What is Heartburn and Acid Reflux (GERD)?
Heartburn is also known as Acid Reflux / GERD (Scientific), pyrosis, acidity or cardialgia (Common English), Amla Pitta / seenay mein jalan (Hindi/Urdu), Chatit jaljal / Pitt Vadhane (Marathi), Nencericcal / Amila etukkutalin (Tamil), Gundello manta (Telugu), Ambala (Bengali), Wei zhuore (Chinese), Acidez (Spanish), Azia (Portuguese), izzhoga (Russian), maag (Indonesian). A burning sensation in the upper chest, and possibly a sour taste in the mouth, which are caused by acidic juices rising back up the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. Heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is the basic problem with a backwash of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus. Normally, a band of muscle at the end of the esophagus (the lower esophageal sphincter) prevents this reverse movement. Heartburn is characterized by a burning sensation in your chest that is often painful and uncomfortable, and intensifies when you lie down.
The causes of GERD include laxity of the lower esophageal sphincter, slow emptying of the stomach, obesity, and hiatal hernia. Heartburn can be caused by foods that are acidic or greasy. Pregnant women may develop acidity due to the pressure exerted by the developing fetus. Specific anti inflammatory compounds in some foods help to relieve gastrointestinal distress. The digestive enzymes papain and bromelain may also help to relieve acid reflux. While there are a few foods that relieve heartburn, there are many more that cause it. If acidity is a problem for you reduce your intake of high fat and spicy foods, tomatoes, citrus, garlic, onion, milk, coffee, tea, chocolate, and mints. Although there are several rather strong medications on the market for heartburn and acid stomach, these conditions are usually quite easy to control with the following natural Ayurvedic home remedies.
The typical symptoms of acid reflux, usually worse after meals, are burning pain behind the breastbone and occasional nausea. Reflux that occurs during the night can fracture sleep. If acidic material ascends high enough, it can cause coughing, sore throat, hoarseness, dental erosion, and worsened asthma. Two important strategies are eating smaller meals and staying upright for a few hours after eating. For those who suffer from the condition, changing dietary habits along with incorporating foods that alleviate heartburn make relief and prevention possible. People can also elevate the head of the bed 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) by slipping blocks or large books under the mattress. Although sleeping on a second pillow keeps the head elevated, in back sleepers, that position can compress the abdomen, causing reflux. Because excess abdominal fat creates pressure against the stomach, causing re-flux, doctors recommend their higher weight patients slim down. Studies show that weight loss can resolve GERD. In addition, stay away from tobacco smoke, which worsens GERD.
Home Remedies for Heartburn and Acid Reflux
- Aloe Vera Gel: It gives natural soothing effect. Take 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with a pinch of baking soda. This will have an immediate soothing effect.
- Cucumber: Treat it with cucumber. Drink cucumber juice or eat fresh cucumber to soothe acidity or to improve an acid stomach.
- Chamomile: Heal stomach problems with chamomile. Chamomile is the best source for heartburn and stomach problems.
- Papaya: Get relief from hyper acidity instantly with papaya. For hyper-acidity and indigestion, try drinking 1 cup papaya juice with 1 teaspoon organic sugar and 2 pinches cardamom. But pregnant women should not eat papayas, which contain natural estrogen and may create the danger of miscarriage.
- Potato: Soothe heart burn with potato. Heartburn is eased by slowly chewing a raw piece of potato, a few sips of milk or a spoonful of raw sauerkraut.
- Licorice: Cure with kitchen spices and herb. Licorice might be a good choice, but take care. Too much Licorice will produce headache, lethargy, and a potential serious loss of potassium as well as the possibility of high blood pressure.
- Lime Juice: It neutralizes stomach acid. Take 1 cup of water. Add 10 drops of lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar. Now at the end add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda into the cup. When you add it, an effervescent reaction will occur. Immediately drink the mixture to neutralize heartburn and acid stomach.
- Peppermint Tea: This is easy home remedy and can be used during pregnancy. If heart burn is due to pregnancy then eating yogurt will cool the pain OR try drinking chamomile or peppermint tea will ease the problem.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: If the problem is due to indigestion take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, and follow with a glass of water.
- Shitali Pranayama: The breathing technique known as shitali pranayama is also helpful. It is not only cooling but also stimulates digestion.
- Avoid wearing tight or restrictive clothing around your waist.
- Eat smaller and more frequent meals.
- Strictly avoid all hot spicy food. No pickles, and no fermented food. Minimize or cut out citrus fruit and sour fruit. And avoid overeating.
- Elevate your head a few inches while you sleep.
- Relax to reduce your stress levels.
- Review your medications and dietary supplements with your doctor. Some can worsen GERD.
Warning and Caution
If your heartburn is not helped by common remedies or if it occurs often for no apparent reason, you should consult a doctor. If you feel you have heartburn and it is accompanied by vomiting, dizziness, chest pain radiating into your neck or shoulder, or shortness of breath, you need help immediately: You may be having a heart attack.
Q. What is a heartburn?
It is a burning sensation in the chest caused by stomach acid rising up into the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat to the stomach). It is a common symptom of acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Q. What’s the difference between acid reflux, heartburn and GERD?
Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, which is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid that has reached the esophagus. GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a more serious form of acid reflux where the acid flows back up into the esophagus and causes inflammation of the lining, leading to complications such as ulcers, scarring, and even cancer.
Q. What causes heartburn? When and why does it occur?
Heartburn, also known as acid reflux, is a common condition caused by the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus. It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that acts as a valve between the stomach and the esophagus, becomes weak or relaxes inappropriately. This allows stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn. It can occur after eating a large meal, lying down after eating, or eating certain types of foods. Foods that are known to trigger the condition include spicy foods, fatty foods, citrus fruits, tomato-based products, and chocolate. Certain lifestyle factors, such as obesity, smoking, and pregnancy, can also increase the risk of the condition.
Q. How can I get rid of heartburn without using conventional medicine?
- Eat smaller meals more frequently, instead of three large meals a day.
- Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn, such as spicy, acidic, and fatty foods.
- Avoid lying down after eating.
- Raise the head of your bed by a few inches to help keep acid down while you sleep.
- Quit smoking.
- Chew gum after meals to help reduce acid in the stomach.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Drink herbal teas such as chamomile or ginger tea, which can help soothe the digestive system.
- Take a daily probiotic supplement or eat probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt and kefir.
- Try natural remedies such as slippery elm, aloe vera juice, and peppermint oil, which can help reduce symptoms.
Q. How can I prevent and stop heartburn?
- Avoid eating large meals and eating late at night.
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Avoid foods that trigger it, such as spicy and acidic foods.
- Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
- Lose weight if you are overweight.
- Elevate the head of the bed 6-8 inches to reduce nighttime heartburn.
- Wear loose-fitting clothing.
- Chew gum or suck on hard candy to increase saliva production.
- Take over-the-counter antacids or medications.
- Talk to your doctor about prescription medications.
Q. What is the best home remedy for heartburn?
The best home remedies are to eat smaller meals, avoid spicy or fatty foods, avoid lying down after eating, and drink plenty of fluids. Other remedies include drinking a glass of milk, eating a banana, and drinking a teaspoon of baking soda mixed with water.
Q. How can a pregnant woman avoid heartburn?
- Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn, such as fried, spicy and acidic foods, caffeine and alcohol.
- Eat small, frequent meals and avoid overeating.
- Eat slowly and chew food thoroughly.
- Avoid lying down after eating and wait at least three hours before going to bed.
- Elevate the head of the bed or use extra pillows to keep the head and shoulders propped up while sleeping.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Avoid tight belts or clothing that puts pressure on the abdomen.
- Chew gum or suck on hard candy to increase saliva production, which can help neutralize stomach acid.
Q. Can eating bananas cause a heartburn? How? OR Why do bananas give me heartburn?
There is no direct evidence that eating bananas can cause this problem. However, some people who suffer from acid reflux may find that eating bananas can trigger their symptoms. If you are prone to heartburn, it is recommended that you avoid eating bananas or any other foods that may trigger your symptoms.
Q. How does milk help with a heartburn?
Milk can help ease the symptoms of heartburn by coating the lining of the esophagus and stomach to reduce the irritation caused by stomach acid. It can also help to neutralize the acid in the stomach.
Q. What foods offer heartburn relief?
- Green Vegetables
- Almond milk
- Apple cider vinegar
- Baking soda
Q. What is the worst food that can trigger heartburn?
The worst food that can trigger the condition is anything that is high in fat or spicy. Foods such as fried and greasy foods, tomato-based sauces, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onions, and citrus fruits can all be triggers.
Q. Does cabbage juice ease heartburn?
There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that cabbage juice can ease acid reflux. However, it can help reduce bloating and gas and may help improve digestion, which may help reduce symptoms of heartburn.
Q. Would ice cream help heartburn?
No, ice cream will not help heartburn. In fact, it can make heartburn worse by adding fat and sugar to your diet. Instead, try eating foods that are high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, or foods that contain probiotics, such as yogurt.
Q. If a person has heartburn can they drink anything to subdue it?
Yes, some people find relief from drinking milk, water, ginger tea, aloe vera juice, or chamomile tea. It may also help to avoid certain foods and drinks that can trigger heartburn such as coffee, chocolate, spicy food, alcohol, and acidic foods.
Q. Does coconut water help with heartburn?
Coconut water may help with it, as it is a natural antacid. However, it is not a guaranteed remedy, and it is best to speak to a doctor or healthcare professional if you suffer from frequent or severe heartburn.
Q. Can tea cause heartburn?
Yes, tea can cause the problem. Tea, especially when consumed in large amounts, can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause acidity. If you experience heartburn after drinking tea, try cutting back on the amount you drink or switch to a different type of tea.
Q. Why do I get a heartburn when I eat watermelon?
It is possible to get a heartburn from eating watermelon due to its high acid content. The acids in the watermelon can irritate the lining of your stomach and cause a burning sensation in your chest. You may also get a heartburn if you eat too much watermelon too quickly. Eating slowly and in smaller amounts can help avoid this.
Q. Why would yogurt give me heartburn?
Yogurt can give some people heartburn because it contains lactic acid, which can irritate the stomach and esophagus. It can also be a sign of too much acid in the stomach, which can be a result of eating too much yogurt, eating other acidic foods, or having a condition like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Q. Do beans cause heartburn?
Beans may cause the problem in some individuals. Eating too many beans at once, or eating beans that are high in fat or acidic can aggravate acid reflux. Eating beans in moderation and avoiding spicy or heavy sauces may help reduce the risk of heartburn.
Q. Are tomatoes a cause of heartburn?
Tomatoes can be a cause of heartburn for some people. Heartburn is generally caused by acid reflux, and tomatoes are highly acidic, which can trigger acid reflux and heartburn symptoms in some people.
Q. Why do biscuits cause heartburn?
Biscuits can cause heartburn because they are high in fat and sugar, which can trigger the production of stomach acid. This acid can cause irritation and inflammation of the lining of the esophagus, resulting in heartburn.
Q. Will mustard get rid of heartburn?
No, mustard will not get rid of it. Heartburn is usually caused by eating certain foods or meals, lying down after eating, or eating too much. Eating mustard may aggravate symptoms. To get rid of the problem, it is best to avoid foods that trigger it, eat smaller meals, and avoid lying down after eating.
Q. How does sleeping on your side alleviate heartburn?
Sleeping on your side can help alleviate the condition by keeping the head and chest elevated and the stomach below the esophagus. This allows gravity to help keep the stomach acid from traveling back up the esophagus, which is the cause of heartburn. Additionally, sleeping on your left side can reduce pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, which can help prevent the problem.
Q. What is the best food to eat when you have heartburn?
The best food to eat when you have the problem is generally low-fat, low-acid foods such as oatmeal, bananas, applesauce, and plain toast. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day can also help reduce symptoms.
Q. What are some good suggestions to avoid post-meal heartburn?
- Eat smaller meals throughout the day.
- Avoid large meals late at night.
- Avoid trigger foods like spicy, acidic, and fried foods.
- Don’t lie down immediately after eating.
- Elevate your head while sleeping.
- Take an antacid or other medication as needed.
- Chew gum or suck on hard candy after a meal.
- Avoid carbonated beverages.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Avoid caffeine.
Q. Is heart burn and acid reflux the same?
No, they are not the same. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux, but acid reflux is a broader term that also includes other symptoms such as chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and a sour taste in the mouth.
Q. What diet can I eat to prevent recurrent heartburn?
To help prevent recurring problem, it is important to focus on eating a diet that is high in fiber and low in fat. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help reduce episodes of heartburn. Avoiding foods that are known to cause heartburn such as spicy and acidic foods, fatty foods, and caffeine can also help. Eating meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime can also help prevent heartburn. Finally, drinking plenty of fluids throughout the day can help reduce the acidity in the stomach.
Q. Why do I get heartburn everyday in the morning?
Heartburn can be caused by many factors, including eating spicy or acidic foods, eating too much, being overweight, lying down after eating, drinking too much caffeine or alcohol, smoking, and certain medications. If you are getting heartburn every morning, it may be helpful to keep a food diary to help identify what foods or drinks may be triggering your symptoms. Additionally, making lifestyle changes such as eating smaller meals, avoiding trigger foods, and avoiding lying down for at least two hours after eating may help to reduce your symptoms. If your heartburn persists, it is recommended to see your doctor for further evaluation.
Q. Can smoking cause heartburn?
Yes, smoking can cause the condition. Smoking can irritate the lining of the esophagus and stomach, which can lead to heartburn. Additionally, smoking can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, which can also cause heartburn.
Q. Can water give you heartburn? Is water good for heartburn?
Water can give you heartburn if it is too cold or if you drink too much of it too quickly. Water is not typically recommended for heartburn. The best way to reduce heartburn symptoms is to avoid foods and beverages that trigger them, such as spicy foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and caffeine. Other lifestyle changes that can help reduce symptoms include eating smaller meals, avoiding lying down after eating, and not eating close to bedtime. If symptoms persist, talk to your doctor about medications that can help reduce heartburn.
Q. What’s the best way to get rid of indigestion and heartburn?
The best way to get rid of indigestion is to avoid foods that trigger your symptoms, eat smaller meals more frequently, avoid lying down after eating, stay upright for at least an hour after a meal, eat slowly, and avoid spicy and fatty foods, caffeine, and alcohol. Additionally, you can try using antacids or other over-the-counter medications to reduce symptoms. Finally, if your symptoms persist, consult your doctor to determine the best course of action.