Most of us individuals are familiar with the term heartburn; and most of us know for sure that it has nothing to do with the heart. This is more of a digestion problem, that almost all of us would have experienced at some point in our lives.
What Is Heartburn?
It is a problem brought on by the stomach acids. It can be said that when the person develops regurgitation of stomach acids into their esophagus, the person will begin to feel a burning sensation around their upper abdominal area, just below the breast bone.
When this is just an occasional episode felt by the individual, then it should not be a cause for worry, and the sensation usually goes away with time. However, if the person experiences it quite frequently, then this can be quite an annoyingly uncomfortable problem. Usually, in such cases, there is a problem occurring in the functioning of a particular valve like structure, known as the esophageal sphincter that is situated at the juncture where the esophagus meets with the stomach. The sphincter opens only to allow food to enter the stomach, or to expel gas from the stomach through the mouth. When this sphincter opens more often than required, or it does not close tightly enough, then some of the stomach acids can enter the esophagus slowly and cause this uneasy sensation.
To help deal with such uneasy sensations, some home remedial methods can be followed, some of which are mentioned below.
Home Cures For Heartburn
- Aloe vera juice is considered to be a very good natural substance for soothing heartburn symptoms. Drink half a glass of aloe juice when the irritation gets persistent. Avoid taking too many glasses of it in one single day, for this ingredient works as a laxative as well. Diarrhea is not something everyone looks forward to.
- One teaspoon of baking soda will help in neutralizing the stomach acids, since this is a substance having a pH value of more than 7, meaning it is more alkaline. So, even if there is acid backflow into the esophagus, the individual will not experience the burning from taking in the sodium bicarbonate. Take a glass of water and add half to one teaspoon of baking soda to it. Mix well and drink. One must be warned though, that overdoing this home remedial method can cause side effects, because it is also high in salt levels. Those suffering from hypertension should avoid this in fact.
- Lying down flat shows a tendency to increase the burning sensations, which is why heartburn sufferers see a spike in their symptoms at night, while trying to sleep. The best recommendation is to avoid sleeping soon after dinner. There should at least be a 2-hour gap between dinner time and sleep time.
- Have frequent meals but in small portion sizes. Try not to eat a full stomach, for the contents will only push against the esophageal sphincter when the stomach gets real full. Munch very slowly while eating. Avoid foods that are pickled, overly spiced, or have a high acidic content, like tomatoes.
- Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking.
If natural measures do not seem to provide any kind of relief in the long run, then medical assistance should be sought, especially if this is a frequent problem for the individual.