Modern lifestyle comes with technological innovation and advances. But, it also comes with health-compromising habits. We tend to eat a lot of junk food and skip meals, leading to acid reflux problems. Moreover, heartburn isn’t a new problem. It is easily treatable and commonly faced. So, in today’s article, we will explore how to get rid of heartburn. We will also explore the uses, pros, and cons of apple cider vinegar for heartburn. Let’s dig in to know more.
What is Acid Reflux or Heartburn?
As mentioned earlier, acid reflux is a prevalent condition. It happens when stomach contents and stomach acids back up in the esophagus through the LES or lower esophageal sphincter. Heartburn can hit you up to 2 times a week. Therefore, if you find yourself taking antacids quite regularly, then check-up with a doctor.
The common symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Sour taste
- Chest pain
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Sore throat
Acid reflux commonly occurs for consuming a spicy or fatty meal or a heavy meal. Therefore, when running around the clock in this modern lifestyle, this is a common problem. Hence, you do not have to panic if you are facing acid reflux issues.
Acid reflux can occur at any point in the day. But, most people face it at night. It happens because lying down makes it relatively easy for acid to move to the chest. Hence, it is recommended no to lie down immediately after having a meal.
What Triggers Heartburn?
When looking for ways to get rid of heartburn, you must first look into the factors that trigger heartburn. As mentioned earlier acid reflux or heartburns are common phenomena. So, if you are suffering from heartburns frequently, you must check out the causes.
1. Fatty foods and large meals
So, what are you planning to have for dinner tonight? Is it a McDonald’s massive burger with big fries dipped in the sauce? Well, then, you are on your way to fuel heartburn. Large meals, fatty foods, and late-night dinners are the significant triggers of heartburn. They have rated as the highest triggers of heartburn.
Heartburn or acid reflux is very common after a large and heavy meal. This is because your belly is full, and it makes your stomach feel stuffed. Hence, stomach stretching leads to pressure on the LES. Therefore, the juices from your last meal will visit to haunt you. This can happen when you have large meals and not just fatty foods.
If you suffer from heartburn frequently, then say “Goodbye” to them. Fatty and oily food sit in your stomach for a more extended period. This leads your stomach to produce more acid. Therefore, irritating your digestive system. Moreover, greasy and fatty food relaxes your LES. Hence, you get frequent splashes on your throat.
Therefore, we highly recommend you to lower your portions of fatty food. It is best if you can avoid them.
2. Your diet
Once diet highly determines the health. If you are into healthy heating, you will have a healthy soul and body. But, if you are into junk food, then one day, you have to face the consequences.
There are quite a few drinks and foods that can trigger heartburn. Read them below:
- Alcohol, mostly red wine
- Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons
- Caffeinated beverages
- Black pepper
- Raw onions and garlic
If these food products and drinks are not troubling you and causing heartburns, then there’s no need to avoid them. You can also prevent heartburn:
- By not over-eating. Avoid overeating. So, you can divide your large meals into five to six smaller meals.
- Never eat before bedtime. We recommend you to avoid eating just before bedtime. Never lie down just after a meal. This will elevate the chances of heartburn. Moreover, it is a good habit to eat at least 2 hours before bedtime.
Surprising, isn’t it? Well, yes, sit-ups and abs can trigger heartburns. Exercises that include bending put pressure on the abdomen. Therefore, this thrusts back acids to the stomach. Also, remember that leg workouts also put pressure on the abdomen. Hence, triggering heartburns.
Yoga and headstands reverse the normal flow of the stomach. Hence, triggering heartburn. If you have a weak lower esophageal sphincter, then jogging and aerobics will also trigger heartburn.
Well, if you have found just the right reason to skip your daily workout, then cross out that reason. Workouts and weight loss help you to heal heartburn. But remember not to exercise on a full stomach. Exercise at least 30 minutes before a meal. If you have your stomach full, then this leads to abdominal pressure. Hence, heartburn.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that medicines do trigger heartburns. Certain medications are harmful. Therefore, those can lead to heartburns. Aspirin generally does not trigger heartburns. But, if you are taking aspirins regularly, then this can trigger heartburns.
NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like naproxen, ibuprofen, Celebrex can irritate your stomach. These medicines are used to treat arthritis. These medicines are found to upset your stomach. Hence, triggering heartburns or acid reflux.
Blood pressure medications can also cause acid reflux. Heart disease and blood pressure medicines have nitrates and calcium channel blockers. These relax the LES. Therefore, leading to heartburn.
Other medicines triggering heartburns are:
- Narcotic painkillers
- Tricyclic antidepressants
- Parkinson’s disease medicines
- Theophylline or other oral asthma medicines
- Certain potassium and iron supplements
Osteoporosis and chemotherapy drugs injure the esophagus lining. Therefore, leading to heartburns frequently. Consuming osteoporosis medicines with a glass of water and not lying down up to an hour can solve the heartburn problem.
Moreover, we recommend you to consult your doctors or pharmacists if your medicines are causing heartburns. Doctors can suggest your alternatives to deal with the issue. Therefore, never hide your problems from your doctor.
Medication for Acid Reflux or Heartburn
Some medicines trigger heartburn. But, some medicines can give you relief as well. These are OTC or over-the-counter medicines. Your pharmacist or doctor will help you to find the right prescription for you.
You will be able to soothe your mild and occasional heartburn with antacids. Antacids have magnesium and calcium carbonate. These help annihilate stomach acid. Medicines with magnesium even heal stomach ulcers. Antacids are multi-functional.
The side-effects of antacids include diarrhea and constipation. If you do not want these side effects haunting you, then go for antacids with aluminium hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, and calcium carbonate. If you have any chronic kidney disease, they do not take antacids containing magnesium. Hence, avoid them. Moreover, take antacids occasionally only.
PPIs or Proton-Pump Inhibitors
If you are facing heartburn twice a week, then go for PPIs. These work by lessening the amount of acid produced by the stomach. These work better than H2 blockers. Moreover, you can consume them for a more extended period than H2 blockers.
PPIs are available through prescription or OTC. But, if you have GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, you will need medicines to more strength. The best way PPIs work is by taking them on an empty stomach once a day. To control the stomach acids, take it an hour or thirty minutes before breakfast.
If you ever had a stroke or heart attack and already took clopidogrel, do not take the PPI omeprazole. This will make clopidogrel less effective. Hence, it is better to avoid taking them both.
The side-effects of PPIs include vomiting and nausea, headache, stomach pain, and diarrhea. Though it is rare, taking PPIs can lead to infections in the intestine. PPIs can also cause fractures of the wrist, hip, and spine. These risks are highest with people taking this medicine for over a year. Therefore, it is best to avoid them if you have using it for a year now.
H2 Blockers lower the amount of acid the stomach produces, just like PPIs. They help to relieve and preventing occasional heartburns. They do not work faster than antacids, but the effect lasts long. Moreover, your doctor may prescribe you to take antacids and H2 blockers simultaneously.
H2 blockers are used for short terms such as two weeks. So, you can take them on an empty stomach or during bedtime. H2 blockers mostly come in liquid and pills. All H2 blockers work the same, so if Type A is not working for you, there is no profit switching in type B. Hence, it is better not to switch to other H2 blockers and to waste time.
Though taking an H2 blocker with greater strength might help. Have a conversation with your doctor about it. Moreover, H2 blockers can interfere with other medicines as well. These include:
- Heart rhythm problem medicines
- Blood thinners
- Antiseizure medicines
Talk to your doctor if you take any of these. Your doctor can advise you on an alternative. H2 blockers have side-effects as well. Those are:
- Nausea or vomiting
Prokinetics help your stomach to clean faster. Hence, leaving behind less acid. These are taken at bedtime or before meals. Prokinetics are sold by prescription solely. But, prokinetics have severe side-effects compared to other medicines. Those are:
- Problems with movement
Therefore, it is best to avoid Prokinetics unless you are bound to take them.
Medical Treatment of Heartburn
If your heartburn is bothering you quite often, and it seems that no medicines are working, you may have to go for surgery. It is very rare a heartburn surgery. You will find many procedures that will reinforce the valve between the stomach and the esophagus to keep acids from returning.
Fundoplication is the most-used process. The surgeon will wrap the top portion of the stomach around the lower esophagus. This increases the pressure on the muscle. Hence, leading to opening and closure.
Fundoplication is a laparoscopy. Hence, this means small cuts on your abdomen and a short hospital stay.
When is the emergency?
Heartburn is a simple issue and is not a medical emergency always. But, if the heartburn is bothering you and making you feel highly uncomfortable, you must contact the doctor. Visit an emergency room or call the doctor if:
- If you are choking
- If it is difficult to swallow
- You have tarry-looking and black bowel movements
- Your voice has become hoarse
- Your throat and mouth are hurting while eating
- You have an issue with breathing
- Your vomit has blood or looks like coffee-grounds
Hence, if you are facing any of the above symptoms, then do call the doctor.
Heartburn vs. Heart attack
Heartburn does not affect the heart. But, if you are having immense chest pain along with other symptoms, call the doctor asap. Even if you are not sure about the heart attack, call the doctor if you are having the following symptoms simultaneously with chest pain:
- Vomiting and nausea
- Pain travelling to your neck and back, jaw, or shoulder
- Breath shortness
If you are having in of the above symptoms, do not wait and call for an ambulance.
There are several home remedies. These remedies will help you effectively reduce or wipe out heartburn. Pro tip: instead of having three large meals have five to six shorter meals. Hence, this will lower your chances of heartburn a great deal.
You can also get relief from:
- Apple cider vinegar diluted in water
- Chewing gum
- Baking soda mixed with water
- Watery foods, like celery, watermelon, and lettuce.
- Yoghurt or non-fat milk.
- Alkaline foods, including melons, bananas, and cucumber
Hence, these were some of the home remedies. Scroll below to read in detail about how to get rid of heartburn.
How to get rid of heartburn effectively?
Below we have listed some ways you can get rid of heartburn quickly and effectively. Follow the simple processes below and see great results.
1. Loosen your clothing
When your stomach contents rise to your esophagus, this leads to heartburn. Here, stomach acids burn the tissues. So, when you are wearing tight clothes, this can lead to more irritation and heartburn. Hence, we recommend loosening your clothing. Tight cloth compresses your stomach.
So, if you are having slight heartburn, immediately loosen your dress, belt, or other materials.
2. Stand straight and elevate the body
Standing up straight will also help you to relieve heartburn. If you are lying down or sitting, then immediately stand up. And, if you are standing and still not getting relief, try standing straighter. Hence, standing straight puts less pressure on the LES.
If you are facing heartburn during bedtime, then lift your head a bit. Try sitting and elevating your body to get relief. Therefore, get relief by adjusting and elevating your pillow.
3. Try Ginger
Ginger will provide relief in case of nausea. Ginger has been used for years for heartburn. Therefore, a lot of people still follow the age-old remedies. You can add ginger by finely chopping them to soup, stir-fries, and other recipes. You can even add ginger to the tea. Moreover, ginger is useful in case of cold and cough as well.
4. Try baking soda
Neutralize your stomach acids by adding this readily available home remedy. Add baking soda to water and get relief from heartburn. Therefore, add baking soda to water and drink it slowly.
5. Avoid smoking
The best way to reduce heartburn and other diseases as well as to quit smoking. Smoking is bad for health. Therefore, quit smoking and get relief from breathing problems, cancer, and heartburn.
6. Chew gum
Chewing gum stimulates swallowing and saliva production. Hence, this gives relief from heartburn as well. It is proven by research as well.
7. Liquorice supplements
Liquorice root increases the mucous rooting of the esophagus. Hence, this protects the esophagus from damage. DGL or deglycyrrhizinated licorice is a liquorice supplement. Therefore, you can add this to your medicine list but do not overtake it.
8. Try apple cider vinegar
We all have used apple cider vinegar to cook, wash our hair, or do other stuff. But, it is also helpful in healing heartburn. Below we have talked about how apple cider vinegar helps in reducing heartburn. Therefore, read below to know more.
Use Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn
Let us see if apple cider vinegar is beneficial for treating heartburn.
What is Apple Cider Vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar comes from crushed apples. Then, you can add yeast and bacteria to fermentate. In the initial stages, the liquid is like a hard cider. This is because of the alcohol content. Hence, more fermentation is done to change it into vinegar.
Raw and organic apple cider vinegar are naturally fermented. These liquids are brown and have a cloudy appearance. Moreover, these are unfiltered as well. Hence, this process leaves after the “mother” of the fruit.
The mother is found at the base of organic apple cider vinegar. Non-organic apple cider vinegar is pasteurized. Therefore, the mother is removed.
The mother is highly rich in proteins, enzymes, and pectin. Therefore, organic products are used for health conditions such as heartburn, aka acid reflux.
Pros of Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux
There are several health benefits of apple cider vinegar. For some people, acid reflux results from the presence of too little acid in the stomach. Therefore, it is beneficial to use apple cider vinegar for introducing acid. Apple cider vinegar has an antimicrobial agent. This agent is effective against several bacterial diseases.
Apple cider vinegar is beneficial for diabetic people as well. It manages blood sugar effectively. This raises your insulin sensitivity. Therefore, apple cider vinegar is a multi-functional liquid.
Below we have listed some ways apple cider vinegar for heartburn is beneficial. Apple cider vinegar is used for cooking and washing hair and is also great for treating acid reflux.
Let’s check out the benefits of apple cider vinegar:
- Unfiltered and raw apple cider vinegar contains the “mother.” It is very high in protein. Therefore, we highly recommend apple cider vinegar.
- If your acid reflux is a condition of little stomach acid, then apple cider vinegar adds acid to your stomach. Hence, it is beneficial.
- The acetic acid effectively fights foreign bodies and bacteria.
Hence, apple cider vinegar is quite beneficial. It is a multi-purpose ingredient. Apple cider vinegar is used to wash hair to keep it clean and healthy. Moreover, apple cider vinegar is also used for cooking chow mein and other delicacies.
Americans use it to treat heartburn. It is useful and quite used. It may overlap with certain medications. We have talked about it below. But, if you are healthy with no serious health issues, then go for apple cider vinegar. Therefore, to know more about apple cider vinegar, scroll below.
What does the research claim?
Research claims to improve acid reflux with apple cider vinegar. This is effective with people not taking any medication. It has been proven through a graduate thesis that unfiltered apple cider vinegar does improve acid reflux or heartburn.
Moreover, this field requires more research. It is necessary to prove the authenticity of apple cider vinegar in treating acid reflux consistently.
How to use it to treat acid reflux?
Whether or not apple cider vinegar is useful is questionable. It neutralizes your stomach acid by balancing stomach pH. It is safe to consume a little apple cider vinegar.
So, you dilute apple cider vinegar with water and have it. This will relieve the burning sensation caused by the acid. Dilution also helps in saving your teeth enamel. Therefore, diluting is an excellent option.
Also, a lot of people find apple cider vinegar to be strong and sour. So, you can even mix some honey with it.
What are the risks?
There are certain risks to consuming apple cider vinegar. Therefore, we have listed some of them below:
- Decrease in potassium
- Throat irritation
- Tooth erosion
Moreover, large amounts of apple vinegar cider can worsen the side effects.
There are more risks associated with apple cider vinegar. Those are:
- The vinegar can interact with certain medications. These include heart disease, laxatives, and diuretics medications. Therefore, it can be a bit risky for people taking these medications.
- If you or someone have an ulcer, do not consume apple cider vinegar. This can aggravate the symptoms.
- Consuming apple cider vinegar along with water can also wear down tooth enamel. Therefore, use apple cider vinegar wisely.
Apart from these risks, apple cider vinegar is effective. A lot of people use it and have got relief. Therefore, if you can surpass all these risks, we highly recommend apple cider vinegar.
Other Treatment Options
Apart from apple cider vinegar, you can also opt for other options. These include certain medications such as:
- Omeprazole or proton pump inhibitors
- Famotidine or H2 receptor blockers.
You can also opt for lifestyle changes to cure acid reflux:
- Quit smoking
- Have smaller meals
- Do not lie just after eating
- Avoid beverages and food initiating heartburn.
Hence, these are some of the ways you can use apple cider vinegar for heartburn. I hope we also helped you with how to get rid of heartburn. Apple cider vinegar is highly beneficial. You can use apple cider vinegar in multiple ways. Hence, we highly recommend Raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar. Therefore, if you are facing heartburn or acid reflux, then apple cider vinegar is a must-try.