heartburn remedies

October 3, 2011

Frequent Heartburn

Do you ever feel a painful, burning sensation in your chest, just beneath your breastbone? Perhaps, you are sometimes awakened out of a sound sleep, your throat feeling like it just caught fire.

If these symptoms sound familiar, you are probably suffering from heartburn. Many people suffer from frequent heartburn, a condition that is characterized by symptoms that flare- up at least twice a week.


Heartburn occurs when the acidic juices from digested foods creep into the esophagus, a tube that links the throat and stomach. Because of the tube’s thin walls, the juices irritate its lining, resulting in a burning feeling in the chest.

Individuals who experience frequent heartburn have a weakened lower esophogeal sphincter, a.k.a. as the LES. The LES serves as a barrier between the stomach and esophagus. When the LES is too relaxed, stomach juices leak into the esophagus, causing heartburn.


A person’s diet can contribute to heartburn symptoms. Caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, sodas, or chocolate have a relaxing effect on the LES, which permits stomach juices to pass through the LES. Chocolate has an additional chemical called theobromine that affects LES functioning. Other food culprits that promote LES relaxation are tomatoes, citrus fruits, and peppermint.

Fried, greasy, and fatty foods hamper one’s digestion and sit in the stomach longer. This puts more pressure on the stomach, culminating in a lazy LES that allows acidic juices to seep out. Alcohol, which encourages more stomach acid production, is another possible heartburn trigger.

Consuming a lot of food at one sitting increases LES pressure. WHEN a person eats plays a factor; eating two to three hours before bedtime is not good for heartburn. Lying down after a hearty meal can worsen heartburn symptoms.


Smoking can aggravate heartburn symptoms, the chemicals in cigarettes weakening the LES and restricting blood flow to inflamed tissues. Tight clothes that cling to the stomach can cause flare-ups, the pressure pushing food against the LES and juices up the esophagus.


Fortunately, there are several ways to treat frequent heartburn. Changing one’s diet and avoiding problematic foods are a good start. Eliminating or reducing one’s caffeine and alcohol intake is suggested. One should stay away from greasy and spicy foods, heavy sauces, and red meat. Unprocessed, healthy foods to consume are raw vegetables and nuts, seeds, grains, and flaxseed. Other suggestions include chewing one’s food slowly and putting down one’s fork before feeling stuffed.

Drinking a glass of water every two hours helps alleviate heartburn episodes, as well as neutralizing stomach acids. Incorporating a glass of cabbage juice into one’s diet can offer relief, its juice soothing the digestive tract. Reducing the amount of aspirin and pain relievers can decrease heartburn. Other changes include eating light, frequent meals throughout the day and losing excess weight.

If dietary changes do not reduce heartburn symptoms, medication is another alternative. For more information on causes and cures for heartburn, be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!

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September 28, 2011

Effects Of Acid Reflux

One in three people with acid reflux develop esophagitis as reported by AstraZeneca, the makers of Nexium. Esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus, illustrates one of the many effects of acid reflux, a digestive disease in which stomach acid backs into the esophagus. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux has a haunting nature as it leaves behind a wide-range of serious medical effects that develop in the long-run. They include bronchospasm (spasm of the bronchial muscles due to acid), stricture (narrowing of the esophagus after inflammation leads to scarring), chronic cough, hoarseness, and dental damage. Two major effects of acid reflux, erosive esophagitis and esophageal cancer, are explored.

Erosive Esophagitis

Erosive esophagitis occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus causing it to swell and erode. Its symptoms include the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness

Doctors detect erosive esophagitis with the following methods:

  • Endoscopy: occurs when a patient swallows a thin tube that contains a camera at the end, which flows into the esophagus and the stomach.
  • Upper GI Series (Barium Swallow X-Ray): occurs when a patient drinks 16-20 ounces of chalky liquid containing barium. Barium is detected by a fluoroscopy x-ray that displays the manner in which it flows through the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This x-ray lasts between three to six hours.
  • Needle Biopsy: occurs when a needle is used to remove tissue from the esophagus with the aide of a CT scan or ultrasound x-ray.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer occurs when a malignant tumor develops in the esophagus. It is most common in men over 50 years of age in the U.S. The two types of esophageal cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, a result of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, and adenocinomarca, cancer of the epithelium tissues that line the glands. Adenocarcinoma is caused by a prior aftereffect of long-term acid reflux called Barrett’s esophagus: development of abnormal changes (metaplasia) in the cells of the lower esophagus that is not curable with anti-reflux surgery. Adenocarcinoma results in the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting of blood (hematemesis)
  • Chest pain (not caused by eating)
  • Difficulty swallowing (dyphagia)
  • Regurgitation

Doctors detect esophageal cancer by the following methods:

  • Upper GI Series (Barium Swallow X-Ray)
  • Endoscopy
  • Needle Biopsy: reveals whether intestinal cells are on esophageal tissue.
  • PET scan: reveals stage of cancer and whether surgery is possible.
  • Chest MRI: determines stage of cancer.
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy: occurs when a 5-20 mm flexible endoscope (small camera) is inserted into a patient’s esophagus to examine the lining. It is performed after administration of a sedating analgesic or painkiller and an anesthetic. The endoscope passes through the esophagus to the stomach and small intestine.

An important concept to take away is that the effects of acid reflux worsen when left untreated. The medication Nexium is commonly taken to treat erosive esophagitis. Another option is having Fundoplication surgery that reduces acid reflux by strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter.

For more information on the effects of acid reflux be sure to contact Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!

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September 22, 2011

What Is Acid Indigestion?

Acid indigestion, also known as heartburn, is a burning sensation in the chest after eating. It is caused by stomach acid coming back up, or refluxing, and reaching the esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. Acid indigestion is a fairly common condition, affecting nearly one-third of the population occasionally, while up to 10% of adults suffer from acid indigestion daily. It is very common in pregnancy as well, with 1 in 4 pregnant women reporting daily bouts of heartburn for at least some of their pregnancy.

Symptoms of Acid Indigestion
Acid indigestion is sometimes mistaken for a heart attack because the symptoms can be somewhat similar. If you have any suspicion that you may be having a heart attack and not heartburn, it is critical that you seek medical attention immediately.

The main symptom of heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the upper abdomen and chest which can sometimes radiate into the back, jaw and throat. The burning can get much worse when bending over, lying down or after a particularly heavy meal. Pain usually starts within 30-60 minutes of eating and tends to recede gradually as food is being digested.

Causes of Acid Indigestion
Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) remains open or relaxes after eating, which allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Certain foods can exacerbate or cause the loosening of the LES, including peppermint, caffeinated drinks, chocolate, alcohol and foods high in fat. Foods that are spicy or acidic can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause a worsening of your symptoms.

Putting pressure on the abdomen tends to increase the chance of acid indigestion, so it is important to avoid wearing tight clothing and be aware that coughing, bending, straining, having a hiatal hernia, being obese and being pregnant can increase symptoms of heartburn.

Certain medications can also cause trouble with acid indigestion, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and osteoporosis medication.

Treatment of Acid Indigestion
Many times, heartburn can be successfully treated by avoiding foods and activities that cause it and by taking over the counter medications such as antacids. Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime and try to stay upright for up to an hour after eating to help keep stomach acid where it belongs.

If home treatments are not offering relief, it may be time to talk to your doctor about prescription remedies to alleviate the pain and burning of heartburn. Prescription histamine-2 blockers, such as Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid and Axid, all work to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Reglan is a drug that helps empty food and acid more quickly and also helps to tighten the LES. The third and last type of drugs to be used are the proton pump inhibitors, which prevent the secretion of acid altogether. Common brands include Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.

When Is Acid Indigestion Serious?
If you experience acid indigestion two or more times a week, you may be experiencing a more serious condition known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD can be severe and can cause scarring of the esophagus. Please see your doctor if you are having repeated episodes of acid indigestion. Treatment to stop the erosion of the esophagus is important to prevent long term problems associated with GERD. Find more information on the causes and cures associated with acid reflux be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!

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September 16, 2011

Relieving Heartburn

Heartburn is a painful feeling millions of people experience. Some of these people will experience it more often than others, and some of these people may suffer from severe heartburn. It is not a pleasant feeling, so ways to relief heartburn are always in need, and what may work for one person may not work for another.

What Causes Heartburn

Heartburn occurs when acid in the stomach comes back up through the esophagus, causing chest pain and nausea. This condition is also known as acid reflux. While it may be called heartburn, the burning sensation felt has nothing to do with the heart. A sour taste is also felt inside the mouth, and the heartburn may last for a few minutes or hours if not treated. Someone who experiences these symptoms once a month suffers from mild heartburn, but someone who experiences it every day has a severe case of heartburn.

Certain foods also can cause heartburn. They include anything fatty, spicy, oily or acidic. Coffee, soda, alcohol and chocolate are a few examples. People should avoid eating two hours before bedtime to avoid heartburn symptoms during the night.

Some people suffer from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a condition that can cause heartburn. This is when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) weakens or relaxes, allowing acids to leave the stomach and into the esophagus.

Ways to Relieve Heartburn

Many pharmacy products can help relieve heartburn. Antacids neutralize stomach acids and can be bought at any pharmacy or gas station. They usually take about an hour to take effect. There are also proton pump inhibitors and H-2 receptor blockers, but they take longer to work and are taken to prevent heartburn, not relieve it. However, antacids cause side effects like headaches, nausea, diarrhea and constipation. That is why it is recommended that people try more natural ways of relieving their heartburn.

One way to relieve heartburn is with baking soda. By adding one spoon of baking soda to a glass of water, the acids in the stomach neutralize. The same can go with apple cider vinegar. Mixed with some water and taken during or after a meal can reduce the chance of heartburn occurring. Chewing bubble gum after a meal will produce saliva to keep the acids down in the stomach area. Papaya, pineapple and bananas are great foods to eat to help digestion and treat indigestion.

Changes in Lifestyle

A lifestyle change can help to decrease the chances of heartburn occurring after meals. A change in diet, like eating less chocolate, coffee, sugary drinks and fried foods can make a large difference. Also, someone who is obese is more likely to suffer from heartburn than someone with a healthy weight. Smokers should quit because it too can trigger heartburn. People should eat their food slowly and not eat heavy meals before bed. It is also recommend that people not wear tight clothing because they can put pressure on the stomach area, causing acid to go back up the stomach valve. For more information on the many ways to relieve heartburn be sure to contact Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com today!

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