Heartburn can be a very painful experience. The pain can be caused by the backflow of gases and acidic content of the stomach into the esophagus. This backflow is known as acid reflux, with heartburn being one of its symptoms. Chronic acid reflux can lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.Around 60% of the general population suffers from some version of this disease and it is a fairly common disorder.
For cases in which heartburn occurs once in a while, some natural remedies can help in providing relief. Lifestyle and diet changeshelp in reducing the pain and discomfort to some extent. Calcium is a natural ingredient that reduces heartburn. There are a few other natural substances that can alleviate the discomfort caused by heartburn.
Baking Soda: Baking soda has a high pH level that neutralizes the acid in the stomach. It stops acid from burning the esophagus lining. Swallowing a teaspoon of baking soda or a ½ teaspoon mixed in a glass of water will do the trick.
Mustard: Mustard is alkaline in nature and will balance your pH level if you swallow one teaspoon when you feel a heartburn coming.
Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera soothes burns and has a cooling effect. A glass of Aloe juice will limit the inflammation in the stomach and soothe the burning sensation.
Ginger or Chamomile tea: Ginger is a root vegetable that has a lot of medicinal properties. Immune system or a bacterial infection, ginger can help in most cases. It also helps in managing an acid reflux. To make ginger tea, place slices of ginger in hot water and steep for 20 minutes and then drink. Chamomile tea provides relief by balancing the stomach’s acid levels.
Fruits: Certain fruits like bananas and apples contain antacids that help in alleviating the pain as well as keeping acid reflux at bay.
Chewing Gum or Candy: Eating a candy or chewing gum facilitates production of saliva that helps in clearing acids from unwanted areas. This will help in reducing the effects of an acid reflux.
There are other steps that one can take to manage heartburn, like sleeping on an incline, wearing loose clothes, managing weight, apple cider vinegar, eating fermented food and almonds.
One also needs to be careful and avoid items like cigarettes, alcohol, spicy food, coffee and tea as they can be a trigger for an acid reflux. Lifestyle changes like waiting after eating food and before sleeping or sleeping on the left side will also help in managing the issue. Diet and lifestyle will provide natural heartburn relief.
In cases when acid reflux is chronic it takes the form of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. When the symptoms are severe then a procedure, such as Nissen Fundoplication Surgery is performed. Acid reflux can occur if the esophagus sphincters do not function properly. The lower esophageal sphincter prevents the acid from flowing upwards. The surgical procedure can augment a sphincter by wrapping a part of the stomach around the lower esophageal sphincter. The surgical process can be an alternative treatment for those who suffer from acid reflux chronically.