What To Do For Heartburn ?
What To Do For Heartburn?
Having heartburn could be a terrible feeling. You get a minor hiccup then you feel a burning sensation, pain and some discomfort in your chest and throat. This occurred due to something you ate like fried, spicy or acidic foods or you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a serious condition.
Whatever the reason could be you are now in a lot of discomfort with a stomach pain. When you experience such a situation you think about what to do for heartburn pain and relief.
WHAT IS HEARTBURN
Heartburn can be defined as a burning sensation, pain or some discomfort that usually starts in the upper abdomen beneath the lower breastbone also referred to as the sternum. This pain could continue to spread upwards to your throat which could make you have a sour taste in your mouth.
WHAT CAUSES HEARTBURN
Heartburn happens when a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) gets weak or relaxed. It is located in the middle of your stomach and your esophagus under the rib cage. Ordinarily it opens so that food can enter the stomach. If it does not get closed quickly and firmly, the acids in the stomach could leak back into the esophagus leading to you experiencing a burning sensation that causes heartburn.
SYMPTOMS OF HEARTBURN
- A terrible burning sensation that happens below the breastbone or ribs
- The pain usually starts after you eat and you lie on your back
- It can also occur when you feel anxious or when you are done working out
- The pain gets worse when you bend down or lie down
When this happens below are some steps you can take to ease the pain you feel and get some relief from heartburn.
Heartburn occurs because the contents of your stomach move back or back up into esophagus. You could be experiencing heartburn because of the type of clothes you are wearing. If you are putting on tight clothes it can make your heartburn become worse because tight clothes put too much pressure on your stomach.
If this is the situation you should loosen items of your clothing that can be causing this problem. You can loosen your shirt or dress, your belt, strings on your apron or whatever you feel is too tight and may be causing the problem. So get rid of those jeans that are skinny as well as the tight belts as wearing comfortable clothes will make it less likely for you getting heartburn.
STAND UP STRAIGHT
Another factor that could be contributing to your heartburn becoming worse is your posture. If you are experiencing heartburn and you are sitting down or lying down, it will be better for you to stand up. If you are already on your feet standing up and you still have no relief try to stand up more straight in and upright position. When you crouch or bend over you put pressure on your internal organs and compress them.
Instead of being in this bent position and allowing your heartburn to continue, you should try and expand your torso and spine with your head gently moving up towards the ceiling.
LIFTING UP YOUR UPPER BODY
If you are experiencing heartburn and for whatever reasons you are not able to get up, you should try lifting up your upper body. If you are also taking care of someone who is not able to get out of bed you can also help the person lift up their upper body.
When doing this, do not just lift you head up as this is not enough. The objective is to be lifted from the waist upwards. An adjustable bed can be used to raise you upper body to a suitable position and if you do not have an adjustable bed you can make use of a wedge pillow instead of a standard pillow. There are different types of wedge pillows and you can choose one that suits your needs and requirements.
RAISE YOUR BED
You can raise the head of your bed to make your head and chest higher than your feet. This can be done by putting few blocks beneath your bed posts at the head of your bed. Try not use pillows to achieve your objective as you will place your body in a position can add pressure to your stomach leading to your heartburn becoming worse.
MANAGE YOUR EXERCISES
If you have to exercise try and wait for at least two hours after eating before exercising. If you exercise sooner than that you can make heartburn occur.
WHEN YOU EAT TAKE OUT TIME TO RELAX
First of all when you eat try not rush your food especially if you are feeling stressed. When you are stressed and rush your food, you can make your stomach produce more acids. You should relax after eating but do not lie down. You can stay relaxed by mediating among other activities.
TAKE TIME OUT TO RELAX BEFORE GOING TO BED
Before retiring for the night and going to bed try and do something to feel relaxed. This could be doing meditation, reading a book, listening to music and lots more to give you some relief from heartburn.
DO NOT EAT TOO MUCH BEFORE GOING TO BED
Do not go to bed with your stomach full. Eat your food at least two to three hours before going to lie down. This will allow the food you have eaten to have enough time to digest and get emptied from your stomach and allow the amount of acids the chance to reduce before you lay down. Large meals put pressure on your stomach so you should try eating small portions of food in the evening to prevent heartburn occurring in the night.
WATCH YOUR WEIGHT
Try to watch your weight as losing weight will help you get relief from heartburn. Too much weight and excess pounds put pressure on your abdomen which pushes up your stomach and causes acid to move back to esophagus.
Most times heartburn gets worse when you add pounds and gain weight but losing some weight like around two pounds can help in reducing the symptoms of heartburn.
If you smoke it will be a good idea for you stop. Smoking reduces the lower esophageal sphincter’s ability to properly function.
Cigarettes contain a major ingredient called nicotine which can make the muscle that controls the opening between the esophagus and stomach weak. This can lead to heartburn.
WHEN SLEEPING, BE ON YOUR LEFT SIDE
When you are ready to sleep, try to sleep on your left side. Sleeping in this position appears to help to reduce heartburn during the night. Sleeping on your right side will place your stomach in a position that is higher than your esophagus which can make heartburn occur.
STAY AWAY FROM FOOD THAT TRIGGER YOUR HEARTBURN
Foods that trigger or set of heartburn vary from individual to individual. Normal foods and drinks that can lead to heartburn and disturb your especially during the night include peppermint, alcohol, garlic, chocolate, cocoa, caffeinated drinks like cola tea, coffee, onions, milk, fatty, spicy, greasy, fried foods, acidic foods tomato or citrus products. Though it may be difficult you can keep track of the foods that trigger your heartburn by keeping these records in a dairy.
YOU CAN CHEW GUM
Chewing gum helps in neutralizing acid. Chewing gum leads to an increase in the production of saliva which can give relief to your esophagus and washes acid down towards your stomach. Chewing gum leads to an increase in saliva so whatever acid that has built up in the stomach is diluted and eroded and cleared out fast.
Studies have shown that people that have symptoms of chronic heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) got some relief when they chewed a piece of gum free from sugar for about half an hour after eating. This happens because chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands and encourages the flow of saliva so any acid built up in the stomach is diluted and quickly washed away. So this school of thought actually believes that this remedy can be used for heartburn that happens occasionally giving you relief.
Baking soda helps to soothe and calm heartburn. Baking soda known as sodium bicarbonate has a pH of 7.0 and can help your heartburn because it is a base substance which works by neutralizing the acids in your stomach. Get a glass of water and dissolve a teaspoon and drink slowly. You should drink slowly when you have heartburn.
Aloe Vera is good when it comes to soothing burns and a lot of people usually think of using it in cases of sunburn but it can actually do much more as it can also help you with your heartburn as it reduces inflammation.
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory contents that help to give you relief from pain and discomfort due to heartburn. When your stomach gets inflamed and irritated a glass of aloe vera juice can help calm and ease the pain.
You should make sure you get the Aloe Vera that that can be taken internally but talk with your doctor before you take it as juice or mixed with water
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
When you have acid affecting and burning your esophagus, it may seem counterproductive to take in more acid. In a lot of cases acid reflux with leads to heartburn is caused by not having enough acids in your stomach rather than having acids in your stomach.
It is the acid that allows the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to get tight and close so if you do not produce enough acid in your stomach, the LES is going to think that there is no harm for it to be a bit loose. When this happens you get acid reflux which is the backing up of acid into your esophagus leading to heartburn. If this is the situation, you can get some raw apple cider vinegar to see if helps you get relief from your heartburn.
Though it may taste bad, apple cider vinegar helps the process of digestion by stimulating the acids in the stomach. It also allows acid forming foods to be neutralized and the lining of the stomach to get some soothing and relief. When you want to drink, take one table spoon of apple cider vinegar with 8 oz of water then mix then together and drink.
Just cut a small bit of the ginger root and put in hot water and make some tea that will help ease your pain. Ginger root is good for a lot of stomach problems including nausea and acid reflux. Taking a cup of fresh ginger tea about 20 minutes before eating can help to give your stomach some relief and it can serve as an acid shield.
You can peel or slice ginger root and use it to cook some of your meals and is also good to make smoothies.
Almonds are natural remedy to help offer relief for heartburn. You can eat some almonds after you eaten something. Almonds can be eaten after having a meal, a snack, basically every time you have something. The nuts are very nice and tasty and they neutralize the acids in your stomach and help to prevent heartburn in some cases.
Almonds also have high oil content and neutralize the acid level in your stomach and ease the pain and discomfort you are feeling. Eating almonds regularly can help you.
SEE YOUR DOCTOR
You need to see your doctor if you have tried a lot of things and your condition remains the same or gets worse. Generally, see your doctor when:
Your heartburn lingers on and refuses to go away
You start vomiting because of your heartburn
You find it difficult to swallow
You have tried over the counter remedies like antacids and after about two weeks you still have heartburn.
At this stage you need to see your doctor to check out all possibilities and find a solution. There are medications that make heartburn worse like heart and blood pressure drugs, asthma medications and much more. Also people’s triggers for heartburn may be different so meeting your doctor will allow you know more and help you find out if there is any other problem apart from heartburn.