If you have ever experienced a burning and/or aching sensation after a meal or upon lying down, you may be wondering how to get rid of heartburn. Heartburn is characterized as a painful burning sensation in your chest wall and behind your breastbone. This condition occurs when stomach acid travels up your esophagus. Although the exact cause varies, consuming trigger foods, eating too much and too quickly and lying down after a meal appear to contribute to its development and progression.
Medical conditions, medications, obesity, drug and alcohol use and/or stress can also trigger heartburn. Chronic heartburn is not only uncomfortable; it can also severely injure your esophagus. Changing your lifestyle, along with medications and home remedies can help alleviate your heartburn symptoms in no time at all. If you are wondering, “How do I get rid of heartburn?” you have come to the right place. This article will help you figure out how to get rid of heartburn.
1. Avoid Trigger Foods
If you want to get rid of heartburn fast, you will need to avoid trigger foods (foods that trigger or aggravate your heartburn). Even though you eat healthy, your triggers may consist of: citrus fruits and juices, hot and spicy foods, mint, tomatoes, chocolate, garlic and onions. Getting rid of heartburn will require you to remove these foods from your daily diet. If you are unsure what foods triggered your heartburn, document the foods you consume on a daily basis and eliminate them one by one until you find the culprit.
2. Stay Away From Carbonated Drinks, Alcoholic Beverages, Nicotine and Recreational Drugs
Another way to get rid of heartburn fast is to stay away from carbonated drinks, alcoholic beverages, nicotine and recreational drugs. All of these vices can trigger or worsen heartburn episodes. In fact, nicotine can interfere with your lower esophageal sphincter’s ability to function, which can cause stomach acid to travel up your esophagus and into the back of your throat, contributing to heartburn pain. Your lower esophageal sphincter is a small band of muscles surrounding the base of the esophagus.
3. Sit Up After Meals
Getting rid of heartburn can be challenging at times, but sitting up after meals can help ease the pain and burning sensation in your chest. It is important that you refrain from reclining for one to two hours after eating. If you are, for some reason, unable to sit up after eating, prop the upper part of your body up with pillows and/or place four 8-inch blocks under the legs of your bed. This will raise your mattress so that you are semi-upright.
4. Only Eat Until You Feel Full
Overeating is a common mistake that many people make, which contributes to heartburn. If you really want to get rid of heartburn, only eat until you feel satisfied. In other words, do not overindulge. Get rid of your heartburn by eating eight small meals throughout the day, instead of three large meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner).
5. Get Plenty of Rest and Practice Stress-Reduction Techniques
Are you wondering how to get rid of heartburn? Well one of the most beneficial ways to alleviate heartburn symptoms is to get plenty of rest and reduce your stress level. This is especially true if you notice an increase in heartburn symptoms after a restless night or a particularly stressful day. In addition, stress-reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, tai chi, journaling, listening to soothing music and exercising can help lighten your stress and reduce your heartburn symptoms.
6. Exercise Regularly and Eat Healthy Foods
Getting rid of heartburn may be as easy as adding a little exercise into your daily routine and eating a healthy diet. Exercising, not only helps you lose weight, it also reduces heartburn symptoms. It is important to note that even 10 to 15 pounds of extra weight can put extra pressure on your abdomen causing your stomach to shift upwards and stomach acid to travel up your esophagus. The best way to get rid of heartburn is to eat a variety of healthy foods (fruits, vegetables, lean meats and whole grains) and lose weight, if you are overweight or obese.
7. Stop Taking Anti-Inflammatory Medications
If you are wondering what helps to get rid of heartburn – the answer is to stop taking anti-inflammatory medications (ibuprofen and aspirin). These medications are notorious for causing heartburn and indigestion. If you already have heartburn, these anti-inflammatory medications can worsen your symptoms. If you need pain relief medication for your heartburn symptoms, try acetaminophen (Tylenol). Acetaminophen is easier on your esophagus and stomach.
8. Chew on Antacids
The fastest way to get rid of heartburn is to chew on antacids. Over-the-counter antacids like Tums, Maalox, Rolaids and Mylanta can provide quick relief for heartburn pain. Antacids neutralize your stomach acids and provide fast-acting relief from heartburn symptoms. Make sure that the antacids contain magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide because they have neutralizing properties.
9. Ask Your Physician for a Prescribed Medication for Heartburn Relief
If you have tried almost everything for heartburn pain relief and you just cannot find something that works for you, then it may be time to see your physician for something stronger. Prescription medications can get rid of heartburn fast. It is not uncommon to need a prescribed medicine for heartburn. You may not be able to receive adequate relief with over-the-counter heartburn medicines (Rolaids and Tums).
Your physician will be able to prescribe you an H-2 receptor blocker (Pepcid, Tagamet or Zantac) that will slow your acid production and ease your heartburn pain. H-2 receptor blockers are normally taken as needed. If the blockers do not appear to be improving your heartburn, your physician may prescribe a proton pump inhibitor (Nexium or Prevacid) to inhibit acid production. Proton pump inhibitors are normally taken on a daily basis (before you eat your first meal).
10. Suck on Hard Candy
A natural way to get rid of heartburn is to suck on hard candy (Jolly Ranchers, lollipops and/or lemon drops). Sucking on a piece of hard candy can help cure heartburn. Stay away from peppermint and chocolate because they are rich in theobromine (a naturally-occurring compound found in tea, cocoa and coffee plants) and caffeine, ingredients that can cause your esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acid to travel up your esophagus.
11. Snack on Fresh Pineapples and Papayas
Some foods that get rid of heartburn are pineapples and papaya. These healthy fruits contain bromelain, an enzyme that reduces heartburn symptoms by easing stomach distress. Getting rid of heartburn can be as simple as snacking on fresh pineapples and papayas.
12. Add Baking Soda to Your Water
A natural way to get rid of heartburn is to add baking soda to your water. The baking soda will neutralize your stomach acid and ease heartburn-related chest pain. Add a teaspoon of baking soda to an 8 oz. glass of water to relieve your heartburn pain.
13. Insert Fennel to Your Meals
If you are wondering what helps heartburn, the answer is fennel. Fennel is an herb that has a calming effect in the body. It soothes your digestive tract by decreasing the inflammation in your stomach and intestines, eliminating gas and bloating and reducing the amount of acid in your stomach. Alleviate your heartburn by adding ½ tsp. of fennel seeds to your meals.
14. Try a Tablespoon of Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
You can get rid of heartburn by adding a tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar to an 8 oz. glass of water. The vinegar converts your stomach acid into an alkaline base, which relieves heartburn symptoms. You can either take a tablespoon of organic raw apple cider vinegar alone or you can add to food or a glass of water.
15. Wear Comfortable and Loose-Fitting Clothes
If you want to get rid of heartburn fast, you will need to wear comfortable and loose-fitting clothes. Uncomfortable and/or tight clothes can add extra pressure to your abdomen and stomach, causing or exacerbating heartburn symptoms.
16. Sip on Ginger Tea
A natural way to get rid of heartburn is to sip on ginger tea. Ginger root not only aids in the digestive process, it also settles upset stomachs. Sip on this herbal tea when you experience heartburn pressure and pain.
17. Pop an Alka-Seltzer in a Glass of Water
One of the fastest ways to get rid of heartburn is to pop a couple of Alka-Seltzers in a glass of water. Alka-Seltzer counteracts the acid in your stomach and soothes an irritated esophagus. If you are experiencing severe heartburn, pop two tablets in cold water and drink it immediately. The burning and pain should subside within 5 to 15 minutes.
18. Take a Long Walk after Eating
Getting rid of heartburn may include taking a long walk after eating. Taking a leisurely walk after a meal will not only help you keep physically fit, it will also reduce the acid in your stomach and relieve heartburn symptoms.
19. Nosh on Almonds
If you are wondering what to eat to get rid of heartburn, well the answer is almonds. Almonds are beneficial for heartburn because they counteract stomach acid and they improve digestion. Soothe your burning heartburn pain by noshing on a handful (10-15) almonds.
20. Eat a Sandwich with Extra Mustard on It
If you are still wondering how to get rid of heartburn pain – don’t give up instead try a sandwich with extra mustard on it. Mustard has alkalizing properties that reduce stomach acid. Adding at least 2 tablespoons of mustard to your food will banish your heartburn symptoms within 10 to 15 minutes. Getting rid of heartburn can be as simple as fixing your favorite sandwich – with extra mustard, of course.
21. Make Yourself an Aloe Vera Juice Cocktail
An excellent way to cure heartburn is to make an Aloe Vera cocktail. This home remedy aids in heartburn relief by soothing your irritated esophagus and reducing the pain and pressure in your chest. If you are experiencing heartburn pain, pour approximately ¼ cup of Aloe Vera juice into a glass and sip on it before meals. If you want to make your drink into a cocktail add pineapples and papayas to it.
The best thing for heartburn may depend from person to person. If you have your own home remedy for heartburn that works for you, please share it with us.
Family Doctor. (2010). Heartburn. Retrieved from http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/heartburn.html
Mayo Clinic. (2013). Heartburn. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heartburn-gerd/DS00095
The New York Times. (2013). Heartburn. Retrieved from http://health.nytimes.com/health/guides/symptoms/heartburn/overview.html