|In this article|
|Tips for Heartburn Relief||Home remedies for Heartburn Relief|
|Over the counter heartburn medicine||Home remedies for heartburn during pregnancy|
Are you feeling a burning sensation in your chest? Your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) may not function as it should due to being weakened or relaxing abnormally. The LES is the ring of muscle that acts as a valve between your esophagus and stomach. It prevents stomach acid and other contents from flowing back into your esophagus, which is known as gastroesophageal reflux (GER) or acid reflux.
Now, your esophagus does not have the same protection your stomach has from the effects of gastric acid. So when stomach acid refluxes into your esophagus, it irritates its sensitive lining, causing heartburn. Risk factors of heartburn may include structural problems of the esophagus, LES, and stomach, and factors associated with high stomach acid production.
Fast heartburn remedies, therefore, involve risk factor reduction, prevention, and treatment. Here are various ways how you can get rid of heartburn fast.
Tips for Heartburn Relief
Lifestyle changes that can help relieve and get rid of heartburn fast include:
- Lose weight. Maintaining a healthy weight is crucial for preventing or reducing episodes of heartburn. When you’re overweight or obese, the extra pounds put pressure on your abdomen, causing the upper part of your stomach to push up into your chest. This condition is known as a hiatal hernia, and it makes you more prone to acid reflux hence heartburn.
- Wear looser clothing. Tight-fitting clothing also puts pressure on your abdomen and LES, so loosen your belt and avoid those jeans or dresses that hold you tight.
- Avoid heartburn-triggering foods. These include fried, fatty, and spicy foods; coffee, tea, and other caffeinated drinks; chocolate; tomatoes and tomato products; citrus fruits and juices; onions and garlic; peppermint and spearmint; carbonated beverages; and alcohol. A food journal can help you keep track of the foods and drinks that worsen your symptoms.
- Eat smaller frequent meals a day instead of the traditional large three meals. By doing this, you will avoid your stomach getting so full that acid reflux becomes more likely.
- Don’t lie down immediately after a meal. Wait at least 3 hours after eating to lie down or go to sleep to help keep your stomach contents from rising into your esophagus. You should also avoid reclining or slouching when sitting or stand up straight to ease your symptoms.
- Raise the head of your bed, ideally about 6 to 8 inches. Doing so will allow gravity to keep acid in the stomach, reducing your risk of heartburn or preventing your symptoms from worsening. Use blocks placed under the head bedposts or place a foam wedge between your mattress and box spring to keep the upper part of your body elevated while you sleep.
- Quit smoking or avoid secondhand smoke. Smoking affects your LES function by causing it to relax abnormally, increasing your risk of acid reflux and heartburn.
If you’ve been experiencing heartburn, you can also try the following home remedies:
For starters, notice we said baking soda, not baking powder. Dissolve one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass/cup of water and drink.
The concoction works like an antacid as it neutralizes your stomach acid, easing that burning sensation in your chest.
Apple cider vinegar
Although acidic, ACV can make your body’s overall pH more alkaline due to how your body breaks it down.
And as a result, it can help relieve heartburn in some people. However, ACV also stimulates hydrochloric acid production, so it can increase or worsen heartburn in others.
If you choose to try this remedy, dilute a small amount of apple cider vinegar with water and drink after a meal or bedtime.
Ginger can help reduce the production of stomach acid and reduce inflammation, relieving acid reflux symptoms like heartburn. Licorice can increase the mucous coating of your esophageal lining, protecting it from the irritating effects of refluxed stomach acid.
While chamomile may help relieve inflamed mucosal barriers in your digestive tract. Other herbs that can provide quick heartburn relief include marshmallow and slippery elm.
Bananas have natural antacid properties that help counteract acid reflux. Moreover, the fibers in bananas improve digestion, reducing your risk of reflux.
Saliva helps neutralize the acid in your esophagus, so try chewing a stick of gum for 30 minutes after eating to increase saliva production.
Related: Foods that Help Acid Reflux go Away
Over-the-counter or prescription heartburn medication
If lifestyle and home remedies prove to be ineffective, you may need medication to control acid reflux and treat heartburn. These medicines include:
- Antacids, such as Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, and Rolaids, which help neutralize stomach acid
- H2 blockers, including cimetidine (Tagamet) and famotidine (Pepcid), that work by reducing stomach acid
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as omeprazole (Prilosec, Rapinex) and lansoprazole (Prevacid), which block the production of stomach acid
You can buy these medications over-the-counter, but you will require a prescription from your doctor for higher doses.
How to Get Rid of Heartburn During Pregnancy Fast
Heartburn during pregnancy is quite common, especially as the pregnancy progresses. And if you’ve had heartburn before conceiving, you’re more likely to experience it while pregnant. It occurs due to hormonal changes and the growing uterus that affect the LES function, predisposing it to acid reflux.
Here are several tips on how to control and get rid of heartburn during pregnancy:
Chew sugar-free gum
Chewing gum increases saliva production, which helps reduce acid levels in your esophagus and consequently relieve heartburn. If you’re concerned about artificial sweeteners, sugar-free gum will work just fine.
Drink a glass of milk
Low-fat or fat-free milk can help neutralize acidity, providing a soothing effect. You can also try adding a tablespoon of honey in a glass of warm milk.
Ginger, which has been proven effective in treating nausea and vomiting, can have a soothing effect on your digestive tract.
And as it’s safe to consume when pregnant, you can try adding natural ginger in your food or making fresh ginger tea.
Snack on papaya
Slowed digestion when pregnant makes acid reflux and heartburn more likely. Papaya can help improve digestion and, in turn, relieve heartburn. The fruit is also a rich source of vitamins A and C.
Among other benefits, almonds help neutralize stomach acid, which can help ease or prevent heartburn.
You can enjoy these tasty nuts as a snack between meals or add them to other foods such as salads and green vegetables.
If lifestyle changes and home remedies don’t offer you relief, talk to your doctor about OTC heartburn drugs that are safe to take during different pregnancy stages.
For more on heartburn during pregnancy, read Causes of Heartburn During Pregnancy and how to get Treatment.References ⌵
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- Ginger. (2016).nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger
- Mayo Clinic Staff. (2018). Heartburn. mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373229
- How to Get Rid of Heartburn.(n.d).medicinenet.com/heartburn_reflux/article.htm
- Stomach-soothing steps for heartburn. (2012).health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/stomach-soothing-steps-for-heartburn
- Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and heartburn. (n.d.).pamf.org/gastroenterology/conditions/gerd.html