Ways to Relieve Heartburn
Trying to relieve heartburn is a priority for millions of people. That horrific burning sensation deep in the chest is not just painful but sometimes, frightening. In fact, many people have experienced heartburn, also known as indigestion so severely they honestly believed they were having a heart attack. This problem is actually caused by a number of things such as eating hot or spicy foods, going to bed on a full stomach, and even being pregnant as the growing baby puts pressure upward and on the stomach.
Today, you can find a variety of prescription and over-the-counter medication that help relieve heartburn and in most cases, they work amazingly well. Typically, if someone has heartburn a number of general medications found at the local drugstore would be tried but when that fails, they meet with the doctor who in turn prescribes medication specifically to provide relief from the symptoms.
Another option to relieve heartburn is to use any number of home remedies. While some people may not believe these solutions work, the truth is that some work better than any medication that could be purchased. If you suffer from indigestion and desperately want to eliminate that burning sensation, you might try any of the following that have been shown to be very helpful to relieve heartburn.
- If the heartburn occurs during the night, the first thing you would need to do is get out of bed and stand out. The reason is that the stomach acid that has been sitting high in the stomach can settle back down. From there, get a glass of cold water, sipping on it slowly to help ease the discomfort.
- Regardless of when or where you experience indigestion, a full glass of cold water with one tablespoon of baking soda added can also provide relief. Although this has been very helpful for many people, keep in mind that if you are pregnant the baking soda may cause an additional problem of water retention. In addition, if you live with high blood pressure, you would not want to use baking soda in that it could cause the numbers to climb dangerously high.
- Contrary to popular belief, the last thing you want to do when trying to relieve heartburn is drink milk. For years, people thought that drinking milk somehow helped coat the stomach, thereby providing relief. However, because milk is comprised of proteins and fats, it can actually cause the stomach to secrete even more acid, making the problem far worse.
- Mints are another thing tried over the years to relieve heartburn and with great success. In this case, the soothing sensation of mints helps the esophagus and stomach to relax. When this happens, the valve through which stomach acid travels also relaxes and in turn, the acid that causes indigestion cannot reach its intended target.
- While vinegar is not pleasant tasting, swallowing one teaspoon actually works great to relieve heartburn. Interestingly, vinegar contains acid so adding acid to acid seems an unlikely solution. However, the thing to remember is that while most people get indigestion from the stomach secreting too much acid this problem can also be the result of low acid production. Therefore, adding vinegar to the stomach would balance things out.
- As mentioned, it is common for people to develop heartburn from foods. The most common culprits include any type of citrus, alcohol, garlic, tomatoes and tomato-based foods, and even chocolate. The key to prevent and relieve heartburn is to avoid these foods, especially in high quantities, and most definitely before bedtime.