medicine of any sort.
How to Help Heartburn
When you’re in the midst of that burning feeling in your chest, you want relief fast. In that panic we often find ourselves asking “what helps heartburn” and since you found this page, I know you’re scouring the internet searching for answers. So give these tips a try.
Over the long term, it would be helpful to make some lifestyle changes (eat more fruits and vegetables, maybe less spicy food, exercise, and focus on a healthier weight range to maintain). Focus on your digestion as that can have a hand in playing in acid reflux.
Home Remedies for Heartburn
The effectiveness of the various home remedies for heartburn will differ from person to person. Just make sure to consult your doctor if symptoms persist or recur often, or you are unsure about a home remedy.
Remember to control your stress levels and if you find your anxiety and stress too much to handle, please reach out to counselors for the tools needed to help you in high pressure moments.
See also: Mood-boosting foods.
Wear Loose Clothing
Heartburn occurs when your stomach contents rise into your esophagus. This causes your stomach acids to begin to burn it. In some cases, wearing tight clothing can actually exacerbate your heartburn symptoms. Try loosening your clothing to see if that relieves your discomfort.
That’s right ladies, bras off!
Correct Your Posture
If you are sitting or lying down while experiencing heartburn, try standing up. If you are experiencing heartburn while already standing, your posture could be a contributing factor. Try correcting your posture to see if that helps.
Elevate Your Upper Body
Laying flat can actually worsen your heartburn. When it comes time for bed you can adjust your sleeping angle to raise your upper body.
A few extra pillows can do the trick, but you will want to ensure you are elevated from the waist up.
I also find that it’s helpful to be tilted towards my left side when I’m hit with nighttime heartburn.
When I was pregnant I found it helpful to have a pregnancy wedge that props you up a bit. I would have it so I was upright and slightly to my left side.
Baking Soda and Water
Believe it or not, baking soda can help to calm some heartburn episodes. This is because it can neutralize stomach acid. Simply dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water. Drink this mixture slowly.
It is also a good idea to consult your doctor before using the method to ensure you aren’t taking it too much or too often.
Ginger can help to relieve nausea but it is also believed to help heartburn symptoms as well. You can add diced or grated ginger root to your favourite soup, stir-frys and even teas.
It is a good idea to avoid ginger ale though as the carbonation can actually trigger heartburn.
There are several teas that can help to relieve your heartburn. They can help to provide some relief rather quickly.
I personally find that when I drink tea it helps with relief when I have acid in my throat. I usually sip tea with honey and have some yogurt.
Hot Tip: Try a heartburn tea blend. Order it on Amazon now to have it on hand for when an attack happens. I also like to add raw honey to the mix.
While yogurt is a controversial home remedy for heartburn, there are studies out there that say it can actually help. Studies say that consuming a yogurt a day can actually help to ward off symptoms of GERD and heartburn.
Yogurt that contains active lactobacillus, when taken daily for three months, is said to have improved symptoms of GERD in the study.
When attempting to use yogurt as a home remedy for your heartburn, make sure to choose one that contains the active probiotic mentioned in the study.
Don’t forget, if you’re looking to establish healthy habits (like adding more vegetables to your diet in fun and tasty ways) be sure to secure a spot in the 21 Days to a Healthy Habits Challenge.
What to Stay Away from When you Have Heartburn
While there are some things that can help to relieve your symptoms, there are other food items that can actually make them worse.
If you are experiencing heartburn or you are prone to acid reflux, it is important to avoid certain foods.
High Fat Foods
Deep fried and fatty foods are often a big culprit of heartburn.
- French fries
- Potato chips
- Deep-fried onion rings
- Ice cream
- Whole Milk
- High-fat sour cream
- Potato chips
- Creamy salad dressings that are high in fat
- Sauces and dips that are high in fat
- Certain cuts of red meat that are high in fat
Anything spicy can have a negative effect on your heartburn. If you experience heartburn frequently, it is a good idea to avoid anything spicy.
Certain Fruits and Vegetables
Everyone is different but high acid foods and citrus fruits can cause discomfort for some people.
- Tomato-based foods like salsa, chili, tomato sauces, and pizza sauces.
- Coffee and tea
- Citrus and tomato juices
- Carbonated beverages
Other Foods to Avoid for Heartburn
- Peppermint or spearmint
- Highly processed foods
There are many tips to relieve heartburn that you can use at home. Some of these home remedies can really work, but it is also important that you know which food items to avoid.
Always remember though, before trying home remedies, it is a good idea to consult your doctor, especially if you are pregnant or nursing.