October 18, 2010

Cure Your Heartburn

Heartburn happens when stomach acids enter the stomach and irritate the nerves in the esophagus, causing a painful burning sensation. There are many ways to approach eliminating heartburn, including routine changes, dietary changes or solutions, over the counter and prescription medicines and surgery, in extreme cases.

Routine Changes

? Instead of sleeping lying flat, try propping yourself up with a few pillows, or sleeping in a chair to nap. Gravity prevents acids from escaping the stomach, and lying prostrate can allow them to creep into the esophagus where they don?t belong.

? Don?t smoke. Smoking has been shown to cause heartburn, in addition to other serious health problems.

? Lose a few pounds. Added weight on the chest or abdomen puts strain on the stomach, causing acid reflux.

? De-stress. Stress can encourage stomach acid production. Something as simple as taking a few deep breaths can help prevent the onset of heartburn in the near future.

Dietary Solutions

? Don?t eat large meals. Try smaller, more frequent ones. Large amounts of food bombard the stomach causing pressure and acid to accumulate.

? Watch the foods you eat. Certain foods can trigger heartburn. Common ones include onion, caffeine, garlic, alcohol and citrus. Keep track of what sets you off and avoid those foods.

? Drink a cup of fennel or chamomile tea. When sipped, it has been shown to soothe or prevent heartburn.

? Take ginger. All three forms ? pills, tea and candied ? can help relieve heartburn pain.

? Drink a glass of water. It will help flush the stomach of excess acids.

? Eat an apple. Some people have had great success with just a few slices.

? Apple cider vinegar can help with both prevention and treatment of heartburn. A few tablespoons, though bitter, will help soothe heartburn pain. When added to water and taken before a meal, it will help prevent it altogether.


? Many over the counter medicines, like Tums and Mylanta, can help alleviate heartburn, and some even come with the added benefit of an extra dose of calcium.

? Prescription medications can help target the specific thing causing heartburn.

o For example, drugs like Nexium, Prilosec and Pepcid block the production of acid. This helps people with too much stomach acid.

o Foaming agents help coat the stomach and protect it from damaging acids.

o Drugs like Relgan can help move things through the digestive system and strengthen esophageal muscles.


Surgery is often a last resort. Most people will be able to find a solution or combination of things to solve their heartburn problems. However, if severe enough, a procedure called fundoplication can be performed. It involves using a portion of the upper stomach to help tighten the esophageal muscles, thus preventing acid from getting into the esophagus. Surgery for heartburn is rare, and generally a more natural or medicinal approach is recommended.

For another resource on curing your heartburn, please reference our Reflux Remedy Report.

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