[toc]A Heart burn is a burning sensation which often rises in the chest and which may radiate to the neck and throat. It may be accompanied with a sour taste and part of undigested food re-entering the mouth.This happens when the gastric acid regurgitates and causes irritation when it comes in contact with the lining of the oesophagus and is a major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease commonly known as GERD. Hence it is also called acid reflux or acid indigestion.
Though many of us suffer from this problem once a while usually after a meal, for some it is a regular occurrence. Heart burn may occur when the lower oesophageal sphincter, which is the valve that prevents the stomach acid from moving out of the stomach is weakened. It may occur due to stress, smoking, pressure on the stomach, heavy eating before sleeping, obesity, fried foods, acidic food, coffee, alcohol, medications etc. Hiatus hernia is also known to cause heart burn. The reason you have to take some action is if left untreated it can lead to severe complications. It can lead to scarring of the oesophagus, cancer of the oesophagus, Barrett’s oesophagus that is development of cells in the lower oesophagus similar to stomach lining cells etc. Let’s start right away by trying these home remedies.
6 Home Remedies for Heart Burn
Modify Eating Habits
Eat frequent smaller meals instead of larger ones with larger intervals, so that the amount of stomach acid produced is less. Avoid heavy meals at bed time. Have food two to three hours before going to bed, so that the acid levels go down by the time you lie down in bed. Chew your food properly and eat slowly.
Have sufficient fluids specially water as it dilutes the acid which is the main cause of the heart burn and helps to send it back to the stomach. You may have any other fluids but ensure that they are non acidic otherwise it will increase the heart burn.
Chewing sugar free gum for half an hour after a meal not only provides relief from mild heart burn symptoms but from also symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva and increases its flow. The acid in the gut is diluted by the extra saliva and is easily washed away which provides relief from heart burn.
Have 1 teaspoon of baking soda or sodium bi carbonate with water. It is basic in nature and hence neutralises the acid which is the cause of the heart burn. Though having it daily is not recommended as it may have some side effects.
Have Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe Vera is used as a medicine for over 5000 years. Having Aloe Vera juice benefits a lot of people suffering from heart burn. You may scrap the inner fleshy portion and have it or have it in the form of a juice made from the inner fleshy portion of the Aloe Vera leaves. It is anti inflammatory and a pain inhibitor. The pain relieving property is due to analgesics in the salicylic acid and magnesium present in it. Aloe Vera also normalises the acid alkaline balance and is helpful for a smooth digestion process. However take care not to have too much of it as it is also a laxative.
There are certain foods and beverages which can trigger heart burn. Though different people may have different triggers in general coffee, alcohol, onions, fried oily foodstuffs are best avoided. Also avoid smoking as nicotine weakens the muscles that controls the opening between the oesophagus and stomach and hence cannot effectively prevent the acid from the stomach from entering in the gut.