Cooling down the heat of heartburn naturally


heartburnHeartburn is a common problem and almost 60 million Americans suffer from heartburn every month.  We ran through the basics and symptoms of heartburn in the previous post.  Let us look at home remedies regarding the heartburn.  Though there are plenty of heartburn medications such as Prilosec, Zantac, Nexium available over the counter, but if you’re looking for a more gentle and natural approach, try some of these natural home remedies to cure heartburn naturally.  It is always recommended to see a doctor before starting remedies to make sure it is really heartburn you are afflicted with. You might confuse heartburn with angina or a peptic ulcer.


How can I treat my heart burn at home?

If heartburn pain is a frequent guest at your table, here are some things you can do to make your life more comfortable:


Eat-with-nativesEat less, more often: Small frequent meals, as an example having four to six light meals are healthier than three large ones. Avoid stuffing yourself and eating just before the bedtime. It is recommended that you don’t lie down for four hours after eating.


Think Bland: Fatty and spicy dishes will irritate your stomach lining and esophagus. Some of the worst offenders are tomato products, onions and peppers. Acidic foods, like citrus juices, can also cause irritation.  I think consuming them in optimum quantities is better than having lots of them.


no_coffeeWatch what you drink: Cut down on coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, and whole milk. These tend to irritate your stomach lining.


Chew it to cool it: The more you chew the more acid neutralizing saliva you produce. Take small bites and chew a piece of sugarless gum. Just for kicks, my mother use to say before gulping down the throat, chew 32 times.  Sucking on sugarless hard candy during the day may also help.


Timing is everything: Drink liquid about an hour before or after meals to keep your stomach from bloating. Don’t mix foods and liquids.


heart-burn-sit-straightImprove your posture: Sit up straight when you are eating- never stand or lie down. And don’t bend over immediately after eating.  This forces food and digestive acids back up into your esophagus.


Avoid tight clothes: Don’t wear clothes and belts that fit tightly around your stomach. Choose clothes that fit loosely...

at your waistline.


Slim down: If you are overweight, losing those extra pounds may help relieve your symptoms. The extra weight squeezes your esophagus.


Do one thing at a time: Don’t eat while working, playing, or driving.


quit-smokingGive up smoking: And if you are already trying to quit, don’t wear your nicotine patch to bed. The nicotine released during the sleep can cause heartburn.


Get support while you sleep: Use 4-6 inch wooden blocks or bricks to raise the head of your bed. Or, put a foam wedge beneath your upper body. Wedges are available at drugstores and medical supply stores.  This keeps digestives juices flowing down instead of up as you sleep. Extra pillows usually won’t do the trick. The merely force a bend at your waist. I would suggest that be careful of raising it too much as it can cause neck problems (spondylitis)


drink-waterDown the hatch:  Drink plenty of water with your medications, and don’t lie down after swallowing a pill. This helps the pills go down and stay down. Drinking water throughout the day will also help the digestive acids to be washed out of your esophagus.


Take it easy: Avoid straining and heavy lifting. This causes your abdominal muscles to contract and squeeze the contents in your stomach into your esophagus.


medicinesKnow your medications: Talk to your doctor if you are taking any heart or blood pressure medicines. These can affect the sphincter between your esophagus and stomach, allowing acid to back up into your esophagus.  You can also take over-the-counter antacids such as Maalox or WinGel for fast relief from occasional heartburn.


If your heartburn becomes severe and is accompanied by nausea, sweating, weakness, fainting, or breathlessness, or pain that extends from your chest to your arm or jaw, you may have something much worse than a pepperoni pizza that didn’t sit well. These can be symptoms of a heart attack and you should call for emergency help.



6 Responses

  1. Ed says:

    Thank you for a rather comprehensive list of the things that we can do to naturally reduce or mitigate our exposure to acid indigestion. As a professional in the bedding industry for the past 20 years, I would caution against putting blocks or bricks under your headboard to achieve an elevated sleeping surface.

    Elevating Your Bed with Blocks or Books

    Placing books or blocks under your headboard, in order to raise the head of your set of bedding will damage your bed and lead to a sag in the middle of the mattress. If this insufficient support is discovered by a third party mattress inspector researching a warranty claim, it will void the manufacturer’s warranty. Check any major manufacturer’s warranty and you will find the same information.

    An elegant solution to this situation is using a foam wedge between the mattress and the box spring. This will provide the elevation necessary to reduce or mitigate nighttime acid indigestion. It also allows you to sleep on the mattress that you selected for your level of comfort, you can sleep in any position that you are comfortable with and use the pillows that you love. If you Google “MediWedge” you will find a foam wedge that enables you to accomplish this same sleeping surface elevation.

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