Heartburn occurs when you experience burning pain in the throat and chest, right behind the breastbone. Now, you should know that this condition is quite common in people, and anyone can experience it. There are a few common triggers of heartburn, which mainly happens when you eat acidic, spicy, and fatty foods.
Furthermore, there are a few cases where heartburn can occur as a symptom of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). However, even if its name has a heart, you should know that this condition has no relation with your heart whatsoever.
But, regardless of what causes it, there is no other way to say that heartburn is inconvenient and can offer you a painful experience. And for that reason, knowing how to manage heartburn or how to get rid of heartburn becomes essential. Well, worry not, as there are several natural ways that can help you manage this condition. Furthermore, we have mentioned the medication care you can look out for to deal with heartburn effectively.
However, before we jump into the natural remedies or lifestyle changes to deal with this condition, let's explore heartburn and its other names, often used to refer to it.
Are Heartburn, Acid Reflux, And GERD The Same?
Now, you may question whether heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are the same. Although all these conditions' names are interchangeably used to signify heartburn, medically, these are not the same. Furthermore, if you want to treat your heartburn, it is pretty vital that you understand the difference between these three.
Firstly, heartburn is not a single health condition but a symptom. And when someone suffers from it, they can face a burning pain around the middle part of the chest. As per the NIDDK (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) explanation, this pain usually starts from the back part of the breastbone and then travels toward your throat.
Now, the next condition is acid reflux, in which the acid in your stomach reaches too high in your digestive system. In normal conditions, your stomach acid remains down in the stomach where it should be, thanks to gravity and your digestive system. However, in a few cases, this acid can rise to the esophagus, leading to heartburn, irritation, and other symptoms.
The third condition we have is GERD, often called gastroesophageal reflux disease. And this health complication is known for its many causes and symptoms, where heartburn is one of its symptoms. However, remember that GERD can cause some severe health states, so if you suffer from heartburn often, make sure to contact your healthcare provider.
What Are The Actual Symptoms And Causes Of Heartburn?
So, now you know that heartburn is not exactly acid reflux or GERD but one of the symptoms of these conditions. Still, if we talk about the symptoms or signs of heartburn, here are a few which indicate this condition:
- A burning sensation around the chest, behind the breastbone
- Burning pain rising to your throat
- Having a sour or bitter taste in the mouth
Now, the exact cause of heartburn or acid reflux is still to be discovered. However, there are a few risk factors that can lead to a condition such as heartburn. These risk factors are:
- Food and drink items such as coffee, alcohol, spicy foods, tomatoes, fatty foods, tomatoes
- Stress and anxiety
- Being overweight
- An increase in particular types of hormones, like estrogen and progesterone (Get the right help for this particular case by taking Apprize Medical's hormone management service)
So, knowing about the symptoms and causes of heartburn, it's time to look at how you can get relief from this condition.
Some Lifestyle Changes to Help With Heartburn Relief
While there can be many reasons for heartburn, you should know that you can treat it even without medication, especially if it is not severe. In cases where you experience a burning sensation for an extended period, it is vital to seek medical help. However, in most cases, heartburn is manageable if you use the proper practices to deal with it. Furthermore, these remedies are totally natural, and you only have to make some slight lifestyle changes to get them into effect.
So, let's check out these nine lifestyle changes which can help to get rid of heartburn.
1. Keep A Tab on What You Eat and Avoid Trigger Foods
One of the primary reasons someone suffers from heartburn is because they consume trigger foods and drinks. Food items that are salty, spicy, and high in fat, like pizza, cheese, fried food, chili pepper, and powder, and fast food commonly cause this complication. Therefore, you need to know what foods can trigger this problem and identify them by keeping a food journal.
So, once you know what you need to eat and not, make sure you follow it and avoid these foods and drinks as much as possible.
2. Don't Eat Snacks or Meals before Bed, and Avoid Eating Before Exercising
While most of you may know this, it is crucial that you should never lie down on your bed with a full stomach. A stomach full of food and drinks can trigger acid reflux. Hence, your heartburn symptoms also get worse with it. In addition, try to eat at least three to four hours before bedtime. By doing this, you can give your stomach enough time to get empty.
Now, talking about exercising, you should avoid eating for at least two hours before performing any physical activity. If you start exercising shortly after eating, you may suffer symptoms like bloating, reflux, nausea, etc.
3. Maintain a Moderate Eating Speed and Don't Overeat
Overeating and eating too fast are possible causes of heartburn and acid reflux. Watching your meal size and eating in portions can help if you have heartburn. Consuming heavy meals can put extra pressure on your stomach valve, leading to the rise of stomach acid out of the esophagus. And thus, it is more likely you'll face acid reflux and its symptoms, such as heartburn.
Other than that, eating quickly without chewing your food probably is another possible cause of such health complications. So, in conclusion, eat small portions and chew your food correctly to feel relief from the pain. If you have any gut health issues causing frequent heartburn, you can contact Apprize Medical. We help your body achieve optimal digestion and immunity, so it can adequately work to digest the food without struggling.
4. Get Yourself Some Loose-Fitting Clothes
As mentioned, heartburn occurs when the acid in someone's stomach achieves irregular levels rising into the esophagus. And thus, a person can experience burned tissues because of stomach acids reaching this level.
While this may not be common, a person can face heartburn in a few cases due to wearing tight clothes. You are compressing your stomach by wearing tight clothes, causing stomach acid to rise.
So, if that is possible for your case, you should not wait and loosen up your belt, pants, dress, or anything causing it.
5. Have Alkaline Foods
There are some fruits, such as citrus, which can trigger heartburn. While on the other hand, fruits, like bananas, can relieve this pain. Alkaline foods like melons, fennel, and bananas, which are also high in potassium, can help manage heartburn by increasing your body's pH levels. Furthermore, they also help prevent the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus.
However, while having a banana, ensure it is ripe. Eating an unripe banana can trigger acid reflux and heartburn. This is because unripe bananas are starch-heavy and also less alkaline. So, whenever you buy it from your local market or online store, make sure they are ripe. In addition, you can also include other alkaline foods in your diet, such as cauliflower, nuts, etc.
You can avail yourself of personalized nutrition plans at Apprize Medical if you are unsure what food items will be best for you. By learning about your condition through glucose monitoring, gut microbiome analysis, etc., we can offer you the best diet recommendations and other things that can help manage the symptoms.
6. Stop Smoking
Smoking, as we know, is the cause of many health problems. And according to ACG (American College of Gastroenterology), smoking is a possible cause of acid reflux and heartburn. If you smoke regularly and have recently faced heartburn, the best thing you can do is to stop smoking for a while. Furthermore, if possible, stop smoking altogether, as this will also help enhance your overall wellness.
Now, you might be interested in knowing how smoking actually causes heartburn. Well, smoking can reduce the saliva amount produced by your body. And thus, it lowers the working of your valve, which helps prevent acid from entering your esophagus. Due to this, you are most likely to suffer heartburn or acid reflux.
So, if you stop or quit smoking, you will be able to lower the frequency. Furthermore, it will also help manage the severity of your condition. In addition, there are a few cases where you can completely recover from this health complication.
7. Get the Right Sleeping Position
Did you know that not sleeping in the correct position can also trigger heartburn? Well, elevating the chest and head higher than your feet while you sleep can offer ease in heartburn and acid reflux. Furthermore, doing this may help you prevent acid reflux and its symptoms. So, how will you achieve this elevation? It's simple, just place a foam wedge under your mattress. In addition, you can use wood blocks to raise the mattress.
However, you should never use pillows to achieve this kind of height. This is because pillows aren't effective in this case. In fact, you may even worsen your acid reflux symptoms if you use them.
Meanwhile, try to sleep on your sleep side, as this can help alleviate heartburn and acid reflux and may even improve your digestion.
8. Try Losing Weight If You Are Obese and Overweight
Being overweight or obese puts extra pressure on the stomach, and thus, it can trigger acid reflux and heartburn. Therefore, your first step should be eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet to heal your stomach and for easier digestion. In addition, doing exercise or some sort of physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day matters a ton for achieving healthy weight numbers.
You can join Apprize Medical's weight management and exercise program to quickly get your body in shape without stressing it too much. Contact us to get details about our program.
9. Avoid Taking Stress
Stress, even for a little bit, can make your body suffer in different ways, especially when you already have health problems. Meanwhile, chronic stress is dangerous as it can physically and mentally harm your body. Some common side effects of stress include slower digestion and increased pain sensitivity.
With slower digestion, your stomach acid will take additional time to digest the food completely. So, this food sitting in your stomach for extended periods can lead to conditions like acid reflux and heartburn. In addition, as you are suffering from increased sensitivity, the pain you experience from heartburn will be more intense.
So, it is pretty vital that you perform activities that can help manage stress. Some ways which can help manage chronic stress include getting enough sleep, socializing more, doing yoga, and laughing more.
Getting Rid Of Heartburn Using Proper Medications And Care
While making some lifestyle changes and getting proper care can help you relieve heartburn, sometimes medications are also needed to get the best results. At Apprize Medical, we can offer you the best restorative care with our effective programs, which can help alleviate heartburn or acid reflux. For the best advice about your condition, feel free to visit our website to schedule an appointment.
So, while we are on the medications for heartburn, let's see what available over-the-counter heartburn medications are. There are mainly three types, including:
- Antacids: These meds help neutralize stomach acid quickly.
- PPIs: Proton pump inhibitors help reduce the produced stomach acid amount. And these are usually for treating long-term or severe symptoms of acid reflux and GERD.
- H2 blockers: This medication can block some receptors in your stomach, which helps reduce the stomach acid amount your body produces.
Moreover, a few other medications can also help with your symptoms. However, you need to have your doctor's prescription to use them.
A Few Ways That May Help Prevent Heartburn
So, now you are pretty familiar with how to get rid of heartburn with or without medications. But, even if you recover from this condition, you need to know that it can always return if you switch to your unhealthy habits or lifestyle. Therefore, it becomes prominent that you are aware of preventive measures for acid reflux and heartburn.
Here are various methods that may help prevent heartburn or other stomach-related symptoms:
Always Eat On Time
Well, even though you know that eating before going to bed is wrong, sometimes you just can't resist having a late night or bedtime snack. You can make some exceptions for a few nights, but it should not become a habit. Primarily, you need to have dinner at least three hours before bed. This gives your stomach enough time to digest and prevent heartburn.
Limit Your Alcohol Consumption
Drinking is a common habit of working adults; even if it is unhealthy, you will not experience any severe side effects if consumed in moderate amounts. However, you should avoid drinking too much regularly to lower the risk of heartburn.
Don't Eat Trigger Foods
Your diet significantly affects any stomach-related condition, including acid reflux and heartburn. Check out this list of foods that you should avoid adding to your diet:
- Spicy foods
- Acidic foods like limes, oranges, and lemons
- Greasy foods
- Tomatoes products (including tomatoes)
Smoking can trigger heartburn again and again and can even lead to other severe symptoms. Try to stop smoking to prevent acid reflux symptoms.
Shed Extra Weight
Obesity and overweight conditions can trigger heartburn and stress your stomach. Ensure you lose weight to prevent this health complication from returning.
Do Relaxation Exercise
By performing relaxation exercises, you can manage your stress, which is one of the causes of heartburn. Relaxing your body and eating healthy together is the best way to prevent heartburn and other related symptoms.
When to Talk To Your Healthcare Provider about Your Heartburn Condition?
You'll mostly be able to deal with heartburn with natural remedies, medicines, and proper care from your healthcare provider. However, your heartburn can sometimes take a severe turn, so getting instant help from your doctor is necessary.
However, how will you know if your condition is actually serious? Here are some symptoms which imply that your heartburn is severe:
- Pressure or tightness in the chest
- Cold sweats
- Irregular or rapid heartbeat
- Trouble while breathing
- Faint or lightheaded feeling
If these symptoms remain, and you often face heartburn, dialing your healthcare provider is highly recommended. These symptoms can also be possibly due to GERD. However, this condition is also treatable with medication and lifestyle changes. You can get the right help from Apprize Medical professionals, as we hold the expertise to heal or treat health issues related to gut health.
Heartburn is common and often occurs due to acid reflux being one of its symptoms. So, to get rid of heartburn, you can take the help of medicines, home remedies, or make some lifestyle adjustments, as all these provide relief.
Ensure you follow the preventive measure for heartburn by avoiding its triggers, such as not eating fatty and spicy foods. Also, get proper sleep, quit smoking, and exercise daily to experience overall health benefits.
Contact Apprize Medical at 305-851-2132 for the best care for gut health, weight management, personalized nutrition, hormone management, and much more. We are always there to help you and don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with us. Our professional will diagnose your condition and provide the best solution for your problems. Visit our website for more details.