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Easy Ways to Reduce Heartburn Naturally

Alicia Betz
August 16, 2020

We all experience heartburn from time to time, but finding relief is essential for people who suffer from chronic heartburn (known as acid reflux or GERD).

What is Heartburn?

Many people commonly lump heartburn, acid reflux, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) together, but they actually mean three distinctly different things.

Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter does not work properly and allows stomach acid up through the esophagus. GERD is the name for chronic acid reflux.

Heartburn is a symptom of both acid reflux and GERD. The burning sensation occurs when the acid seeps up through the esophagus. Although it can be mistaken for heart attack pain, true heartburn is not related to the heart.

heartburn relief

So, what causes that sphincter to allow acid into the esophagus? Here are some common triggers:

  • Consuming acidic, spicy, or high-fat food
  • Some medications like sedatives or blood pressure medications
  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy
  • Being overweight

In the quest to ease symptoms from heartburn, many people have turned to medications and they can be a very effective option.

These medications can certainly be helpful to treat heartburn, but they don’t address the cause, and they don’t come without risks and potential side effects.

For example, Zantac one of the most popular heartburn meds was recently recalled because of a new cancer risk found.

The medicine was found to have a contaminant called N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA) which increased with storage time, and especially when stored at higher temperatures. NDMA is a probable carcinogen, and it has been linked to an increased risk for breast cancer, kidney cancer, and testicular cancer.

People who believe they have been negatively affected by Zantac have already begun to file lawsuits against the manufacturers.

This recall has left many people scrambling to find an effective (and safe) treatment for their heartburn. For those looking for some suggestion we have compiled a list of good natural options to help reduce heartburn.

How to Relieve Heartburn Naturally

Many people suffer from heartburn however their cause is not always the same. One of the major things that can help is determining a trigger. For some it could be to stop eating a few hours before lying down, for others it could be simply eating smaller meals and there are many people that have certain foods that can cause heartburn.

What can you do to naturally relieve your heartburn?

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Eat smaller meals

Eating small meals more frequently keeps your stomach less full, which can reduce heartburn. Try grazing or eating 6-8 small meals throughout the day.

Heartburn Diet

Avoid trigger foods

This is easier said than done if you don’t know what your trigger foods are. An objective way to find out is to keep a food diary. You may find that your main trigger is actually a beverage or that there is a certain food that relieves your heartburn.

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Stay upright after eating

Staying upright for a few hours after eating and practicing better posture helps you use gravity to your advantage and reduces pressure on your abdomen. If you eat too close to bedtime, try sleeping on an incline.

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Lose weight

If you are overweight, you may find relief from reflux by losing weight. It can relieve pressure on the abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter.

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Quit smoking

Smoking can relax the lower esophageal sphincter, so quitting smoking may take care of your problem.

heartburn diet

Check your medication

A medication may be the cause of your heartburn. Rather than adding another medication to mask a side effect of your first medication, talk to your doctor. He or she may be able to prescribe a different medication that gives you fewer side effects and relieves your heartburn.

zantac heartburn lawsuit

Try Herbs or Supplements

Before trying any herb or supplement, check with your doctor to make sure they won’t interact with any medications you are taking. While the use of herbs and supplements to help heartburn is largely unproven, some people find relief from peppermint oil, ginger root, chamomile, and licorice.

These natural remedies can be healthier and easier on your body than medications to treat heartburn. Talk to your doctor before trying strategies, and especially before stopping any medication.

Medications that Help Heartburn

Although Zantac was not the only medication that helped with heartburn it was by far one of the most popular and frequently used.

However, if you feel the natural route is not for you and you want other options there are four main types of medications that effectively treat heartburn:

  • Antacids neutralize stomach acid and are available over-the-counter. They typically begin to work immediately and continue to work for up to three hours. Common antacids include Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums, and Alka-Seltzer.
  • H2 Blockers reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes; they are available over-the-counter or by prescription. They typically begin to work within 30 minutes and can continue to work for up to 12 hours. Common H2 blockers include Pepcid, Tagamet, and Axid. 
  • Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPI) reduce the amount of acid the stomach makes; they are available over-the-counter or by prescription.They typically take a bit longer to start working, but can work for up to 24 hours. Common PPIs include Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium. 
  • Prokinetics speed up the time it takes your stomach to empty, leaving less acid. These medications are only sold by prescription, so it’s important to talk to your doctor about the pros and cons before taking this type of famedication. A common Prokinetic is Reglan.



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