Natural Heartburn Remedies

If you associate heartburn with a romantic comedy starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, consider yourself lucky. 60 million people across the U.S. suffer from acid reflux, causing them misery after mealtimes. If you’re one of the many individuals in Topeka who experiences this type of heartburn, there are natural remedies you can try that should help lessen the severity of your symptoms.

What is Acid Reflux?

bare stomach with out of order written on it

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), usually just called acid reflux or heartburn, occurs when stomach acid flows into the esophagus, resulting in pain and a burning sensation in the chest. Other symptoms include a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, burping, nausea and bloating. Symptoms are usually worst after eating and when lying down.

Nearly one in five people in Topeka experiences heartburn. Before reaching for the antacid tablets, try the following natural remedies instead.

  • Eat smaller meals (and slow down). Eating too much too quickly is a recipe for heartburn. Reduce the amount of food you pile on your plate and eat it slowly; this will give you time to digest your food and will fill you up more quickly.
  • Avoid fatty, greasy and spicy foods. Many of us love pizza, fried chicken and burritos, but these are three foods sure to cause acid reflux symptoms to flare up if you are prone to heartburn. Opt for lean meats and vegetables instead.
  • Eat earlier in the evening. We’re not suggesting you sit down to dinner at 4 p.m., but eating too closely to bedtime can trigger acid reflux symptoms. Give yourself at least three hours between your evening meal and bedtime.
  • Reduce alcohol consumption. Alcohol is another heartburn trigger. Drink in moderation and, as with eating, put away the wine bottle at least three hours before going to sleep.
  • Chew gum. Chewing gum, especially when it contains the ingredient bicarbonate, will help lower acid levels in the esophagus.
  • Let your food settle before participating in physical activities. It can be tempting to get outside and do something after you’ve eaten—especially when the weather is nice (we all want to take advantage of the waning days of summer knowing full well that the long Kansas winter is right around the corner), but try waiting at least half an hour to partake in physical activity.

If you’ve tried these strategies and are still bothered by frequent acid indigestion, schedule an appointment with a Topeka ear, nose and throat doctor—especially if other symptoms, such as unexplained weight loss, pain when swallowing or a chronic sore throat are also occurring.

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