What Helps Heartburn? Five Simple Things You Can Do Right Now
Heartburn, also known as Acid Reflux, strikes millions of people around the world every day. If you are wondering what helps heartburn, read on to discover five simple things you can do from home to help your heartburn right away!
What Helps Heartburn – 5 Simple Home Remedies
Below, you will find five easy yet effective ways to help get rid of your heartburn. All of these things are easy to implement, involve no medications, and yet are very helpful for many acid reflux sufferers.
Here is our list of 5 things to do right away if you are suffering from heartburn:
Chewing on a piece of gum is listed at the top of our list of heartburn remedies, and this is not a coincidence. Chewing gum is one of the best stimulators of saliva production, and saliva is a heartburn-fighting superpower.
Saliva improves digestion, soothes and even buffers the oesophagus against stomach acid, neutralizes acid, and protects our teeth. In short, saliva is the body’s best defence against heartburn, addressing acid reflux on several fronts. Anything that stimulates continued saliva production is an excellent way to help relieve and reduce heartburn.
Try chewing on a piece of gum next time you come down with heartburn or after eating your meals throughout the day. Avoid using mint gums, though; peppermint and spearmint trigger heartburn in a large number of people.
Heartburn and obesity have both been rising rapidly throughout the world over the past several decades, and this is not a coincidence; obesity is a vital risk factor for the development of heartburn.
Being overweight leads to a few things that are thought to influence heartburn:
- Increased body levels and inflammation. Being overweight leads to an increase in circulating cytokines, biological compounds which can increase inflammation.
- Distorted stomach position and pressure on the stomach. The fat stored around the viscera (organs of the abdomen) literally takes up space that should be occupied by the stomach and other organs. This displacement and pressure on the stomach can interfere with its ability to store food and liquids without back-flow into the oesophagus.
- The pressure on organs from visceral fat may also interfere with digestion, further increasing the frequency and intensity of heartburn.
In short, being overweight or obese is disastrous for heartburn sufferers, and losing weight is perhaps the number one thing that helps heartburn.
Heartburn peaks for many at night, simply because if your Lower Esophageal Sphincter is not tightly sealed (LES for short, dysfunction of this valve is what causes heartburn), lying down will allow the stomach’s contents to “leak” into the oesophagus.
When you are standing up, this does not happen quickly, as even if the LES’ pressure is not up to par, gravity still keeps food and drink in the stomach. When you are lying down, gravity can no longer keep things where they belong.
Consider elevating the head of your bed by placing wedges under the bedpost. Upgrading it just 4″-6″ (10-15 cm) can significantly reduce heartburn at night.
Also, consider getting a bed wedge pillow if you travel a lot. This large wedge-shaped pillow can easily be taken on the go and simulates an elevated bed without the hassle of actually elevating the bed.
Get a Natural Toothpaste
Chemicals and mint flavourings in toothpaste can actually trigger heartburn. If you get acid reflux at night, try going for a natural, non-mint toothpaste. This simple change reduces a surprising number of people’s heartburn symptoms.
Make a List
It would help if you recognized that many foods that trigger heartburn are entirely individual and can even be learned, making these heartburn trigger foods impossible to identify across the board.
For long-term help with heartburn, you need to start tracking what you eat and making a list. Track each meal you have and whether or not it led to heartburn for a few weeks. You will be able to see certain foods always cause heartburn for you in particular, and you can then avoid those in the future.
What Helps Heartburn Conclusion
You now have five things that help heartburn that you can work on. By losing weight, changing toothpaste, raising your bed, making a list of trigger foods, and using chewing gum as a heartburn remedy, you can significantly reduce heartburn symptoms.
Be sure to check in with your doctor, however, if you are still getting heartburn two times a week or more.