Do you suffer from occasional episodes of heartburn? Almost everyone experiences periodic mild heartburn after eating too fast or overindulging. Infrequent cases of mild heartburn generally don’t require treatment with prescription medications but they do necessitate some relief. Before attempting a natural treatment for heartburn, be sure that what you’re experiencing truly is heartburn. In some cases, a heart attack or peptic ulcer can give symptoms similar to heartburn. If you experience any new symptoms or if your discomfort is unusually severe, get medical attention immediately. Also, if heartburn happens to you on a frequent basis (more than once a week), see your doctor. You may have GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease which can erode the esophagus and increase your risk of esophageal cancer unless treated with medications. If you’re experiencing your typical, garden variety episode of heartburn after a heavy meal, there are some simple lifestyle changes you can make that will reduce your symptoms without medications. Here’s how to get rid of heartburn naturally:
1. Natural treatment for heartburn: Eliminate the three bad habits
Three bad habits that will make increase your risk of heartburn are smoking too much, drinking too much, and taking in too much caffeine. It may be too difficult initially to give up all of these habits, but cutting back on each should help to improve your symptoms. Coffee can be a particularly big offender when it comes to heartburn. When that cup of hot coffee reaches the stomach, it stimulates the acid secreting cells of the stomach to secrete even more acid. It also lowers the pressure of the esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to reflux from the stomach back into the esophagus. The result? Pain and discomfort.
2. Natural treatment for heartburn: Lose weight
You may be surprised to learn that your weight plays such an important role in precipitating heartburn symptoms. When you carry around excess pounds, it puts additional pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter, the flap separating your esophagus from your stomach. This can cause the flap to open, allowing acid to flow backwards into your esophagus, resulting in classic symptoms of heartburn. Sometimes losing only a few pounds can eliminate the discomfort of heartburn.