Have you begun to have issues with heartburn more frequently than you’d care to admit? Studies suggest that around one-third of the population deals with the issue of GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). (1) Many people deal with chronic heartburn and turn to prescription drugs or OTC meds to fix the issue.
Lately, you may have heard news reports warning of the dangers of these drugs. If you take these medicines for prolonged periods, you risk health problems like cardiovascular disease, kidney disease, and gastrointestinal cancer. That can leave you with a pretty helpless feeling if you have constant heartburn. Luckily, there are many things you can do to fix the problem that won’t damage your health. Let's take a look at six natural home remedies to treat heartburn.
Before you can treat your heartburn, you should know why you get it in the first place. What causes that burning sensation in your throat and chest?
One reason you may have chronic heartburn is low stomach acid. Your stomach is made to have an acidic environment to break down food. When your stomach acid is low, it cannot properly do the job, which could result in heartburn and acid reflux. (2)
So, why do you have low stomach acid? Turns out, it could be your diet. Too many grains, sugar, and processed carbs can contribute to problems with heartburn. Stress, overuse of antibiotics or OTC meds, and anxiety can also lead to more heartburn suffering.
The problem with some of the most popular medical solutions given by some doctors, is that they are counterproductive. The most popular method of treating heartburn is the use of PPIs.
These Proton Pump Inhibitors alkalize the stomach. Again, you need this acid to break down the foods you eat and absorb vitamins and minerals from the foods.
These PPIs also come with a host of possible side effects. (3) Aside from the ones mentioned, they can cause many others. Some of the side effects of using PPIs are:
Another problem with the main treatments for heartburn is that you may receive bad advice. Many patients may be advised to get more fiber by eating grains and avoiding fat. Yet, more acid reflux symptoms are experienced after consuming high-carb meals.
You also may not realize that the medications used to treat heartburn are only supposed to be taken for a short time. Most OTC heartburn meds will have these indications on the bottle. Yet, your doctor may prescribe you a PPI for months or even years. This can cause major health damage and should be heavily considered before you agree to be on a medication long-term.
Now that you know what could be causing your heartburn, how can you fix the problem without medicines? Fortunately, there are numerous ways to treat this common problem with natural methods that don’t have nasty side effects.
Since we know that low stomach acid can cause heartburn, supporting your gut health is crucial. If you’re currently experiencing heartburn, one of the things you can do is take a quality supplement that supports your gastric acidity. You want to promote healthy digestion to get things back to normal.
You can also incorporate things like apple cider vinegar into your diet. It is antimicrobial, which will decrease candida overgrowth. Many people find tremendous heartburn relief when mixing a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar into a glass of water and drinking it before meals. It also increases your stomach acid, which you need to reduce heartburn.
When you carry around extra fat, it can cause inflammatory hormones to secrete, increasing complications with heartburn. Being overweight can also cause problems with your esophageal sphincter, which can lead to increased heartburn. Studies have shown improvements with heartburn in people who lost weight and in some cases, completely resolved the problem. (4)
Stress can affect every area of your life. When you’re over-stressed, you don’t sleep well. You may overeat, and become more sensitive to pain. Too much stress can also slow your digestion, leaving food in your stomach for long periods, making reflux worse.
If you’re completely stressed out, try to find ways to reduce it. You can practice some relaxation techniques, like box breathing or meditation. You don’t have to sit for an hour each day trying to relax. Many people would find that even more stressful. Take five minutes a day and do something that will help you calm your mind. (5)
You may think this is a strange recommendation, but many people have worsening heartburn when they go to bed. If you find that lying down increases your symptoms, you can elevate your bed just a bit to make a huge difference. Take a couple of bricks and put one under each side of the head of the bed. Just a couple of inches will raise your head level and not put extra stress on your neck.
Some people find this technique is enough to stop their heartburn issues at night. It’s a cheap and effective way to ease those burning sensations in your chest and stop the reflux in your throat.
If you suffer from chronic heartburn, you may be deficient in vitamin b and zinc. If you’ve been on the SAD (standard American diet) for years, you’re likely depleted in crucial vitamins and minerals.
B vitamins could be linked to fewer acid reflux complications. They could also relieve heartburn symptoms when combined with other vitamins.
Zinc is an essential nutrient in gastric cells. These cells secrete acid and help break down food. PPIs inhibit the absorption of zinc, so if you’ve been using medications for long periods, you could be deficient. (6) One of the easiest and super affordable ways to fix this is to take a zinc supplement.
You also want to make sure you’re getting enough nutrients to keep your body healthy. Most of us are depleted in many vitamins and minerals due to toxins and farming methods. Even if you eat a healthy diet, taking a good multivitamin could be beneficial for you. Always get your vitamins from a reputable source. Most products at your local grocery store are overpriced and loaded with unhealthy fillers.
We talked about eating less sugar and carbs earlier, but you need to know what foods to add to your diet. You want to increase your anti-inflammatory food intake, which gives you healthy fats and clean proteins.
You can eat meats, fish, poultry, and eggs for great sources of protein and fats. Many herbs like ginger, garlic, turmeric, and cinnamon are powerful for fighting off inflammation.
Getting those pro-inflammatory foods out of your diet will make a difference in how you feel and decrease your heartburn problems. Many people notice a reduction in heartburn symptoms when they remove foods that cause inflammation. Try eliminating those foods from your diet for at least a few weeks and see how you feel. Nutrition is a powerful tool and can fix many health issues, including heartburn.
As you can see, there are numerous ways to deal with and even fix heartburn naturally. You don’t always need medications that can be harsh on your body and cause even more health issues.
Healthy digestion breaks down your food into nutrients. When you have low stomach acid, not only will you have heartburn and acid reflux, but you will also have problems getting those vital nutrients your body needs to thrive.
If you want optimal wellness, you must realize the importance of digestive health. When you implement the natural remedies we’ve mentioned, you may find that your heartburn goes away completely, and you feel better than you have in years. Your body was designed for peak health, so it makes sense that the best remedies are found through natural methods. For more information on how to get healthy, contact us today to learn how we can help with your wellness needs.