Heartburn is the uncomfortable burning sensation that can be felt anywhere from the lower chest area to the middle of the chest behind the breastbone hence the name heartburn. It can sometimes move upwards towards the throat and can leave a bitter taste on the tongue.
Heartburn is most felt after a large meal or eating specific types of food such as oily foods, spicy foods, acidic foods etc. Heartburn is a symptom of a number of health issues such as gastritis, ulcer, acid reflux (GERD – Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and in some cases, heart problem.
This burning sensation can last from some few minutes to an hour or two. The good news is that in most cases, it comes and goes and it can be treated with home remedies. However, when it becomes very frequent and it makes eating or swallowing difficult, it is time to visit a doctor because there might be a bigger problem at hand.
Heartburn happens when your stomach contents move back upwards through the esophagus (which is the pipe that connects the mouth-throat to the stomach) and reaches the throat. The stomach content contain stomach acids which irritate the esophagus causing a painful sensation in the chest. It can sometimes occur when burping. Heartburn is also called acid reflux by some.
For some, heartburn is beyond just a burning sensation in the chest or upper stomach area and its symptoms often worsen when laying down or leaning forward. Its symptoms include:
- Coughing or hoarseness
- Difficulty swallowing
- Bad breath
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Sore throat
- Nausea and vomiting etc.
Pregnant women are very prone to heartburn due to the relaxing of the sphincter that closes the stomach preventing the stomach acid from escaping the stomach walls. Being overweight, constipated and certain medications such as aspirin and anti-inflammatory drugs can also cause heartburn in some.
Things you can do to lessen or prevent heartburn:
- Sitting upright during after a meal (at-least up to one hour after a meal)
- Wearing loose clothing that don’t compress your stomach.
- Avoid over eating or eating too much pepper, spicy foods, oily foods etc. like they say too much of anything is bad.
- Drink and eat slowly while having a meal.
- Eat at-least 2-3 hours before bedtime.
- Plan vigorous physical activities at-least 2 hours after meals to prevent the food from moving upwards.
- Drinking too much water after eating.
To my knowledge, you can remedy heartburn in a number of ways such as by:
Neutralizing stomach acid
- Try taking a capsule or a teaspoon of charcoal powder with water after a meal
- Dissolve a teaspoon or less of baking soda in a cup of water and sip slowly. Caution should be taken when using too much baking soda because it can cause increased acid production and it should not be used for children less than 12 years old. You can read more on baking soda here
- Apple vinegar – though I have not used this for myself, there are many people that claim that it worked for them. Take a tablespoon of apple vinegar and dilute it with water until you are comfortable with the taste and sip slowly.
- Yoghurt and milk are good remedies to soothe the areas irritate by the stomach acid in the esophagus.
Dissolve about a tablespoon of honey in water and sip slowly while experiencing heartburn. This will help clear the irritation from the esophagus.
Heartburn can be very uncomfortable to live with even of its just for a while. If you have any of the mentioned such as ulcer, gastritis, GERD etc. or other unmentioned illnesses that contribute to heartburn, try and remedy them first and then your heartburn will subside or stop all together.
Try these mentioned remedies for your heartburn and I hope that they work for you. Remember it is best that you try and prevent heartburn by taking good care of your health so that there won’t be any need for a remedy.
I hope to see you next when I publish another article. Subscribe to this blog to be included in receiving the notification. I hope you learnt something here that helped you with your heatburn. Feel free to let me know of your thoughts and comments in the comment section below.
Until we meet next time, bye for now.