The symptoms of a heartburn can produce discomfort and sometimes an alarming consideration that you may be having a heart attack. Some people have mistaken heartburn as a sign of a heart attack because it mimics the burning and painful sensation that is felt in the chest. A heartburn, however, has nothing to do with any heart ailment. It is a symptom caused by the reflux of the acid in the stomach, hence, it is also called as an acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux.
Common symptoms of heartburn
People may experience heartburn sometime in their life and this can produce symptoms that are quite uncomfortable. For many, heartburn is considered as a form of acid indigestion that produce a burning sensation from the stomach that goes up to the esophagus or the throat area. Aside from this classic burning pain symptom, heartburn can also manifest the following symptoms and conditions:
- Dyspepsia is a condition that produces uncomfortable stomach discomfort like burping, the feeling of fullness in the stomach, bloating, nausea after eating, and discomfort along the upper abdominal area with pain.
- Regurgitation produces the feeling of an acid going up from the stomach towards the throat. When this occurs, a bitter or sour taste is felt and may be accompanied with a wet burp or vomiting a small amount of food.
Complications of heartburn
Bleeding is a common complication of heartburn that is more serious and left untreated. The production of acid from the stomach can cause the thinning of the esophageal linings that may result in bleeding. When the esophagus is seriously damaged by the acid produced in the stomach, the esophagus may become narrowed causing strictures along the airway. As a result, dysphagia takes place which is a condition that makes swallowing difficult with the sensation that food is stuck in the throat. Cancer of the esophagus, a condition called Barret's esophagus may also result as a complication of heartburn.
The natural solutions for heartburn
Minor heartburns may be treated with natural home remedies. You can try these natural solutions to get natural relief from your heartburn.
1. Chewing gum
A sugar free gum is known to be effective in reducing or preventing the symptoms of heartburn. The salivary flow rate is stimulated when eating a chewing gum and this has an effect on the acid in the stomach that becomes easily washed away.
Although there are just few researches about herbs as a natural remedy for heartburn, a product called Iberogast has a promising effect in reducing heartburn. It is composed of nine herbs that are known to have a health benefit to the stomach. These nine different herbs are lemon balm, licorice, peppermint, Angelica, Clown's mustard, Caraway, Greater celandine and milk thistle. Among the other benefits of these herbs are relief from nausea, stomach cramping and pain.
3. Baking soda
Baking soda is a base sodium bicarbonate thus it helps to neutralize the stomach acid production. Mixing a 1 teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water can help soothe the stomach. This is recommended only when you experience seldom bouts of heartburn. However, precaution should be taken when your heartburn is frequent because it is high in salt content and may result in nausea and swelling when frequently used in treating your heartburn.
4. Slippery elm
This is a kind of herb that is popular in treating different illnesses for many centuries already. As a treatment for heartburn, slippery elm helps to thicken the stomach's mucous lining, thereby, preventing it against the acid production by acting as a protective barrier. It forms a protective coating that protects the stomach and is usually taken as a mixture with a glass of water and two tablespoons at bedtime and after taking a meal.
5. Aloe Vera
While this plant is more popular in treating burns, aloe vera produces the same soothing effect on burns as in the stomach. It is effective in reducing the inflammation taking place in the stomach because of the irritation caused by the acid production.
Licorice has natural properties that help in healing the stomach lining. It tames the acid production in the stomach and reduces the extent of injury in the stomach tissues. However, it can produce a high blood pressure as a side effect, thus it should be taken less frequently when treating heartburn.
The high oil content in almonds helps in neutralizing the stomach acid. Eating about 20 almonds will be sufficient in reducing the discomfort of the heartburn symptoms within half an hour of eating them.
Apples have properties that help to reduce the burning sensation of a heartburn. It also helps calm down the acid production in the stomach. The acid neutralizing property of apples takes effect within 5 minutes, which effect is faster when eating Braeburn or Gala apples. Taking 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one half cup of water or an apple juice can produce a calming effect to the stomach with significant digestive relief.
Drinking half a cup of buttermilk can also help relieve the stomach discomfort due to a heartburn. However, the effect may not be as quick as the other natural heartburn solutions. Including soy products and fermented milk can help prevent acid reflux from occurring.
Raw garlic is effective in relieving heartburn symptoms, although some often associate it from the occurrence of the condition. It contains antibiotics that can kill pathological organisms that can also contribute to the discomfort felt because of heartburn.
Learn some better ways of relieving your heartburn symptoms naturally by clicking here.