What is Heartburn?
A common problem for millions of people around the world, heartburn or acid reflux is usually a harmless thing. It occurs when stomach acid goes back up to the esophagus which causes a burning sensation in the stomach. Some people won’t even feel this at all, but others may experience this and other symptoms and even take medications for it.
Some acid reflux is a normal thing. However, if it happens every day, it will burn the inside of the esophagus. Since this organ carries food and drinks from the mouth to the stomach, heartburn can cause much bigger problems than you can imagine.
The good news is that there are many simple ways to prevent heartburn and acid reflux.
Apart from the ‘burning’ sensation in your stomach, heartburn can manifest through other symptoms as well. Here are some of them:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Persistent sore throat
- Chronic cough
- An acidic taste in the throat
- Laryngitis (persistent hoarseness)
These are just a fraction of the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. In more severe cases, it can mimic heart attack symptoms which can be a problem. This is why you should learn the difference between both and eliminate the possibility of having a heart attack.
In most cases, people take antacids which neutralize stomach acid such as Mylanta. However, these are just a temporary solution that don’t heal the burnt esophagus or prevent further episodes.
Medications that reduce the production of acids (H-2 blockers) and drugs that block acid production (proton pump inhibitors) are the two other common drugs used against this problem.
Not all work for just about anyone, though, so you should consult with your doctor before deciding to use them.
How to Prevent Heartburn
Heartburn is a much bigger problem than most people think. In the USA alone, over 20% of people with heartburn are diagnosed with GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) which is the most serious form of acid reflux. A common digestive disorder around the world, GERD can lead to sinus inflammation and tooth erosion and loss.
Since no one wants a burning sensation in their stomach and acidic taste in the mouth, here are a few simple ways that can reduce the risk of heartburn and acid reflux.
We can’t stress the importance of knowing when to quit. No matter how tasty the meal is, you should stop eating when you’re full. Stuffing yourself with more food raises the risk of acid reflux, so if you want to prevent it, stop overeating.
Drink Less Alcohol
Alcohol has been identified as one of the main reasons for heartburn and acid reflux. This means that reducing its intake will reduce the risk of heartburn as well. Alcohol has a slew of bad effects on your health, so it’s best to consider quitting it altogether.
If you’re overweight, the chances of heartburn and acid reflux are surely high. Losing weight will not only prevent heartburn and acid reflux – it will improve your health in so many ways.
Evidence is piling up that a low-carb diet can prevent heartburn and acid reflux. Many experts believe that the problem is caused by bacterial overgrowth in the abdomen. Since low-carb diets can curb this, following one is a good idea.
If you drink Coke, Pepsi or whatever other soda often, you can count on heartburn. These drinks offer nothing healthy – they are bad for your digestion and other systems. Quit sodas if you want to stop the heartburn – it’s the right thing to do.
Alternatively, here are some natural remedies that can help you stop the burning sensation in your stomach.
Chew gum whenever you feel a burning sensation in your stomach to soothe it with ease. You can have spearmint, mint or peppermint gum. It will boost the production of saliva and reduce the discomfort in your stomach.
Mix 1/2 or 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink this to relieve the burning sensation that is caused by the heartburn.
Aloe Vera Juice
If you are prone to heartburn, it is recommended to consume 1/2 a cup of aloe vera juice, 30 minutes before your meals. Also, you can consume this drink like a precautionary measure if you have a heavy meal waiting ahead. This juice will reduce the inflammation in your stomach and prevent acids from burning your esophagus.
Lemon Juice and Water
You can take a cup of warm water mixed with lemon juice on an empty stomach in the morning. This drink will reduce the symptoms of heartburn and also shoot your energy up. If you consume this powerful drink every morning, you will prevent the heartburn.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix 1 to 2 teaspoons of ACV with honey and drink this potion every day in order to reduce heartburn.
We recommend you to always have mint tea at hand because it can ease the discomfort and reduce the symptoms of the heartburn. You can drink this tea cold or hot – just have a cup when needed.
Almonds are rich in oils that can normalize the production of stomach acids. So, if you suffer from heartburn often, eat a handful of these powerful nuts.
Cabbage or Apple
If you consume these ingredients even in small portions, you will neutralize the stomach acids and you will get a relief from the acid reflux. Eat a bit of apple or cabbage whenever you feel that burning sensation in your stomach.
Bananas are natural antacids that can stop the burning sensation in your stomach. Eat one when you feel the symptoms and it should help, at least temporarily.