What heartburn remedies are available?
Once you are sure that you are suffering from heartburn, there are a number of heartburn remedies you can choose from.
Keep in mind that there is no quick way to get rid of this condition since it is life-lasting and usually, along with treatments, several changes in your lifestyle must be undergone as well.
Some Heartburn Remedies or You
OTC Heartburn Remedies
Antacids and H2 blockers are over-the-counter heartburn remedies. Antacids work by reducing the acid content in the stomach thus providing relief from heartburn. The relief given by antacids however is short-lived and these are not recommended to treat frequent heartburn. The best way to use antacid if you are prone to heartburn is to take it an hour after your meal or take it as soon as heartburn symptoms are felt.
Antacids that contain aluminum may cause constipation while those that contain magnesium may cause diarrhea. When these side effects occur, it is best to stop using the antacids containing aluminum or magnesium or switch the antacids.
Prescribed Heartburn Remedies
Pro-kinetic agents and proton pump inhibitors are prescription medication for heartburn.
Pro-kinetic agents work by helping to empty the stomach so it does not stay full. Proton pump inhibitors on the other hand work by reducing the production of acids in the stomach. They act by blocking the cells of the stomach walls that make and release acid in the stomach.
Natural Heartburn Remedies
The following are some of the natural methods of treating heartburn:
- Increase your water intake – water dilutes the acid in the stomach thus reducing acid reflux symptoms. Aside from minimizing heartburn, water is also beneficial for the overall function of the body.
- Chew gum – when you chew gum, you stimulate saliva production. Saliva works to stabilize the acids in the stomach thus preventing acid reflux.
- Eat an apple – eating an apple after a meal can also keep heartburn symptoms under control. Apple, when chewed well and slowly, reduces stomach acid levels thus preventing reflux.
- Drink fennel tea or chamomile tea – these can bring relief from the symptoms of heartburn.
- Eat ginger – you can take ginger in pill, capsule or candy form. It has been known to reduce acid reflux and heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid.
- Take apple cider vinegar – one of the quickest acting heartburn remedies. Take 1-2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar for quick heartburn relief. ACV tastes nasty so you can follow up with a teaspoon of honey. Honey by the way is also a good natural remedy for acid reflux though not as quick-acting as apple cider vinegar. Some people who use ACV as their home remedy for heartburn say that it is better if taken with the mother or the pulp-looking substance floating within the vinegar.
- Eat almonds – these are also excellent heartburn remedies for people suffering from occasional acid reflux. Chew almonds very well to get the most of it. Almonds can help relieve acid reflux symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes as Heartburn Remedies
Whether or not you are taking heartburn medications, lifestyle changes are necessary to ease the discomfort caused by this condition. Some of the simplest changes you can make involve avoiding acidic and fatty foods and quitting bad habits such as cigarette smoking and unchecked alcohol consumption.
When it comes to your meal portions, it is also recommended to cut down and instead of eating 3 full meals a day, you should try eating 5 or 6 small meals a day. This will ensure that your stomach is not always overfilled and that your digestive system can work smoothly and without pressure.
Taking enough sleep and exercising regularly also helps reduce the occurrence of acid reflux as you feel more relaxed and at ease. When you’re stressed, you are more prone to acid reflux.
Other tips to reduce heartburn:
- Wear loose clothing
- Don’t eat your last meal of the day less than 2 hours before bedtime
- Avoid bending over after eating.
- Raise the head of your bed if you are prone to nighttime heartburn
Surgical Procedures as Heartburn Remedies
When all else fails, you may consider undergoing surgery. Take note however that this is rarely recommended and it is reserved for severe cases only. Also, most surgeries only work for a short time and they may need to be done again and again increasing the risk of complications. The most common complication after surgery to treat acid reflux is that foods swallowed tend to stick at the artificial sphincter however this sticking is only temporary.