Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest that occurs when the stomach acid moves towards the esophagus. Heartburn makes you feel that the tube between your mouth and stomach are burning. Heartburn is a common problem that affect a large number of people and it is considered a minor disorder that does not pose any health risk. While occasional heartburn is a complete normal condition, it should not interfere with your daily activities especially on a regular basis. But persistence of heartburn can lead to more serious disorder such as esophagitis and consequential bleeding or difficulty in swallowing and ulcers. The reoccurrence of heartburn is called gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Symptoms of heartburn
- Burning sensation in the middle of your chest (heartburn)
- Unpleasant sour taste in the mouth caused by stomach acid
- Bloating and feeling sick
- Bad breath
- Cough or frequent hiccups
- Hoarse voice.
Some triggers of heartburn
- Stress and anxiety
- Certain foods and drink such as tomatoes, alcohol, coffee, chocolate, fatty food and spicy food
- Earing too much at a time and chewing too little
- Certain medicine like anti-inflammatory pain killer (Ibuprofen)
- When certain hormone increases like progesterone and estrogen.
Home remedies for heartburn
- Aloe vera juice: Aloe vera juice has healing properties that can lower the acid content in the stomach and prevent heartburn. Drink pure unprocessed aloe vera juice especially first thing in the morning. This will help you feel relief from heartburn.
- Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate): small amount of baking soda added to water can lower your stomach acidity levels, similarly to an over-the-counter antacid because of the active ingredient sodium bicarbonate. These home remedy can provide fast relief for heartburn.
- Chewing gum: Sounds strange but gum stimulates the production of saliva which is an acid buffer. It helps you swallow more often and pushes nasty acids back and out of the esophagus. Try chewing sugar free chewing gum
- Eat ripe bananas: Bananas contain high level of potassium, making it a fairly alkaline food. It can help regulate the stomach acid that can cause irritation to the esophagus. Other food that may offset heartburn are melon, cauliflowers, fennel and nuts.
- Try ginger tea: Although ginger is known for relieving nausea it can also help to reduce acid production. You can slice fresh ginger and boil it with water then add a teaspoon of honey and sip gently whenever you experience heartburn.
- Drink a lot of water: Sometimes when you experience heartburn all you might just need to do is to take a lot of water to flush out acid from your stomach.
- Pineapple juice: pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain that helps to control the levels of hydrochloric acid in your stomach. Try sipping some fresh natural pineapple juice to relief your heartburn.
Tips to prevent heartburn
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day, larger meals may cause pressure to the stomach and increase heartburn.
- Avoid eating late or close to going to bed. This can increase the risk of heartburn. Eat at least 3 hours before going to bed
- Avoid putting on tight fitted cloths, this can cause pressure to the stomach and can lead to heartburn.
- Elevate your head when you lay down to sleep to prevent heartburn. Lying flat on your back can increase the stomach acid
- Avoid lying down immediately after eating, try to stand upright for at least 3 to 4 hours after eating. Move around or take a little walk
- Avoid food that can trigger heartburn such as fatty food, spicy food tomatoes, citrus fruits, chocolate and caffeine.
Experiencing heartburn occasionally is normal, except if it becomes persistence. Though heartburn is considered a minor disorder that does not pose any health risk but it can be serious if not taken care of. Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest that occurs when the stomach acid moves towards the esophagus.
Image: by istockphotos.com