Have you ever experienced heartburn? When you have heartburn, your heart is not really burning although it might feel like it. So, what is heartburn exactly? A person can experience heartburn when their stomach acid flows back into their gullet. A gullet is the food pipe in which food goes from the mouth to the
Have you ever experienced heartburn? When you have heartburn, your heart is not really burning although it might feel like it. So, what is heartburn exactly? A person can experience heartburn when their stomach acid flows back into their gullet. A gullet is the food pipe in which food goes from the mouth to the stomach. When stomach acid flows back into the gullet, we call it acid reflux.
What does heartburn feel like?
You may feel a burning sensation in your chest. This feeling can spread to your arms and throat. When you experience heartburn, you might experience other symptoms as well, because of the stomach acid that flows back into your gullet.
When you feel a burning pain in your chest you might immediately think “heartburn” or “heart attack”. Heartburn and a heart attack share very similar characteristics. When you have a burning feeling in your chest and start to experience shortness of breath, have nausea/vomiting or sweating, you might be having a heart attack. When you are not sure if you have heartburn or if you are having a heart attack make sure to seek medical attention immediately and rather be safe than sorry.
Acid reflux Vs heartburn:
Don’t get confused between acid reflux and heartburn. Heartburn is a symptom that is caused by acid reflux. When you have acid reflux, you can experience many other uncomfortable symptoms in addition to heartburn. Let’s look at a few symptoms that you may experience when you have acid reflux:
- Sour taste in the back of the throat
- Shortness of breath
- Cold sweat
- Your voice can become hoarse (stomach acid may irritate your vocal cords)
- Sore throat
- Cough (stomach acid may reach your lungs)
- Difficulty swallowing (over time the continuous damage and healing process in the lower part of the food pipe, due to stomach acid, can cause narrowing and difficulty swallowing)
Causes of heartburn:
There are many causes of heartburn. When we can find out what causes acid reflux, the main culprit of heartburn, we can make the necessary dietary and lifestyle changes to prevent acid reflux from occurring. Let’s look at a few acid reflux causing factors so that we can find out how to stop heartburn from occurring.
Fried foods and food high in animal fat: These foods can slow down your digestion and cause the food to stay in your stomach for a longer time. This can put more pressure on the valve between your stomach and food pipe. Fried foods and food that is high in animal fat is some of the number one foods that can cause heartburn.
Chocolate: Theobromine, a compound in chocolate, can relax the valve muscles between your stomach and your food pipe letting stomach acid move back up the food pipe.
Alcohol: Alcohol can increase your amount of stomach acid. It can also relax the valve between your stomach and food pipe and stomach acid can make its way up your food pipe.
Tomatoes and tomato products: Relaxes the valve between your stomach and food pipe for the stomach acid to escape back up the food pipe.
Tobacco: When the chemicals in cigarettes reach your blood through your lungs it can weaken the valve between your stomach and food pipe.
Large meals: Large meals place pressure on the valve between your stomach and food pipe. Try to eat smaller meals more frequently during the day.
Eating right before bed time: When you lay down or go to sleep directly after you ate, the undigested food and stomach acid can easily push back up against the valve between your stomach and your food pipe.
If you experience any acid reflux symptoms, try to remove these foods and drinks from your diet or try to take in less of it. When you remove foods that cause acid reflux, you are actually removing foods that cause heartburn. Make sure that you also try to make the necessary changes in your lifestyle to prevent acid reflux from occurring.
How to stop heartburn:
When you are experiencing heartburn it can be very uncomfortable. Let’s look at a few heartburn remedies so that you can make the heartburn stop. You can drink antacid or acid blocking medication, if recommended by your doctor, but if you do not have any medication some alternative remedies can be considered.
Natural heartburn remedies:
Does milk help heartburn? No, milk may ease the burning feeling in your chest when you have heartburn, but after a few minutes you may start to feel worse than before. This is because milk stimulates your stomach to make even more stomach acid!
- Try taking a half to one teaspoon baking soda. This helps to neutralize your stomach acid.
- Aloe vera juice can help to stop inflammation in your food pipe and stomach.
- Slippery elm, a tree extract, protects your stomach lining from stomach acid and relieves the pain.
- Unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a pinch of baking soda. This soothes the inflammation in your food pipe and stomach and makes the pain stop.
Make sure to ask your healthcare practitioner if you can try these natural remedies in order to stop heartburn. Always remember that a healthy diet and exercise can help to prevent heartburn from occurring in the first place.
What other remedies do you use to stop heartburn?