Healthy at Home Last updated on 2022-03-28 19:36:58
15 Home Remedies for Heartburn and Acid Reflux
- Dr. Sreelekha Daruvuri
- 4 Min Read
- Fact Checked
IntroductionHome remedies for acid reflux at night — heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are somewhat related but different. While heartburn is a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD, GERD is a medical condition characterised by severe and chronic acid reflux. GERD symptoms include an uncomfortable burning sensation in your chest that can move up your neck or throat (usually after eating), bitter or acidic taste in the mouth, pain that worsens when lying down or bending over, and difficulty swallowing.
15 home remedies for acid reflux and heartburn:Heartburn can be caused by several things that are a part of your daily life, such as an unhealthy lifestyle and eating patterns. In this article, we'll look at 15 home remedies for heartburn and how to effectively treat them.
(1) Avoid trigger foods.Avoid foods that trigger heartburn. Some common triggers for heartburn include:
- Fast foods
- Potato chips and other processed foods
- Spicy food
- Fatty meal
- Citrus fruits on an empty stomach
(2) Eat smaller meals.Eat small, frequent, and less spicy meals. Include high-fiber foods such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, oatmeal, carrots, beetroot, broccoli, and green beans. You could also consider eating alkaline foods. Every food you eat falls somewhere along the pH scale (an indicator of acid levels). While foods with a lower pH are acidic (and are more likely to cause reflux in some individuals), foods with higher pH levels are alkaline. Therefore, eating alkaline foods can help balance out the acidity in your stomach. Alkaline foods include bananas, melons, cauliflower, and nuts.
(3) Manage your weight.Research has shown that excess belly fat may be associated with a higher risk of heartburn and GERD. When excess abdominal fat presses against your stomach, it causes abnormal muscle relaxation. As a result, the acid moves up into the oesophagus, causing heartburn or GERD. Also, excess abdominal fat can increase the risk of hiatal hernia. Therefore, losing weight can help manage the symptoms of heartburn and GERD.
(4) Follow a low-carb diet.Research has also shown a link between excess carbs and heartburn. Excess carbs may also lead to indigestion. And when that happens, it may cause bacteria to act on these undigested carbs leading to the production of more gas which may increase pressure inside the stomach, causing burping. But even though there's a link between excess carbs and heartburn, more studies are needed to reach a definitive conclusion. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XGElITygY4
(5) Limit your alcohol intake.Alcoholic drinks are acidic, which aggravate the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn flare-ups. Alcohol also relaxes the valves, which will cause acidic contents to enter the food pipe. Therefore, if you experience heartburn, limiting alcohol consumption can help ease some of your symptoms.
(6) Limit the amount of coffee you drink.Caffeine, an important ingredient in coffee, has been shown to relax the lower oesophageal sphincter muscles temporarily. These muscles are responsible for preventing acid and stomach content from moving back into the throat. Therefore, limiting your coffee intake can help relieve heartburn symptoms.
(7) Quit smoking.Nicotine present in cigarettes, like caffeine, also relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter muscles temporarily, leading to heartburn. Therefore, it's best to avoid smoking to prevent heartburn and acid reflux.
(8) Limit your intake of carbonated beverages.Carbonated beverages are high in sugar, which can cause acid reflux. Further, these fizzy drinks are high in carbon dioxide, an ingredient that causes people to burp — an effect that can increase the amount of acid escaping into the oesophagus. Therefore, doctors advise people with GERD to limit their consumption of carbonated beverages.
(9) Avoid wearing tight clothing.Tight clothing and belts can increase abdominal pressure causing acid and food particles to escape into the oesophagus, causing heartburn.
(10) Avoid certain exercises.Avoid the following exercises that may increase belly pressure, especially immediately after a meal, leading to heartburn:
- Stomach crunches
- Situps and
- Leg lifts
(11) Practice breathing exercises.According to a study by APM, 2020, people with GERD who practiced breathing improved their symptoms. Further, breathing exercises coupled with acid-suppressant medications have also been observed to significantly improve the symptoms of heartburn. Find out more on deep breathing relaxation exercises.
(12) Adjust your sleep position.You could also try the head incline position by placing wedges below the bed pillars to elevate it. This position allows for the oesophagus to be higher than the stomach position, thereby helping reduce the severity of acid reflux.
(13) Reduce stress.Stress and anxiety have been known to cause acid buildup in the stomach. Therefore, one of the ways to reduce heartburn is to relax and not let stress get the better of you. Here are 8 effective ways to relieve & manage stress efficiently.
(14) Limit high-fat foods.Some examples of high-fat food that triggers heartburn are:
- Fried foods
- Processed foods and
- SausagesFatty foods slow down gut movement, so the more time food sits in the stomach, the higher the chances for acid reflux. Additionally, these foods may also stimulate the production of cholecystokinin (CCK), a hormone that relaxes the lower oesophageal sphincter muscle, allowing stomach contents back into the oesophagus.
(15) Avoid taking mint.Mints are used in making herbal tea and add flavour to candy, chewing gums, mouth wash, and toothpaste. But they also contain certain compounds that may relax the lower oesophageal muscles, causing heartburn in some individuals. For these reasons, it's best to avoid taking mints in any form.
Home remedies for heartburn: What to do if heartburn is severe or frequent?Seek immediate medical help if you experience pain or pressure in the chest, especially when that's combined with other symptoms such as pain in the arm and jaw or difficulty breathing. Further, you need to make an appointment with your doctor if
- Your symptoms persist more than twice a week
- Your symptoms persist despite taking medications
- You have difficulty swallowing
- You have nausea or vomiting
How to consult a doctor at MFine?To consult one of our online doctors, please visit our website or download the MFine app. Ask the doctor about your symptoms, medications, and more during the consultation. You can also order medicines online and get lab tests done at home. Consult one of our gastroenterologists available online!
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