Heartburn is a burning feeling that often starts in the upper abdomen just behind the sternum (breastbone) and may rise to your throat. It is due to acid reflux, in which stomach acid leaks into the esophagus. People suffering from heartburn may have a bitter taste in mouth, and feel sick and bloated. Some people have sleep problem, and a dry cough (especially at night). Heartburn often occurs after a heavy meal, and is more likely after lying down or bend over. Common causes of heartburn include incomplete closing of the valve between the esophagus and the stomach, eating fried and spicy food, anxiety, insomnia, obesity, pregnancy, wearing tight clothes, excessive smoking and drinking alcohol, and stress.
- Burning chest pain moving up towards the throat.
- Usually occurs after eating and sometime at night.
- Sensation that food is coming back into the mouth.
- Bitter taste at the back of the throat.
- Pain worsens when lying down or bending over.
Home Remedies for Heartburn
- Almonds: Eat few almonds when having heartburn.
- Milk: Drink a glass of chilled milk which is a quick remedy for heartburn.
- Lime juice and baking soda: Add 10 drops lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon organic sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (at last) into 1 cup of water and drink immediately to neutralize heartburn.
- Rice pudding: Eat a bowl of rice pudding made with milk which helps to absorb stomach acid.
- Ginger and honey: Taking ginger root with honey after meal is also effective.
- Aloe vera and baking soda: Take 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with a pinch of baking soda for immediate relief.
Do’s for Heartburn
- Eat small, regular meals rather than occasional big meals.
- After eating, stay upright; take a walk.
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight.
- Sleep with your head raised, which help to prevent acid reflux.
Don’ts for Heartburn
- Avoid hot spicy food, pickles, fermented food, chocolate, and coffee.
- Avoid alcoholic or very hot drinks.
- Minimize or cut out citrus fruit and sour fruit.
- Don’t wear tight-fitting clothes or belts.
- Don’t smoke; it may aggravate heartburn.
- Don’t sit hunched up at your desk; this will encourage heartburn. Try not bend or stoop over.
- Never go to bed or lie down immediately after a meal.
- Symptoms become worse, or do not improve after a week or two.
- Getting recurrent bouts of heartburn.
See doctor immediately if:
- Having prolonged chest pain, sweating, and shortness of breath.
- Blood in vomiting or passing black stools.
- Have difficulty in swallowing.