Despite the name, heartburn is not actually an affliction of the human heart. Instead, it is known as acid reflux, when stomach acid rises up the esophagus and irritates the throat. This is felt near the heart area, hence the name. Many Americans suffer from acid reflux, or heartburn, and may seek relief from this unpleasant medical condition. Some medications may offer acid reflux treatment, but natural remedies for acid reflux or natural treatment for heartburn may be done at home as well. An acid reflux diet plan may help, and heartburn symptoms relief may be found when a person tries a number of home remedies. More technically, this condition is known as GERD, or gastrosophageal acid reflux. No matter what it may be called, natural treatment for heartburn is possible.
Millions of American adults suffer from acid reflux, and it is estimated that as much as 44% of the American adult population suffers from it at least once a month or so. GERD is a common medical issue today, and may be a common reason for a patient to visit an urgent care center or consult their doctor if it persists and interferes with everyday life. Around one in five adult men and women in the United States today experience it, and around 75% of people with asthma are believed to also have GERD. This condition is often known for waking a person in the night with the pain and sudden intensity of it, and thus heartburn may contribute to sleep issues. The lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, is a valve in the body that allows food to enter the stomach but prevents stomach acid from rising up the throat. In a fully functional human body, this valve is highly effective and will not allow food or stomach acid to go the wrong way. But if the LES is weakened or erratic, it may allow stomach acid to go upwards, and this leads to heartburn. Thus, natural treatment for heartburn often involves diluting the strength of this acid or preventing it from rising up in the first place. A person’s doctor may suggest some of these natural treatment for heartburn, or verify their safety and effectiveness if their patient mentioned them first.
Natural Treatment for Heartburn
Some remedies may work better for some heartburn patients than others, as different cases of heartburn may vary in severity, as may a person’s general health. Therefore, someone suffering from GERD should consult their doctor before taking major steps to fight heartburn. What are some of these common methods?
Minor lifestyle chances may play a role. A person may adjust how they sleep, for example, by changing their posture from completely horizontal to an incline instead. Stomach acid is a liquid, after all, and a horizontal person allows it to more easily flow to areas where it does not belong. Therefore, sleeping on an incline allows gravity to help keep stomach acid where it should be. Clothing, too, may play a role since tight clothing such as belts or corsets may pinch the waist and allow acid to rise more easily. Instead, looser clothes will prevent this pressure and not encourage acid reflux as much. Avoiding cigarettes and alcohol may also help, as the nicotine in cigarettes relaxes the body, and that includes the LES, thus allowing acid reflux. Alcohol will have a similar effect, and it may even strengthen stomach acid and cause serious symptoms such as vomiting. A person may also undergo a dedicated effort to lose weight, as being overweight or obese means that more body fat and body weight is pressing on the stomach and having a similar effect as tight clothes.
Aside from lifestyle chances, natural treatment for heartburn also involves different foods and drinks to consume. Many of them may dilute stomach acid or discourage the body from sending it up the esophagus, such as ginger tea. This drink has many health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, and it may also soothe an upset stomach and thus help fight heartburn. Fermented foods, meanwhile, raise the stomach’s pH levels (away from extreme acidity), such as kimci, and they reduce stomach inflammation. Aloe juice may also soothe inflammation and irritation, and almonds are also known to help reduce incidents of acid reflux.