The Secret to Beating Heartburn Without Medication
Heartburn is a frequent, uncomfortable condition caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the muscular tube connecting the throat to the stomach. This tube is called the esophagus. Heartburn can cause a burning sensation in the chest, a sour taste in the mouth, and even a sore throat or cough. Unfortunately, heartburn is a prevalent problem affecting millions of adults, here are the secrets to beating heartburn without medication.
Heartburn Risk Factors
Everyone can experience heartburn, and it can occur at any age. Occasionally it happens for unclear causes. However, you are at a higher risk and more likely to get heartburn with one of these contributing factors:
- Alcohol use
- Eating spicy, fried, or citrus-based foods
- Lying down after eating
- Eating large meals
- Overeating or eating too rapidly
Medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain heart medicines can also increase the risk of heartburn.
Heartburn Signs and Symptoms
The discomfort caused by heartburn can range from mild to painful. Signs and symptoms of heartburn include:
- A burning sensation in the chest
- A sour taste in the mouth
- An ache or pressure behind the breastbone
- Regurgitation of food or liquid
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
Beating Heartburn Without Medication
Though medications such as antacids can help relieve symptoms, there are also natural ways to manage occasional heartburn.
Incorporating lifestyle changes is a vital step in managing heartburn and minimizing symptoms. These changes include:
- Eating smaller meals
- Avoiding foods known to cause heartburn
- Avoiding alcohol and smoking
- Reducing stress
Maintaining a healthy weight is essential for reducing the risk of heartburn. Weight loss can reduce the pressure on the stomach and lower esophageal sphincter, which can help alleviate symptoms. Additionally, weight loss can improve overall health, decreasing the chances of heartburn.
Other non-medication interventions for heartburn relief include:
- Elevating the head of the bed while sleeping so that your head and chest are higher than your feet
- Wearing loose-fitting clothing
- Waiting several hours to lie down after eating
Implementing these changes can reduce risk factors and help keep heartburn under control.
What To Do if Symptoms Are Getting Worse
If you have heartburn that is not improving, you should make an appointment with your doctor to rule out any other conditions. For example, a hiatal hernia can contribute to heartburn as it can weaken the muscles in your esophagus and stomach acid to reflux into your throat. Chronic heartburn could also be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is caused by acid coming up through a ring of muscles located at the junction between the esophagus and stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When the LES relaxes too frequently or for too long, stomach acid can travel back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
If you are suffering from long-term heartburn, it is important to see your doctor because GERD can cause severe and chronic symptoms such as chest pain or difficulty swallowing. Additionally, GERD can lead to other severe health conditions, such as esophagitis, Barrett’s esophagus, and even esophageal cancer. Your doctor can help you diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of treatment.
Don’t continue suffering from uncomfortable heartburn symptoms. Schedule an appointment today!