Anyone that has ever suffered from heartburn knows how painful and annoying it can be.
The burning in your chest and abdomen is not a sensation any of us like to have.
This is a common symptom of acid reflux.
Whether you are looking for a natural way to prevent heartburn, remedies you can take from home to get rid of heartburn, or over the counter medications that work great to get rid of heartburn quickly, I got you!
Here are some great ways to quickly get rid of acid reflux, or heartburn, so that you can get some peace at last!
What is Acid Reflux?
First off, let me explain what causes it.
Our stomachs have a lining in them that helps to protect us from the strong acids within, but our esophagus’s do not.
Acid reflux may occur when the lower esophageal sphincter, also known as your LES (think of this as a one-way valve), is faulty and it allows the stomach acids to rise up into the esophagus.
These acids are strong, and with no protective lining, you will feel it burning the inside of your throat.
This is the most common symptom of acid reflux.
Some other symptoms of acid reflux are coughing, sore throat, nausea, uncontrollable hiccupping, hoarseness, etc.
Now that we know what it is let’s look at some of the most common causes it comes around in the first place.
Eating foods that are spicy frequently can cause it to happen, as many of you may already know.
Besides the obvious there, certain other foods such as tomatoes, garlic, mint, fatty foods, some citrus fruits, onions, and even chocolate to name a few, can lead to having acid reflux.
Being overweight can contribute to it, as well as smoking (yes I know, nobody wants to hear this, as an ex-smoker and formerly very obese person I know first-hand that we don’t want this pointed out… sorry though, its true).
Eating too large of portions at your meals, as well as lying down right after you eat, or bending down much, causes the acids easier access to raise up if the LES is currently stuck open.
Some drinks, such as soda’s or alcohol, are contributed to causing it as well.
Oftentimes women can suffer from it during their pregnancy.
Some medications such as certain muscle relaxers, blood thinners, aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. can lend the way to acid reflux.
Stress is another factor that can lead to acid reflux.
It is often forgotten about or overlooked because it is more psychological, however, having a healthy mind is absolutely essential for having a healthy body.
Whenever you get stressed, your body goes through some changes that are generally invisible and in most cases reasonably harmful. Try your best to keep your stress levels at a minimum.
Following some of the steps listed below, not only could you put a cease to your heartburn, but many of the other symptoms as well!
How to get rid of Acid Reflux Naturally
While we probably all know, there is a multitude of over the counter products to help fight heartburn, the best way is not to get it in the first place.
If you can get rid of heartburn naturally, I find that it is much better than having to rely on taking any medications for it.
The first tip I’m going to give you is to make sure you are not placing any external pressure on your stomach.
By putting pressure on your stomach, it can make it easier for the acids to rise.
So avoid wearing clothing that fits tightly, especially around the waistline.
Avoid wearing pants or skirts that are tight, also – loosen your belt up a bit.
Your clothing doesn’t need to be overly baggy; you’re just trying to get it where it is not squeezing down on your midsection.
You want to be able to breathe easily, and I believe that anyone that has suffered from acid reflux would agree that getting some much-needed pain relief is far more important than vanity.
The next tip will be to get yourself into a position where the stomach acids cannot rise up your esophagus near as easily.
You should never lie down directly after a meal, so be sure to sit upright and try not to slouch!
If you need to rest, then you should make sure that you are in an inclined position.
The reason for this is that if you lay down flat, it will make it much easier for the stomach acids to slide their way up your esophagus and give you heartburn.
If you instead make sure that you are in an inclined position, then gravity will do its job and help keep the acids in your stomach – where they belong!
Another tip is to practice slow, deep breathing, or try meditation.
I know it may sound a bit silly, or even impractical to many, but it was worked for thousands of sufferers.
Simple – take a step back and relax, don’t sweat the small stuff, get your stress level down some.
It has helped prevent heartburn for quite a few people.
While there are more ways to prevent or be rid of acid reflux, I’m going to leave you with this one final tip to alleviate it naturally.
Carry some gum with you.
Chewing some gum after a meal will help your body create more saliva, which acts as a natural antacid in your body, and will help to prevent heartburn or at least minimize it, by reducing the amount of acid left lingering in your esophagus.
Get some sugar free gum, and try chewing it for about 30 minutes after your meal and see!
Over-the-Counter Medication for Heartburn
If you need relief from heartburn quickly and you have tried (or not willing to wait), there are several over-the-counter medicines that can be good to provide quick relief.
Maalox or Mylanta can work well (hopefully you will not think they taste as bad as I think they do!).
Keep in mind when you are shopping for OTC medication for acid reflux that you get the one you need.
Some are made as a preventative, and others are for relief.
Getting one that was intended to be used as a preventative for acid reflux and taking it after the fact, can help, albeit not nearly as well as it would have taking it beforehand or taking one that was made to relieve symptoms already present.
Another way to treat it is to use baking soda.
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a natural antacid.
Put 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of it in a glass with around 8 ounces of water, mix it well, and then drink it.
This mix can help temporarily alleviate some of the discomforts from acid reflux by neutralizing the stomach acid for a bit.
While these antacids can help alleviate, or prevent, the pain you are suffering, I would highly urge you again to try a holistic approach to relieve acid reflux.
You don’t want always to have to rely on medication, especially if it is easily avoidable.
There are many other ways to help relieve heartburn not listed in this article, but I find that these are the methods that tend to have the highest success rate for me.
The critical point that I hope you take away from this is that you should try focusing on preventing heartburn rather than relieving it.
There are a plethora of ways to go about doing this that are natural and healthy.
Changing your diet, cutting out negative habits, cutting out stress in your life, changing the way you sleep, changing the way you eat, the times that you eat at (remember that you shouldn’t eat a full meal or even snack right before you go to bed, if you can avoid it at all), etc.
All of these things play a part in helping to keep your acid reflux in check, and you out of pain.
Make some of these changes, and you will have less pain from acid reflux and a lot more peace of mind, not to mention a much happier and healthier body!