Heartburn. A term so foreign to me before experiencing it for the first time. With symptoms so ominous, it comes with a slow-burn that makes you wonder when that ‘pop’ is coming and then you’ll lose consciousness like a heart attack, but of course, you never will. For the first time experiencing a heartburn, it can be that terrifying.
But Heartburns are common, especially for people who love to fill their stomachs to the brim. It is caused by the irritation of the lower oesophagael sphincter (LES) which is a valve that keeps stomach acid from seeping into the oesophagus causing the burn. A number of reasons can cause the valve to malfunction, such as smoking, stress or a lack of sleep.
Here are 12 ways to get rid of heartburn and prevent them from happening:
1. Drink Ginger Tea
The ginger root is best known for its properties to soothe any digestive issues. Grate a ginger root and mix one tablespoon in a cup of boiling water and drink. Ginger’s anti-inflammatory effects are one of the best defences against a heartburn attack.
2. Eat A Banana
This low acidic, mushy fruit is a good combatant to heartburns. Bananas will stick to the irritated LSE to form a protective layer against “burning” acids and will soothe the effects of heartburn quickly.
Healthy fats have been proven to reduce the effects of a heartburn and a bowl of oatmeal is a fantastic food that is also rich in fiber. Oatmeal can relax the LSE and stop an acid reflux. Do take note that it is best to eat it with fresh fruits and not with heavy cream as the latter is one of the main causes for an acid reflux.
4. Take Baking Soda
Sodium bicarbonate has a ph higher than 7.0 neutralizing stomach acid should the LES allow the acids to seep through. Mix half a teaspoon or one full teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drink the mixture.
5. Loosen The Buckle
The episode of your acid reflux could be due to tight clothings that are binding your stomach. If need be, loosen up that buckle and allow your food to have a smooth passage through instead of suffocating your tummy.
6. Over-The-Counter Antacids
The quickest remedy to take and if your local pharmacist is open is an OTC Antacid. Antacids are chewing tablets that are usually prescribed by doctors during the earliest symptoms of Heartburn. Antacids are the fastest heartburn relief that you can find that can neautralize stomach acids once it reaches it.
Although there might not be enough evidence that licorice can get rid of a heartburn, scientists believe that chewing on pure licorice can help to coat the oesophagus lining. The key here is to eat it pure and not the ones laden with syrup. In addition, the chewing action helps to produce more saliva which can neutralise stomach acids.
8. Stop Smoking
Smoking is the cause to many ailments and it is no surprise that heartburn is one of them. The main culprit for heartburns is nicotine which weakens the LSE which is the valve that prevents stomach acid from seeping. If you feel that your stomach is always in discomfort after a heavy meal, it is probably a good time to quit before a heartburn attack.
9. Foods to Avoid to Prevent Heartburn
If you are prone to regular heartburn attacks, it is best to avoid fatty foods, bad oils and sweets. Foods like potato chips, brownies, fried foods and oily salad dressings are highly probable foods that can cause a heartburn. To prevent further heartburns, simply avoid these unhealthy delectables.
10. Eat Smaller and Frequent Meals
Eating your meals to fill yourself to the brim isn’t the wisest move to prevent heartburns. Instead, take smaller and healthier meals at regular intervals. This will allow your LSE to be released of the stressful pressures a full stomach can give which will increase the chance of a reflux.
11. Lose The Extra Pounds
Shedding those extra kilos not only makes you look good on the outside, it also actually reduces the chances of getting a heartburn. Fat in the abdomen can put pressure on a full stomach inciting an acid reflux into the oesophagus much easier. Experts say that as little as 10 percent in weight loss can significantly reduce the chances of getting heartburn symptoms.
12. Chew Gum After A Heavy Meal
It would come as a surprise for Chewing Gum to be in this list, but recent studies have shown that chewing on sticky gum can help force acids back into the stomach by inducing more saliva when chewing. The studies also show that people who chew on gum after a heavy meal has reduced acid reflux as compared to people who don’t chew gum.