Having heartburn, otherwise known as acid reflux, can be a very unpleasant condition to deal with. Knowing the cause and symptoms of this minor but uncomfortable condition will help you learn how to get rid of it.
Symptoms and Causes
Usually this condition is characterized by a burning or painful sensation under the breastbone, in the esophagus area.
Heartburn is usually caused by drinking or eating too many high acidic or high-fat foots. It also is the result of drinking too many carbonated beverages which stimulates stomach acid production.
- Cut down on number of beers, sodas, and other carbonated drinks. The beer is the worst of all of these because of the harshness of the alcohol combined with the carbonation of the beverage. However, the acidic quality of sodas and certain energy drinks can also cause acid reflux or heartburn.
- Reduce consumption of highly-acidic or high-fat foods. Too many grapefruits, oranges, pineapples, or tomatoes are often cause heartburn. Garlic, onion, cayenne, or other strong foods, herbs, and spices can lead to discomfort in the esophagus and breastbone area. Reduce intake of these foods and balance them out while consuming less acidic fruits, vegetables, and herbs.
- Get plenty of rest. Too much stress due to lack of sleep along with not eating the right foods or drinking the wrong drinks too often can do a number on the body. Lack of sleep that leads to stress can cause serious gastrointestinal problems, including heartburn. If you cannot sleep then at least you can relax.
- Take an over-the-counter or prescription medication. One of the most common treatments for heartburn is over-the-counter antacids. Tums, Milk of Magnesia, Pepto-Bismol, and Alka-Seltzer are common non-prescription medicines that are used to reduce or eliminate acid reflux symptoms. Some of the most helpful medicines out there include proton-pump inhibitors, alginates, and H2-Receptor antagonists. Doctor’s prescriptions are needed for use of these.
- Stop smoking. There are many reasons that people should stop smoking, including prevention of lung or stomach cancer. One more reason to stop smoking is to reduce chance that you will suffer acid reflux symptom. If you cannot quit smoking immediately then try to cut down gradually.
- Exercise to lost weight, and maintain your health. If you exercise more often you will burn fat. As a result, you will build up your body and reduce chance of acid reflux. Exercise is also good for the heart, by the way. It also helps complement a healthy diet.
- Try a natural remedy for relief. One thing you can do is chew on a peppermint. The ones with peppermint oil in them are best, because this natural ingredient helps sooth the stomach and gastrointestinal tract. Other remedies include baking soda and water, apple cider and honey, or fennel.
Homeopathic practitioners often recommend nux vomica to treat heartburn.
Numerous natural remedies are said to help heartburn. One calls for drinking ½ cup of raw potato juice diluted with ½ cup of water after each meal. To make the juice, simply put a washed potato through a juicer. Another remedy is made by mixing 1 tablespoon each of honey and apple cider vinegar in 1 cup of warm water and drinking it at the first hint of discomfort. Papaya tablets might also alleviate an attack of heartburn.
Heartburn is not typically a dangerous condition. However, if it becomes too common of an occurrence and if the pain is unbearable you should see a doctor. While you are at your doctor’s checkup you can make sure you are not suffering a far more serious problem.