Heartburn

Learn about natural heartburn remedy and
healthy steps you can take to reduce attacks.

 

Understanding Heartburn

Heartburn is the common term to describe when acidic fumes or gases from our half-digested food flows upwards back into the esophagus, where they are not supposed to be.

The medical term for heartburn is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). But GERD is not a disease. Heartburn can be a result of either a faulty lower esophageal sphincter, or some kind of stomach problems like gastritis or peptic ulcers.

When there is indigestion or stomach upset, the gas pressure in the stomach will cause belching. A burp or belch would open up this faulty valve, allowing gastric contents to flow upward in the form of liquid or acidic fumes or gases. When this happens, sufferers will feel a burning sensation, pain, pressure and much discomfort on the chest.

The pain is felt because the esophagus has somehow been injured. Most often from eating processed foods or from harsh medication.

When the acidic fumes or gases come in contact with the wound, pain is felt. This also happens when sufferers eat acidic food. They will have difficulty swallowing as the acidic food touches the wound on the way down.

With GERD, inflammation and ulcers can occur in the esophagus. Chronic heartburn must not be taken lightly. It can result in obstruction, ulceration and formation of an abnormal lining which may turn cancerous.

 

Symptoms of Heartburn

Sufferers experience a crushing chest pain and pressure beneath the breastbone. Sometimes the pain can be so great that it is mistaken for a heart attack.

Other symptoms include excessive mucus in the throat, difficulty swallowing food, sore throat, stomach pain, bloating, belching, flatulence and even constipation.

For some, there would also be constant coughing, choking in the sleep, ENT infections, and bad breath.

 

 

Diet/Lifestyle Suggestions

The most important thing you can do to control the heartburn, is to control the acidic fumes/gases from flowing back upwards. Reduce the gas in the stomach to lessen the pressure on the faulty lower esophageal sphincter valve that causes a back-flow (or a reflux).

Prevention is the best cure for indigestion. Avoid processed foods, dietary fats, chocolate, mint, alcohol, caffeine, hot-spicy foods, and gas-causing foods (see Flatulence/Wind page).

Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables (avoiding the acidic ones). Chew a gum to stimulate saliva production which can reduce the acid by half. When you have a heartburn attack, swallow your saliva which neutralizes the acid in the esophagus.

Notice and jot down what food aggravates or cause your heartburn and avoid them. Some food that aggravates other sufferers may not trouble you.

A large meal followed by a lie down soon after is a sure-fire way to start a heartburn. Gravity helps prevent a reflux, so sit or stand.

Doctors often prescribe antacids for heartburn. Beware, as some antacids contain aluminum, a substance that is linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

Quit smoking, a deadly habit for GERD sufferers.

Finally, although this should be one of the first things you do, is to go on a course of high quality probiotics.  I have found probiotics to have helped some of my customers who complain about chronic heartburn. Here are recommendations of some high quality probiotics …

 

Recommended Healing Foods To Relieve Heartburn

 

Important Note: These foods are alkaline-forming and gentle to the gastrointestinal tract.  Suggested recipes are helpful to relieve heartburn pains. With change of eating habits and lifestyle, remedy is possible. But if uncared for and left untreated, chronic heartburn can lead to cancer.

See a gastroenterology if you have chronic heartburn.

Carrot  Spinach  Kale  Celery
 Broccoli  Beetroot  Cucumber Cabbage
 Banana Papaya  Lotusroot  Jicama
Avocado Lemongrass Potato Lemon

 

These alkaline foods help cool and soothe the pain of heartburn. The alkalinity neutralize the acidic environment, cleanse, repair, heal and nourish.

Root vegetables such as carrot, lotusroot, jicama and potato are very mild and calming to the digestive system and wounds/ulcers in the tract. Cucumber and the other green vegetables are alkaline and soothing as well.

Banana, papaya and avocado are all alkaline foods that have similar texture that is soothing to the already sensitive surface of the intestinal tract. The healing properties heals on its way down and also neutralize the acidic environment to reduce  pain.

 

Some Suggested Combos (measurement for one portion):

  • 2 carrots + ½ jicama or 1 section lotusroot + a bunch of spinach or 3-4 leaves kale
  • 2 carrots + ½ cucumber + 1 rib celery
  • 2 carrots + 2 ribs celery + 2-3 leaves cabbage + a slice of lemon
  • 2 carrots + ½ medium-sized beetroot  + 1 medium sized potato or 1 section lotusroot
  • 1 jicama + ½ medium-sized beetroot + 1 cup broccoli
  • Smash up 3-4 lemongrass (want only the white part closer to the root), boil in 1 bowl of water for 5 mins. Mix in some raw honey to taste when a little cooler. Drink slightly warm.

 

Learn how to make tasty green juices.