Acid reflux or heartburn is what happens when stomach acids are pushed back up into your throat or esophagus. This is caused due to a weakness or relaxation of the muscle near your stomach that otherwise closes and opens normally. And if you’re feeling the effects of heartburn, know that you’re not alone. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, some 60 million Americans experience acid reflux once a month and around 15 million daily.
What’s worse is that heartburn can come without any warning and cause significant discomfort. But before you start looking for acid reflux treatments and applying a remedy, you should make sure you’re not mistaking your symptoms for other conditions.
What Are the Symptoms of Heartburn?
There are quite a few symptoms that could point you in the direction of acid reflux or heartburn. According to the Mayo Clinic, they include:
- A pain or burning sensation slightly above the left part of your chest and near your heart, which gives this condition its name. This can spread to the center of your chest and sometimes affect your neck.
- A bitter or sour taste in your mouth from partially digested food or liquid being pushed back up or regurgitated.
- A chronic cough, sore throat, disrupted sleep and even asthma is also common for those suffering from nighttime heartburn.
If you are experiencing these symptoms, chances are that you have heartburn and should consider a remedy or treatment. Some people may confuse acid reflux symptoms with a heart attack, so it’s important to get diagnosed as soon as possible to reduce all the potential stress.
What Causes Heartburn?
The cause of reflux can differ from person to person. Acid reflux can be caused by your diet, with some people experiencing symptoms after consuming chocolate, fatty and fried foods, and caffeinated or soft drinks. Other people notice heartburn when they eat specific carbs, smoke, drink alcohol, or enjoy hot and spicy food. However, being obese is among the leading causes of frequent acid reflux, according to HealthLine, with pregnant mothers being another group at high risk.
Remedies and Home Treatments for Heartburn
Treating reflux at home or at least managing it is possible as there are many different ways to do so. We’ll outline a few common approaches as well as some you might have never heard of before. These natural therapies are easy to apply and they include:
Dieting to Reduce Heartburn
Digestion is the root of acid reflux, so it’s crucial that you choose carefully what you will eat, besides sticking to healthy habits related to eating. Make sure you avoid common food triggers like the ones outlined above. Also, if you’re suffering from nighttime heartburn, you should eat your last meal earlier to make sure it’s farther down the GI tract by the time you lay down to sleep.
Fighting Heartburn by Reducing Stress
Stress is the modern killer and linked to a whole host of more or less serious diseases, so it’s no wonder that it can also affect your stomach. Therefore, it’s important to weed out as much stress from your daily life as possible, while at the same time introducing new hobbies and habits to help you stay as relaxed as possible.
Drinking Aloe Vera Juice
Something as simple as a quarter cup of Aloe Vera juice can ease your heartburn symptoms and an irritated esophagus. Be careful, however, to use juice made for internal use, instead of trying to take the juice from the plant yourself. Most drug stores will stock some form of Aloe Vera juice safe for consumption.
There are a few more ways to reduce reflux symptoms. If you’re a smoker, it’s highly advised to quit. Other than that, you can take Slippery Elm, Marshmallow, antioxidants, and Slippery Elm.
Less-Known Home Remedies for Heartburn
We’ve covered some well-known ways to reduce reflux in your stomach, but there are other, lesser-known ones, too. Some people eat raw celery, chewing gums, mustard, baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and probiotics. You can also use a bed wedge pillow or pick a different sleeping position to help you out. We recommend that you use trustworthy natural heartburn remedies and avoid worsening your symptoms.
Heartburn usually isn’t a serious or significant threat to your health. However, it’s still important to go to a doctor to get diagnosed and get advice on which heartburn remedies will work best for you.
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- “Acid Reflux,” ACG,
- “Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD,)” Mayo Clinic,
- “Weight Loss and Acid Reflux,” https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd/weight-loss