Heartburn Relief: Simple Tips and Natural Remedies

Heartburn can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be something you live with at all. New research has suggested that there are ways to fix heartburn in the long term. As well as this, there are ways to stop heartburn in the short term and lessen the symptoms.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a very common problem among many, with statistics stating that half of all adults will report experiencing symptoms in their lifetime. The symptoms can include:

  • Burning pain in the chest that occurs after eating
  • Pain that worsens when laying down
  • A bitter or acidic taste in the mouth

Heartburn is defined as the backwash of stomach acid into the oesophagus, which is the tube that connects the mouth and stomach.

It is often swept under the rug with various over the counter medications which is understandable in the fast-paced world we live in.

What Can I do to Reduce Heartburn Symptoms?

Speak To A Medical Professional

Our first tip would be to speak to a medical professional if you are experiencing heartburn symptoms regularly and it’s impacting your quality of life.

Probiotics

Our first recommendation would be to look into healing your gut. There is research evidence that links heartburn to gut dysbiosis - better defined as an
unhealthy gut.1 Research suggests that there is a crossover in the symptoms between heartburn and gut dysbiosis.

Not only this but research also suggests that over the counter medication for heartburn may quell symptoms in the short term, however, they may be killing all bacteria in the gut including the good ones, keeping sufferers in a constant loop of a symptom, medication, symptom cycle.

There are many ways to heal the gut including dietary changes, eating habits and lifestyle changes but by far the least strenuous way is to begin by taking a
probiotic supplement.

The Gut Co has every single ingredient referenced for its benefits toward optimal gut health and is science-backed and it means little change needs to happen for the individual bar taking a tablet every morning.

Over The Counter Medication

We aren't saying over-the-counter medication doesn't have its uses. Medications are available to purchase from most shops - from Poundland to traditional pharmacies.

Antacids are the most common, which are mostly calcium carbonate-based. They seek to neutralise excess stomach acid.

There are, however, other medications that are more effective in the short term that you can get only from pharmacies such as Omeprazole.

This partially stops your stomach from producing acid.2 We would recommend only using these in dire situations, as they can be detrimental to overall gut health in the long term.

Alkaline Foods

Eating more alkaline foods is a great, relatively cheap and simple way to combat heartburn symptoms.

There is a wide range of foods that can help heartburn in the short term and long term, but for short term relief, the most highly recommended foods are those that are alkaline such as bananas.

The high potassium content of a banana makes it alkaline which counteracts the acid in the stomach. However, this is dependent upon how ripe the banana is, so make sure it's ripe. Other foods that can help are melon, cauliflower, fennel and nuts.

Avoid Trigger foods

There has been research conducted into foods that can trigger heartburn in individuals. There was a correlation between heartburn and a high intake of the following foods:4

  • Meat
  • Oils and high-fat foods
  • Foods with a high amount of salt
  • Foods rich in calcium i.e., milk and cheese.

Although the research suggests that eliminating these foods can be effective in order to reduce symptoms, it also states that meal sizes and timing are also worth looking into as it can be a lot less work for the individual and yields better results.5

Chew Your Food More

A very small change that can benefit your overall health in more than just reducing the likelihood of heartburn is simply chewing your food more.

This practice has a history in ayurvedic wellness, as it's believed that chewing food 30-50 times before swallowing allows complete nutrient absorption.6

Chewing 30-50 times can seem daunting, so we suggest just being more mindful when eating; paying attention to chewing a bit more but not necessarily counting. It’s been researched and proven that chewing more thoroughly when eating lowers the risk.7

Not only that but it puts less stress on your digestive system in general, which in turn means a healthier, happier gut.

Change Sleeping Position

There has been research conducted into how your sleeping position can affect the likelihood of heartburn symptoms.8 It's recommended that you don’t sleep on your back as this allows stomach acid to flow into the oesophagus. it’s much better to sleep at an incline as this can reduce the movement of reflux.

Sleeping on your left side instead of your right can also help too. Sleeping on your right allows the flow of stomach acid an easier pathway, which can induce heartburn. "Left side at an incline and you’ll be fine" is a good line to remember!

Reduce Stress

Studies have been done on the relationship between stress and heartburn symptoms.9 Although there have been various correlations there is no scientific evidence that links stress to an increase in acid in the stomach.

However, the symptoms that occur with heartburn do cause anxiety and depression in individuals, meaning they get caught in a vicious cycle.

We thoroughly recommend mindfulness meditation and stomach massaging as both of these have benefits on stress levels and lessen the physical symptoms of heartburn.

Stop Smoking

It’s not breaking news that smoking is bad for you, it’s one of the most widely accepted beliefs in the medical world that ‘Smoking Kills’ but it doesn’t stop
many of us from asking to pinch a cigarette after a few drinks.

What isn’t as well known is the link between smoking and heartburn symptoms. A study concluded that those with heartburn symptoms found a decrease once they had given up smoking.10

This is because smoking reduces the pressure that keeps acid in the stomach and out of the oesophagus, making it easier for symptoms to present.

It also reduced the amount of bicarbonate in saliva which helps to neutralise the acid in the stomach.11

So, that’s another reason to consider taking a break from cigarettes.

Exercise

Exercise is beneficial in many ways, not only can it help with mental health and gut health, but it has benefits for heartburn symptoms also. Overexercising can however bring on unwanted symptoms in some cases.

A lengthy walk, light jogging or yoga can do wonders for digestion, reduce anxiety and have you
feeling much better.12

Final Thoughts

Heartburn can be a challenge to control, but there are options out there for the short-term and long-term to lessen or eradicate symptoms. Why don't you try some of these tips if you're suffering from heartburn?

References

1.Millette (Ph. D.) M. How Acid Reflux May Be Linked To Gut Dysbiosis. Bio-K+. https://biokplus.com/blogs/news/how-acid-reflux-may-be-linked-to-gut-dysbiosis. Published
2021.
2. Over-The-Counter (OTC) Heartburn Treatment. U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
https://www.fda.gov/drugs/information-consumers-and-patients-drugs/over-counter-otc-
heartburn-treatment. Published 2022.
3. Gupta (M.D) E. GERD Diet: Foods That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn). Hopkinsmedicine.org.
https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/gerd-diet-foods-that-help-
with-acid-reflux-heartburn. Published 2021.
4. Newberry C, Lynch K. The role of diet in the development and management of
gastroesophageal reflux disease: why we feel the burn. J Thorac Dis. 2019;11(S12):S1594-S1601.
doi:10.21037/jtd.2019.06.42
5. Cullen A. Could how you eat be contributing to heartburn?. Avogel.co.uk.
https://www.avogel.co.uk/health/digestive-system/heartburn/heartburn-and-how-you-eat/.
Published 2022.
6. Silcox K. Eat Well. Yoga Journal. https://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/food-diet/10-ayurvedic-
tips-for-eating-for-calm/. Published 2012.
7. Eating Food Too Fast Speeds Acid Reflux. WebMD. http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-
gerd/news/20030523/eating-food-too-fast-speeds-heartburn. Published 2003. Accessed March
22, 2022.
8. How to Sleep With Acid Reflux and Heartburn. MedCline. https://medcline.com/blogs/acid-
reflux/the-secret-of-sleeping-reflux-
free#:~:text=The%20best%20sleeping%20position%20for,lower%20esophageal%20sphincter%20
6-7. Published 2020.
9. Yang X. Anxiety and depression in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease and their
effect on quality of life. World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(14):4302. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i14.4302
10. Kohata Y, Fujiwara Y, Watanabe T et al. Correction: Long-Term Benefits of Smoking Cessation
on Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and Health-Related Quality of Life. PLoS One.
2016;11(3):e0150554. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0150554
11. Nall R. Can Quitting Smoking Help Your GERD Symptoms?. Healthline.
https://www.healthline.com/health/gerd-acid-reflux/smoking-and-gerd#quitting-effects.
Published 2022.
12. How Exercising Can Relieve Your Acid Reflux. Digestive Health Services.
https://dighealth.org/blog/how-exercising-can-relieve-your-acid-
reflux/#:~:text=More%20moderate%20and%20low%20impact,both%20GERD%20and%20acid%2
0reflux. Published 2019.

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