The burning pain results from the stomach acid flowing back into the esophagus.
What does heartburn feel like?
- Chest pain when you bend
- A bitter or sour taste in the mouth
- Burning pain in the throat
- A burning sensation behind the breastbone
- Difficulties in swallowing
What causes heartburn?
There are several reasons for heartburn and acid reflux. Some medications or underlying health conditions may be like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
However, in most cases, it depends significantly on your diet and lifestyle choices.
Acid reflux results from digestive organs malfunction. After ingesting food, your GIT tract releases stomach acid to help digestion. The lower esophageal sphincter has a valve that inhibits the gastric content from flowing back to the esophagus.
If there is an abnormal relaxation of this valve, then stomach acid in the form of acid reflux flows back into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation at the back of your throat.
Heartburn home remedies
Without medications, you may use the following home remedies for heartburn relief without spending a cent. They involve lifestyle changes and herbal remedies that may help relieve heartburn effectively.
Avoid late meals
A 2005 matched case-control study found that shorter dinner-to-bed time significantly increased the instances of GERD. It’s advisable to avoid eating late in the night just before going to bed.
A medically reviewed study affirms that a non-provocative meal before bedtime may lower the risk of nocturnal gastroesophageal reflux, which causes heartburn at night. Therefore, taking an early supper may help you reduce frequent heartburn.(8)
A scientific mouse model study in 2021 found that overeating may cause high chances of having heartburn.
A 2019 study suggests that dietary modifications are good additive heartburn remedies to overall anti-reflux plan lifestyle changes.
Overeating may also cause pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter to allow backflow of stomach acids and trigger heartburn. Eat smaller meals to help you avoid pressure on the stomach.
Reduce the food variety in a meal
Professional medical advice suggests that you should have a pattern in food combination for proper digestion. There are acidic and alkaline foods that, if combined, may result in acid reflux symptoms.(9)
You should not mix fruits and vegetables in one meal. If you have vegetables in your meal, consider taking fruits in another meal to avoid digestion interruptions.
Proper fruit juice combinations may also help reduce heartburn symptoms. You may consider banana and avocado, but don’t combine them with mangoes.
Lose weight if you are overweight
Abnormal body mass index may cause several chronic diseases in your body. And heartburn is not exempted.
A 2019 study found a positive correlation between increased body mass index and GERD reflux.
A study suggests that a slight increase in weight among individuals with healthy weight may exacerbate symptoms of reflux. Researchers suggest that excess body weight may exert too much pressure on the stomach and cause acid reflux.(10)
If you have recurrent heartburn symptoms, consider maintaining a healthy weight, or you may incorporate lifestyle changes to lose weight.
Resist the habit of snacks before bed
A 2016 medical study found a correlation between irregular eating, snack preference, and late-night eating with acid reflux.
Further studies done in 2019 proves that moderate meals thrice a day without snacks in between is one of the lifestyle changes that may reduce frequent heartburn triggers.
The most common snacking habit is chewing gum, which many thought may offer relief but makes heartburn worse.
Quit smoking to curb acid reflux symptoms
A 2005 study suggests that obesity and smoking can substantially increase the risk of reflux and heartburn symptoms.
In 2017 a research study suggested that cessation of tobacco smoking and alcohol consumption reduces the risk of GERD symptoms and heartburn triggers.
Tobacco also affects the lower esophageal sphincter causing its relaxation and leading to heartburn.(11)
Smoking can also lead to an increase in the secretion of acids, increasing the incidence of reflux and heartburn. It also reduces saliva production. Saliva contains acid-neutralizing bicarbonate, which fights GERD.(12,13)
A 2020 study found that emotional eating and depressive symptoms are associated with high chances of acid reflux and heartburn.
Medical research in 2021 suggests that a poor eating habit like overeating positively correlates to heartburn.
It’s advisable to eat just conveniently to sustain, not to overdo. Consider reducing the amount of food you consume in one sitting to relieve heartburn.
Proper planning of your exercise
A 2006 study shows that improper planned physical activity may cause the following issues in your digestive system:
- Changes in the motor function of the esophagus
- Reduction in gastrointestinal blood flow
- Constrained body position
- Alteration of hormone secretion in the system
All these factors result in gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn. It’s therefore advisable to work out 3-4 hours after a meal.(14)
Wear loose clothes
Tight clothes and belts may squeeze your stomach leading to heartburn. Consider having relatively loose but fitting clothes convenient for maximum organ functions.
A 2017 study of people with Barrett’s esophagus compression of the abdominal area increases acid reflux following a meal.
What can I drink for heartburn at home?
Apple cider vinegar
Although there is no existing concrete scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar can treat heartburn, there are several clinical trials that have proved positive.
Mix 2-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water, and then drink the mixture.
There are mixed reactions based on the affectivity of apple cider vinegar in treating heartburn, so it’s advisable to seek professional medical advice before using any heartburn remedy.
Aloe Vera juice
Another 2014 study proves that aloe Vera inhibits gastric acid output and therefore a suitable home remedy for heartburn.
Ripe banana juice
A 2017 study among Iranian adults found an inverse association between fruit intake and risk of GERD.
A banana has high alkaline content due to potassium which may help neutralize stomach acid and reduce reflux and heartburn.
Take herbal tea to reduce stomach acid
Herbal remedies inform of teas may also help reduce heartburn symptoms and calm an upset stomach. Herbal remedy is alkaline in composition, and taking this tea may help you in finding heartburn relief at home.
What helps heartburn fast at night?
Don’t go to bed immediately after eating
It would be best if you go to bed on an empty stomach. Ideally, it should be at least 3 hours after your last meal in the evening.
The space of time recommended here allows for digestion to be complete and reduces the chances of gut content flowing back to the esophagus.
Sleep with your head elevated
Sleeping with your head slightly raised above the other body parts will reduce the probability of the stomach content flowing back to the esophagus. Raising your head on a soft pillow is one of the home remedies for acid reflux and heartburn.
Chew your food properly
Hurried and improper chewing of food often results in incomplete digestion. In many cases incomplete or slow digestion process may cause an outflow of gut contents, causing heartburn.
Avoid certain foods that may trigger heartburn
A 2014 study found a strong relationship between GERD and spicy foods, fatty foods, carbonated drinks, and sweets.
In some individuals, citrus fruits may cause acid reflux; therefore, you may avoid lemon juice and use low-acid fruit instead. You should avoid acidic foods and increase your intake of alkaline foods.
Avoid trigger foods and increase your intake of GERD diet and dietary supplements to improve your digestive tract health.
Chew some ginger
A 2013 study found that ginger tea has some gastrointestinal benefits that may bring heartburn relief.
As most scholarly journals don’t prove the affectivity of peppermint gum, chewing ginger root or making ginger tea may help as a heartburn home remedy.
Sleep on your left side to reduce acid reflux
This remedy for heartburn sounds ridiculous, right? But it works perfectly well as a home remedy for heartburn.
A 2015 medically reviewed study found that sleeping on the left side can reduce exposure to recumbent esophageal acid.
Peer-reviewed studies in 2022 affirm that sleeping in a left lateral decubitus position results in shorter nocturnal esophageal acid exposure.
A 2000 medical research found that there are higher chances of GERD episodes and heartburn while sleeping on the right side than on the left.
Baking soda for gastroesophageal reflux disease
Baking soda, according to studies, is a suitable replacement for sodium bicarbonate in managing metabolic acidosis. Its alkalinity may help reduce the intensity of the stomach acid.(27)
What foods get rid of heartburn?
According to the national institute of health publication, high-fat foods, especially greasy and fried foods, worsen heartburn.(16)
Further studies indicate that meats and several low-value fats may cause increased heartburn symptoms. Healthy fats from nuts and seeds pose no link with heartburn and are also suitable for your health conditions. (17,18)
Unhealthy fat tends to trigger heartburn symptoms in most people, just like chewing sugar-free gum.
Fruits and vegetables
In cases where the heartburn is due to any underlying health condition, fruits and vegetables will supply sufficient antioxidants, vitamins, and alkaline and anti-inflammatory properties that are needed to boost your body’s immune system.(21,22)
Legumes, nuts, and seeds
According to Harvard medical school, legumes and nuts are healthy diets that substitute fatty and spicy foods that may cause acid reflux.(23)
A 2020 study suggests that probiotics may be beneficial in reducing reflux symptoms like heartburn and regurgitation.
However, more research is required to determine the effectiveness of probiotics and low-fat yogurt as natural remedies for heartburn.
A medical research study poses that healthy diets of fresh fruits and whole grains, such as the Mediterranean diet, can improve GERD symptoms.(24)
A 2018 study affirms the effectiveness of whole grains as a home remedy for heartburn, among other dietary changes.
Things to avoid when experiencing heartburn
There is no scientific evidence that essential oils are effective for heartburn or acid reflux. Despite their effectiveness on digestive issues, there are no direct links between acid reflux and essential oils as herbal heartburn remedies. In fact they don’t offer heartburn relief according to most medics.
Not all heartburn results from reflux due to body acidity. It would be best if you considered consultations with your healthcare professional before using over-the-counter medications to find heartburn relief.
To effectively relieve heartburn at home, you must not take colas or carbonated beverages that increase body acidity and cause acid reflux. It would help if you discarded chewing gum and other poor eating habits to benefit from home remedies for heartburn.
When to see a doctor
You may effectively try out these home remedies for heartburn at home and realize positive results. However, if the symptoms persist, you should seek further medical assistance from your healthcare professional.
Here are symptoms of heartburn that should make you seek medical advice:
- If you experience heartburn twice a week for a few months
- When the symptoms persist even after using the home remedies
- If you have other digestive issues other than reflux
- Severe and persistent chest pain
Heartburn relief is now within your reach in this content, and you may but then in practice to get relief from heartburn.
Make sure you don’t substitute your doctor’s advice with the information herein supplied. You should know that the best natural remedy is lifestyle adjustments to the 8 natural health laws.
Here are health tips that you may easily use when experiencing heartburn to provide relief similar to over-the-counter heartburn medications.