Most people will tell you (with confidence) that “heartburn is caused by too much stomach acid.” But they’re wrong!
Countless studies show stomach acid secretion declining with age. In one study researchers found over 30 percent of men and women past the age of 60 suffer from atrophic gastritis (little to no acid secretion). Another study actually found 40% of women over 80 years young, don’t produce any stomach acid at all.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Digestive Diseases, 60 million people experience heartburn at least once a month and 25 million experience symptoms daily. Heartburn is caused by acid reflux (or acid indigestion) and is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, behind the breastbone, or in the upper abdomen’s central region. The pain usually starts in your chest and can radiate to your throat, neck, and jaw.
Acid reflux, which occurs when the ring of muscle that allows food into your stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES) relaxes when it shouldn’t. This results in acid from your stomach going back up your esophagus, which then causes the sensation of heartburn. It’s actually possible to have reflux without heartburn, but it is not possible to have heartburn without reflux.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a more serious form of acid reflux, is the most common digestive disorder in the United States. Heartburn symptoms include chest pain, burning, and chronic cough. Knowing which foods, medications, and stressors trigger your heartburn can help prevent it. But what about ways to treat it?
Treatments for heartburn include a wide variety of diet changes and home remedies. What if you’ve got it really bad, and it’s disrupting something important you’re doing? How do you instantly relieve heartburn?
Table of Contents
- 11 Tips To Instantly Relieve Heartburn
- #1. Modify Your Eating Habits
- #2. Drink (A Bit Of) Apple Cider Vinegar
- #3. Try Acid Free-Flux
- #4. Try Aloe Juice
- #5. Try To Get Comfortable
- #6. Learn To Relax
- #7. Adjust Your Position After Meals
- #8. Drink Chamomile Or Ginger Root Tea
- #9. Eat Mustard
- #10. Quit Smoking & Drinking Alcohol
- #11. Chew Bicarbonate Chewing Gum
11 Tips To Instantly Relieve Heartburn
#1. Modify Your Eating Habits
I’ve always been a fast eater… But taking smaller bites and eating slowly, allows your stomach to digest without giving it an excuse to pump excess acid. You’re also probably aware that specific foods, like those high in acid (perhaps tomatoes or citrus) or spicy foods trigger heartburn and should be avoided if you’re actively dealing with reflux.
Don’t eat 3-4 hours before bed. Lying down puts pressure on your LES (lower esophageal sphincter) and increases the likelihood of acid getting through.
#2. Drink (A Bit Of) Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people have deemed apple cider vinegar one of the best natural remedies for acid reflux. There hasn’t been any research to support this claim, but millions of people the world over swear by its effectiveness.
I tend to prefer Organic Apple Cider over other brands.
Some believe the acidic nature of the vinegar aids digestion by helping break down fats. Others think it helps balance acid production in the stomach or that it helps buffer acidity levels in the stomach because acetic acid (the main component of apple cider vinegar) is weaker than hydrochloric acid (the acid produced by your stomach).
It is the acid itself that tells the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) to tighten and close. If you don’t produce enough, your LES is going to think it’s no biggie to loosen up. And of course, results in reflux of acid into your esophagus. If you think this might be the case for you, try some apple cider vinegar in a glass of ice water.
Take 3 teaspoons or 1 tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar and mix it with 6 to 8 ounces of fresh (ice) water. I find it more tolerable when it’s cold. You can do this before each meal (probably the most effective,) before bedtime, or 2-3 times during the day. If you feel it worsens your reflux, don’t continue to ingest as too much may also contribute to the problem.
#3. Try Acid Free-Flux
Acid Free-Flux is one of, if not the most impressive heartburn remedy (aside from lifestyle modification) I’ve ever used and is 100% homeopathic.
Acid Free-Flux is the answer for bringing back digestive harmony after eating, helping to soothe the lining of the stomach and esophagus. Available in a convenient tincture form, it’s easy to take, without harmful side effects.
#4. Try Aloe Juice
Aloe Vera is a world famous plant with healing properties. It can help with heartburn because it has anti-inflammatory properties. A cool glass of Aloe Vera juice can help calm your stomach down.
#5. Try To Get Comfortable
Getting as comfortable as possible is important when you first get that burning feeling in your chest. Heartburn can get worse when there’s pressure on your stomach, because this can make the stomach acids flow backwards.
So, don’t wear tight-fitting clothing, loosen your belt and tie, and wear comfortable, loose-fitting upper body clothing. Relief may not come right away, and you may need to take further preventive steps. However, getting rid of any outside pressure on your stomach can go a long way.
#6. Learn To Relax
Stress can be make heartburn a whole heck of a lot worse. Stress reduction can also help to relieve heartburn in people who suffer from mild or occasional cases. Exercising, eating the right foods, listening to music, aromatherapy, hypnosis, and massage can reduce stress and help alleviate your heartburn.
#7. Adjust Your Position After Meals
If you recline shortly after eating, you can increase your risk of heartburn. Try to stay in an upright position for at least a couple of hours after a meal. Better yet, go for walk after you eat as this aids in digestions and nutrient assimilation.
#8. Drink Chamomile Or Ginger Root Tea
Having a spot of chamomile tea about ½ – 1 hour before you plan on going to sleep can help reduce inflammation in your stomach, and possibly balance out the acidity levels as well. It also does wonders for relieving stress, which can trigger acid reflux, and will help you sleep through the night as well. You can use instant chamomile tea, or you can easily make your own fresh.
Boil one cup of water in a cooking pot, and then reduce the heat. Stir in 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile petals, and let them simmer for 45 seconds. Remove from heat and let the petals soak for another minute or two before straining them. Pour the tea into a mug, and add a bit of honey or lemon if you wish.
Ginger Root Tea –
Ginger-root can help ease up a number of stomach woes, from nausea to acid reflux. Sipping a cup of fresh tea about 20 minutes before a meal can help calm down your tummy and act as an acid buffer. Slice up 3 quarter sized pieces of gingerroot and simmer gently in 2 cups of water, covered, for 30 minutes. Remove the ginger pieces, or leave them in, pour into a glass, and drink all of it about 20 minutes before a meal.
#9. Eat Mustard
Mustard is an alkalizing food that is full of minerals, and contains a weak acid in the form of vinegar. Consuming mustard straight, while it may make you grimace at first, may ultimately end up making you smile. Because of its alkaline properties, mustard helps neutralize acid that may creep up your throat, and therefore neutralizes the pain associated with acid reflux.
#10. Quit Smoking & Drinking Alcohol
Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol can set you up for terrible reflux. The nicotine and alcohol both work to weaken your LES, making it that much easier for stomach contents and acid to splash up into your esophagus. Alcohol is also going to irritate your stomach in general.
The solution? Quit smoking, and drink less (if at all.) Doing both will improve your health overall, in addition to relieving acid reflux.
These are the 6 ways to immediately quit smoking for good.
#11. Chew Bicarbonate Chewing Gum
Bicarbonate is one of the substances in your saliva and it’s the same ingredient in baking soda that helps to neutralize acid. A study demonstrated that chewing gum will stimulate salivation and can help increase the bicarbonate in saliva. When you have more bicarbonate in your saliva, it will help to prevent or reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.
You can get even better results if you chew gum that has bicarbonate as one of the ingredients. You can get these kinds of gum near the toothpaste aisle at your local convenience store. You can stave off tooth decay by buying sugarless gum. It’s worth noting that peppermint flavoring can actually make your symptoms worse, so stay away from peppermint gum.
Heartburn is unpleasant, and for some people chronic and debilitating. Talk to a doctor about your treatment options if you’re experiencing chronic or serious heartburn, and you’re not getting symptomatic relief from any of the approaches mentioned above.
Health by choice, not by chance.