Gastric acid is in your stomach for digestion. The acid is not the cause of heartburn. People experience heartburn when gastric acid escapes the stomach and come back in the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. This phenomenon is called heartburn.
The acid breaks down foods so the nutrients can be absorbed in the small intestine. Proper digestion depends on the presence of adequate stomach acid while you are eating and after. Occasional acid reflux is normal and harmless. It usually causes no symptoms. But when it regularly happens, it burns the inside of the esophagus. Heartburn can cause problems if not treated. People with heartburn have a 43% higher risk of developing esophageal cancer compared to those who do not have regular heartburn or indigestion.
Acid reflux is occurring for some people when the sphincter muscle at the end of the esophagus becomes weak or does not close correctly. This condition is called hiatal hernia.
Medications for heartburn
- H2 blockers
- Proton pump inhibitors
Try not to use the medications as mentioned above because they reduce the quantity of stomach acid you will need when you eat. Without enough acid, your stomach is unable to break down the food for the small intestine to absorb the nutrition.
Proton pump inhibitors may cause vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Also, because of the inadequate digestion, they cause diarrhea and maybe malnutrition.
Instead of medications, try home remedies first.
Home Remedies for Heartburn
Make sure you chew your food thoroughly. Getting saliva mixed into the food as you chew will get the digestion process off to a good start.
Another cause of acid reflux is eating large meals. Overeating increases pressure in the stomach, causing the contents to be forced up into the esophagus. It also helps if you cut your food into smaller pieces and chew your food longer, and don’t drink much while eating your meal. Never lie down immediately after eating a large meal.
To avoid the overproduction of gastric acid, make sure you eat smaller portions of food at each meal.
It would also help if you reduce the following in your diet:
- spicy food
- fried food
- alcohol: particularly red wine
- raw onion
- carbonated beverages
- lemon juice
Obesity can also increase abdominal pressure and your risk of suffering from acid reflux, as well. If you are overweight, cutting back on the amounts of food that you eat, and daily exercise should put you on the right path to shed a few pounds.
Chew bubble gum
Eat fermented foods
It’s a good idea to eat digestive plant enzymes. Fermented foods contain them. They will help with gas and bloating, as well as aid to bowel movements to become more frequent. Fermented foods will settle it without triggering more acid production. Eat sauerkraut. Your stomach should relax after eating yogurt, kefir, kimchi, or sauerkraut.
In my personal experience, Aloe vera juice is useful for soothing the burning stomach, esophagus, throat, and mouth. Try it.
Sleep with an elevated head
Try to sleep with your head on two pillows. It will prevent the digestive juice from coming up the esophagus.
Eliminate stress factors within your life. Try exercising, such as walking, hiking, or Yoga. Also relaxing, such as reading, meditation, or anything else that can help to relax you. Exercise will do wonders to help you relieving heartburn.
Drink herbal tea
You can also try ginger, chamomile, licorice root, or marigold tea. Herbal teas are efficient for soothing the lining of your stomach and esophagus.
One of the benefits of natural remedies is they usually cost less. However, even more, important is the fact that natural treatments are healthier than prescription medications.
If your heartburn or GERD does not respond successfully to natural remedies within a few weeks, see your MD.
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