Heartburn is also called pyrosis, acid indigestion or cardialgia. Those who experience heartburn often find out that this burning sensation starts right behind the breastbone or in the esophagus. The pain often starts from the chest and may spread to the neck, throat, and jaw. Those who have heartburn are often thought to have gastric acid or gastric reflux which is one of the main symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease known as GERD. Heartburn may be a sign of ischemic heart disease but this rate is very low about 0.6%. If you have experienced heartburn, you should learn how to treat heartburn to make life more comfortable.
How to Treat Heartburn
If you are wondering how to treat heartburn, here are some useful and effective methods for you to get rid of the annoying burning sensation.
1. Reduce Pressure on Stomach
This can be done by loosening your belt, wearing pants that expand, and not wearing shirts that are too tight. The idea is that the less constriction, the less the pressure is put on your esophagus which may stop the painful burn from happening.
2. Change Body Positions
Never recline back after eating, as this can make heartburn worse. Instead, sit up straight or walk around for 3 hours after eating. In addition, try to avoid slouching as this could be pressure on the stomach resulting in heartburn.
For those who have frequent heartburn, try to elevate the head above the chest while sleeping for this can prevent the acid from having such an easy route in coming up. This can be done with extra pillows or raising the head of your bed slightly. The idea is to allow the acid less access to coming into the esophagus.
3. Chew Gums
A person can increase their saliva production through chewing gum which helps to wash away acid that may be building up in the stomach. It is helpful to chew a piece of gum for 30 minutes after eating, especially a gum that is some sort of mint flavor.
4. Drink Aloe Vera Juice
How to treat heartburn? Drink aloe vera juice. Aloe works to reduce inflammation and ease the burn associated with heartburn. Drink 1/2 cup of it before meals, but be sure to have the laxative removed before drinking to avoid other digestive issues.
5. Try Baking Soda
Mix 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in water and drink this could help to alleviate heartburn. The baking soda neutralizes acid in the stomach resulting in less painful heartburn. This method should not be used repeatedly for a long time because baking soda has a lot of salt in it and can cause other issues.
6. Eat Licorice
Licorice has natural healing properties in it which is great for those prone to heartburn. However, be sure to use DGL licorice that helps to prevent high blood pressure, or otherwise too much licorice can cause serious side effects. Eat a piece of licorice before every meal for the biggest benefit.
7. Try Soothing Tea
Several ingredients such as ginger, anise, caraway, and fennel seed can be added to boiling water to make tea that helps ease the burn. Add one or two teaspoons of these ingredients into a cup of boiling water, wait for 10 minutes, strain and enjoy the soothing tea.
8. Drink Some Vinegar
Take a tablespoon of vinegar to shock the esophagus into keeping the acid in the stomach rather than crawling up. This will burn when swallowing but the heartburn will diminish in seconds. You can start off with a smaller dose to see if you can put up with it. You can also mix it with apple cider to lessen the harsh taste, but this could reduce its effectiveness.
9. Maintain Healthy Diet
Another ways in which a person can use to treat heartburn is to pick up and stick to a healthy and light diet.
- Try drinking a cold glass of water as soon as you feel the heartburn coming on, as this can help wash away the acid. Drinking a glass of milk can also help in coasting the esophagus to help alleviate the burn.
- Eating an apple when a heartburn strike has proven successful for many people, as this does help to lessen the acid effect.
- A person should also avoid eating those foods which they know triggers their heartburn, such as spicy foods. In addition, late meals often result in more heartburn.
10. Take Medications
There are medications that are meant to help with heartburn, if none of these remedies have proven helpful. Some of the medications are:
- Antacids are available over the counter. It acts as a barrier that block the acid from coming into the esophagus
- H2 Blockers work to stop the body from making so much stomach acid which is great for those who are suffering from heartburn but antacids are not helping.
- Proton pump inhibitors help to decrease the production of stomach acid but also ease other heartburn symptoms that a person may be having.
When to See a Doctor
Heartburn can be painful but many people often put off seeing their doctor. However if heartburn is accompanied with other symptoms such as pain in the arm, jaw or chest, then they should immediately go to the hospital, as this could be a sign that the person is having a heart attack. Other signs that it is time to go to the doctor include:
- If you have frequent heartburns or your heartburn occurs more than twice a week;
- If over the counter medications are not helping;
- If you have no appetite or have lost weight due to heartburn;
- If you feel nausea or vomit due to heartburn;
- If it has become harder to swallow.