Nearly all people will experience heartburn at some point in their lives, and it’s estimated that for 40% of people, this problem will recur at least once a month.
Fortunately, there’s lots you can do to reduce your symptoms or even stave off heartburn completely. Aside from the obvious use of antacids, here are five heartburn remedies that can help in your fight against this annoying and painful condition.
Consume Baking Soda Water
It’s not the most pleasant-tasting remedy, but a spoonful of baking soda can help keep heartburn at bay. Also known by its scientific name, sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a base substance which can help effectively neutralize any stomach acid that makes its way into your esophagus. Mix a half teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink as needed. However, don’t exceed more than 3.5 teaspoons of baking soda a day and discontinue its use completely after one week; because it’s technically a salt, baking soda can cause unwanted symptoms such as bloating or nausea.
Studies have shown that chewing sugar-free gum half an hour after a meal can provide heartburn relief. The logic behind this remedy is that since chewing gum stimulates your salivary glands, it can be used to increase your body’s saliva production. This extra saliva can help dilute and wash out any stomach acid that has built up in your esophagus.
Drink Aloe Vera Juice
Drinking a half a cup of aloe vera juice before meals can stave off any potential heartburn. When stomach acid reaches the esophagus, it creates inflammation that’s responsible for the titular burning sensation. Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory properties that can help sooth any irritation caused by it. However, keep in mind that aloe is also known to be a natural laxative, so use this remedy sparingly.
Maintain Proper Posture
Lying down after a big meal causes the contents of your stomach to place excess pressure on your esophageal sphincter, which can lead to stomach acid leaking through. Stay upright at least three hours after a big meal, and try propping yourself with extra pillows when you go to bed to prevent heartburn while you sleep.
Avoid Trigger Foods
There are some foods, such as those that are highly acidic or spicy, that are more likely to cause heartburn than others. Figuring out which foods trigger your heartburn and avoiding them can do a lot to help reduce its occurrence. Keeping a diary of what you eat and when your heartburn occurs is a good way to figure out which foods are the worst offenders.