If you’ve ever had heartburn, you’ll recognize the sensation: a slight hiccup followed by a burning sensation in your chest and throat.
It could be caused by the foods you eat, especially spicy, fatty, or acidic foods.
Or perhaps you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition with numerous causes.
Heartburn, whatever the cause, is unpleasant and inconvenient. What can you do if you have heartburn?
We’ll go over some quick heartburn remedies, such as:
Loosen your clothes
Heartburn occurs when stomach contents rise up into your esophagus, where stomach acids can burn the tissue.
In some cases, heartburn may occur as a result of tight clothing compressing your stomach.
If that’s the case, the first thing you should do is loosen your belt — or your pants, dress, or whatever else is keeping you in place.
Keep your back straight
Heartburn can also be caused by your posture. Try standing up if you’re sitting or lying down. If you’re already standing, try standing up a little straighter.
An upright posture reduces the strain on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Your LES is a muscle ring that helps prevent stomach acid from rising into your esophagus.
Raise your upper body
Lying down can aggravate heartburn. When it’s time to sleep, raise your upper body by adjusting your sleeping surface.
According to the Mayo Clinic, using extra pillows to lift your head isn’t always enough. The goal is to raise your body from the waist up.
Set your adjustable bed at a comfortable angle to provide relief. If your bed isn’t adjustable, a wedge pillow can help you change the angle of your sleeping surface.
Combine baking soda and water
You may have a heartburn remedy in your kitchen without even realizing it. Baking soda can help relieve heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and slowly drink it. In fact, if you have heartburn, you should drink everything slowly.
Try it with ginger
For centuries, ginger has been used as a folk remedy for heartburn. Ginger can help relieve nausea, so some people believe it’s worth a shot for heartburn as well.
Consider incorporating grated or diced ginger root into your favorite stir-fry, soup, and other dishes. Steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water to make ginger tea.
However, it is probably best to avoid ginger ale. Carbonated beverages are a common cause of heartburn, and most ginger ale brands use artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
Take licorice supplements
Another folk remedy used to treat heartburn is licorice root. It is thought to help increase the mucous coating of your esophageal lining, which may protect your esophagus from stomach acid damage.
DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is a supplement that contains licorice that has been processed to remove much of its glycyrrhizin, a compound that can cause negative side effects.
Eating too much licorice or DGL may cause your blood pressure to rise, your potassium levels to fall, and certain medications to become ineffective. Before taking licorice or DGL supplements, always consult your doctor.
Drink apple cider vinegar
Another home remedy that some people use to treat heartburn is apple cider vinegar, which they believe can neutralize stomach acid.
According to one study, drinking diluted apple cider vinegar after a meal may help some people with heartburn. However, these effects did not reach statistical significance, implying that more research is required.
If you want to try this remedy, dilute the apple cider vinegar with water and drink it after eating.
According to a 2014 study According to a reliable source, chewing gum for 30 minutes after meals may also help reduce heartburn.
Chewing gum increases saliva production and encourages swallowing. This may aid in diluting and clearing stomach acid from your esophagus.
You’re probably aware that smoking is bad for your health. Did you know, however, that smoking can contribute to heartburn? If you’re a smoker and you get heartburn, don’t light up.
Smoking may be a go-to coping strategy when you’re stressed, but it won’t make the burning sensation go away.
Use over-the-counter heartburn medication
There are numerous over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medications available. These medications are classified into three types:
- H2 blockers
- proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)
PPIs and H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid secreted by your stomach, which can help prevent and alleviate heartburn symptoms. Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid.
The main point
When heartburn strikes, many over-the-counter medications, home remedies, and lifestyle changes can help.
Making changes to your daily routine can also help prevent heartburn symptoms from arising in the first place. Try this, for example:
- avoid common heartburn triggers, such as fatty and spicy foods
- eat at least three hours before bedtime
- avoid lying down after eating
- maintain a healthy weight
Consult your doctor if you experience heartburn more than twice or three times per week. They may prescribe medications or other treatments in some cases.