Heartburn or pyrosis is an intense pain or burning sensation that affects the oesophagus just below the breast bone and then moves to the chest cavity. The pain may then radiate to the neck, throat and jaw bones. It is often found that heartburns are symptoms of other digestive disorders and not the disorder itself. Often they are a prelude to gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
Remedies For Heartburn
As the name suggest they are ‘anti acids’ that neutralize the acid content in the mouth. But frequent and increased usage should be avoided as they are a sign of a bigger problem.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI)
PPI’s are used to reduce the acid content in the stomach. This is done by constricting the enzyme that produces acid. But, it may lead to side effects like diarrhoea, head ache and constipation.
Practice Healthy Food Habits
Some changes in the regular food habits can bring about much relief to heartburn. Some of the steps to be followed are; chew your food well, eat smaller portions and eat often by breaking meals in to 6 small meals rather than 3 heavy meals. Avoid eating late in the night and sleeping with a full stomach; leave at least 2 or 3 hours between your meals time and sleep.
Try to eat more of whole grain foods like whole wheat breads, oat bran, and brown rice as they give the feeling of having a full stomach and help avoid overeating. They are a healthier option to refined foods which cause indigestion. Avoid red meat and high fat meats. Include more of fish and lean meat like poultry in your diet.
Fish is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which aid a better body metabolism. Apples, pears, peaches and melons aid in digestion and relieve heart burn while citrus fruits like oranges, pineapple and grape fruit increase the acidity level of the stomach. Avoid intake of alcohol, acidic foods, fatty and oily foods, spicy foods, preserved foods and carbonated drinks.
Homemade remedies are often more effective in dealing with heartburn than the over the counter medications.
Apple cider vinegar
Though vinegar is acid forming, apple cider vinegar is alkaline and helps in reducing acidity. It should be diluted with water in a 1:1 ratio and consumed immediately. Unlike antacids apple cider vinegar does not have any side effects.
Aloe Vera juice
This juice is high in alkaline content, so it neutralizes the acidic content in the stomach. However, the juice is best had fresh and not the one with preservatives. But, moderation is advised as excess may lead to diarrhoea.
It is a natural acid neutralizer. It relieves heart burn and cools your body.
It had lacto bacillus bacteria which promotes digestion and relieves heart burn.
Ginger aids digestions, reduces the acidic content and also has nerve- soothing effects thereby reducing stress. Baking soda: It is one of the oldest and trusted homemade cures for acidity. Dissolve a teaspoon in water and drink immediately to get instant relief.
Better food choices and a healthy food regime can avoid heartburn to a large extent.
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