Heartburn isn’t a pretty thing to experience. As the name implies, heartburn is a sudden burning sensation in your chest and throat that sometimes comes with bouts of slight hiccups.
Heartburn can last for many hours and if not taken care of can develop into GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. It can be triggered after large helpings of a greasy meal or acidic foods. Fortunately, there are home remedies for heartburn.
What is heartburn?
If you suddenly begin to feel a burning sensation, as if someone is placing a hot pad behind your breast bone, then you’re experiencing heartburn.
The diaphragm and the lower oesophageal sphincter are both responsible for preventing heartburn. But if they relax and don’t do their job, they leave your food pipe unprotected from stomach acid. So, you will begin to feel your heartburn when stomach acid touches with the lining of the food pipe.
Home remedies for heartburn
Below are home remedies for whenever you experience heartburn.
- Loosen your clothing
Heartburn occurs when the contents of your stomach move into your oesophagus where stomach acid can burn the lining of your food pipe.
There are episodes of heartburn that might happen to you because you’re wearing too-tight clothing that is compressing your stomach. Clothing may be your belt, trousers or wrapper. So the first thing to do is loosen any clothes or clothing accessories you feel is too tight around your stomach.
- Stand straight
The way you’re standing may be a contributing factor in your experience of heartburn. When you start to feel heartburn, stand up if you’re sitting down and if you’re already standing then adjust your posture and stand straight.
Lower oesophageal sphincter usually a ring-like muscle that prevents stomach acid from rising into your oesophagus. Therefore, posture adjustment lessens the pressure on your lower oesophageal sphincter.
- Lift your upper body
Heartburn usually attacks after an evening meal and lying down can trigger or make it worse. If you already suffer from heartburn from time to time, prop yourself so that your upper body is raised.
Lifting your upper body does not mean propping your head up with a pillow. That isn’t enough. The goal is to raise the entirety of your upper body. This can be achieved using an adjustable bed which allows you to adjust to a comfortable angle. But if you don’t have an adjustable bed you can use a wedge pillow.
Try adding grated or chopped ginger to your favourite soup or any other food. Ginger is famous as a remedy for nausea and heartburn. You can make ginger tea by steeping freshly chopped ginger into boiling water. Then filter before drinking.
- Baking soda with water
Baking soda can be found lying around in most Nigerian kitchens. In the event you don’t have it already, it is readily available in supermarkets. Mixing a tablespoon of baking soda with water can help neutralize your stomach acid. But drink it slowly.
While many home remedies and over the counter treatments can alleviate heartburn, if it becomes too recurrent you should see your doctor. The doctor will prescribe medication and other treatments for you.
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com
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