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Natural heartburn relief
Food, lifestyle changes and alternative home remedies are the most popular ways for you to get natural heartburn relief. With a little investigation and some planning, it’s likely that you can keep your heartburn symptoms in check or get rid of heartburn for good.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is the burning and often painful sensation near your heart or the centre of your chest that you experience after meals, when you lie down or bend over. Your heartburn can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours.
The term, heartburn, is a misnomer – as the heart itself has nothing to do with heartburn. Instead, it’s your stomach and the esophagus that has everything to do with heartburn.
What causes heartburn?
When you swallow food or drink, it goes down your esophagus (food tube) and into your stomach. It is here that food mixes with stomach acid to help with digesting your food.
There is a valve between your esophagus and stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (often referred to as LES). And it’s the LES’s job is to stop food and acid refluxing back into your esophagus. If you have too much acid in your stomach or if you have a weak LES, your food can reflux back into your esophagus.
But when your LES weakens due to acid balance in your stomach, or any other medical condition, your stomach acid refluxes back up into the esophagus. If this happens too frequently, the corrosive effect of acid on your esophagus causes heartburn.
It is normal for you to reflux for up to one hour a day without without knowing you are doing it. It only becomes a problem once we start feeling that burning sensation. And this is caused by acid refluxing back into your esophagus too frequently.
Heartburn and GERD
If your heartburn becomes an ongoing problem you should get it checked by your doctor because you might have gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and this could lead to further medical complications.
GERD is a chronic condition where your food doesn’t get digested due to a stomach acid imbalance. And this causes acid reflux to become a daily occurrence. This leads to inflammation and heartburn because of the corrosive effect of acid on your esophagus.
If you have mild acid reflux that occurs at least twice a week, or moderate to severe acid reflux that occurs at least once a week, then you probably have GERD.
So, acid reflux is when your stomach acid moves from your stomach back into your esophagus. And heartburn is the burning sensation you feel in your chest as a result of the acid reflux. If your heartburn symptoms happen regularly, your may have GERD.
Acid reflux – Acid reflux is when acid, and other contents in your stomach move back into your esophagus. And it is most often caused by the food you have eaten, large meals or lying down too soon after eating.
Esophagus – This is your food tube or passage from your mouth to your stomach.
Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) – A chronic condition where your food doesn’t get digested due to a stomach acid imbalance. And this causes acid reflux to become a daily occurrence. The constant corrosive effect of the acid leads to heartburn.
Heartburn – Heartburn is the burning sensation you feel in your chest. It is a symptom of GERD and is caused by acid from your stomach back refluxing back into your esophagus, and inflammation from the acid irritating the lining of your esophagus.
Lower esophageal sphincter (LES) – This is the valve between your esophagus (food tube) and stomach. In healthy people, it lets food into your stomach and stops food and acid refluxing back into your esophagus where it can cause heartburn.
Symptoms of heartburn
- Nausea, or feeling sick in your stomach
- Burning sensation in your chest
- Pain or difficulty when you swallow
- Feeling like you have a have a lump in your throat
- Regurgitation of food or a sour liquid
- Persistent cough
- Bad breath
Food & drinks to avoid for natural heartburn relief
The foods that trigger your heartburn could be different to those that cause heartburn in others, however, the most common types of food that cause heartburn include:
- meat (red meat, sausages, ground beef, deli meat, visible fat and skin)
- some candy
- caffeine (coffee, tea, energy drinks)
- fizzy drinks
- smoking – we know it’s not a food or drink, but it often goes hand in hand with food and drinks:)
When to see a doctor about heartburn
See a doctor immediately of you have severe chest pain, especially if you also have pain in your arm or jaw or have difficulty breathing. Otherwise, see a doctor if you experience heartburn more than twice a week.
About Heartburn Help & Natural Heartburn Relief
At Heartburn Help / Natural Heartburn Relief, we aim to break down complex issues about heartburn, acid reflux and GERD and give you information that is easy to understand. Also, we try to include links to relevant medical information and research where possible so you can delve deeper into issues if you choose to.
We believe that natural heartburn relief, or even cure, can be achieved by most people, and hopefully that includes you! And you can do this by avoiding your heartburn trigger foods, reducing your lifestyle risk factors and maybe trying a few alternative remedies for natural heartburn relief. Find out more about us.