Heartburn can be characterized by chest pain, especially lying down at night, wheezing or coughing. You may have a sour taste in your mouth and you may regurgitate foods or liquid. It is estimated that heartburn affects twenty percent of the population at least once a week.
Many people turn to prescription medications to reduce their heartburn symptoms. These medications may be effective but you are always going to run the risk of adverse side effects from any prescription medication. Cost may also be a factor when you use prescription medication.
There are natural remedies that can help reduce the symptoms of heartburn. But it is important that you see your doctor first to be evaluated. Regurgitated stomach acid can do damage to the esophagus and it can also put you at an increased risk for esophageal cancer.
The first step in trying to get rid of your heartburn naturally is to avoid the foods that can trigger heartburn. These foods will include things like chocolate, tomatoes, fatty foods, spicy foods, citrus juices, carbonated beverages and raw onions. It is a good idea to keep a food diary so that you will know exactly what types of foods causes your heartburn.
In a lot of cases, heartburn will occur after lying down. It is a good idea to eat smaller portion sizes and to avoid eating before going to bed. When you are eating, try to slow down and chew your food thoroughly. Take time to actually enjoy your meal by savoring the way the food tastes and by making a conscious effort to chew your food until it is a pulp-like consistency before swallowing.
This will do two things. First, it will allow you to eat less at every meal because your stomach will have time to signal your brain that you are getting full. It will also reduce the acid production in your stomach because there are no big chunks of foods that need to be broken down. This will make it less likely that you will suffer from heartburn.
If you suffer from heartburn and you are a smoker, one way to reduce your heartburn symptoms is to quit smoking. Nicotine can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a band of muscle located at the end of the esophagus. This muscle closes off the esophagus to prevent the acidic contents of the stomach from coming back up into the esophagus and causing heartburn.
Aloe Vera juice has been known to be effective in the treatment of heartburn. Adults should drink one fourth cup of aloe vera juice about twenty minutes before a meal. It is important that you obtain gel or juice that is specifically formulated for internal use.
Slippery Elm is another all natural remedy for heartburn. The inner bark of the slippery elm contains mucilage which is a gel-like substance that swells when mixed with water. This substance can coat the esophagus and reduce irritation.
Heartburn symptoms can be brought under control without the use of prescription medications. But it is important that you let your doctor know you are having these symptoms so that he can monitor your esophagus for any damage. Let your doctor know that you plan on getting rid of your heartburn naturally and keep him updated on your progress.