Is That Heartburn Bugging You? Here’s How You Get It Under Control
Food is something we live for. The culinary upheaval that has happened globally which includes TV shows, fusion cuisines, new dishes etc. have certainly given us a lot of choices for eating. But, those choices are not always healthy. With our lives getting busier and busier, we have less of a time to contribute towards healthy eating habits. Instead of cooking a healthy meal at home or ordering a healthier alternative, we satisfy our hunger with the greasier and oilier alternative instead. As a result, our bodies have to suffer and specifically, our gastric system takes a major beating. One of the ways in which it is represented is via Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and the consequential heartburn.
More about Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease is a chronic condition that affects the Gastric system of the body along with the Esophagus. Also known as GERD, the condition causes the contents of the stomach to back up in the esophagus. This leads to a plethora of discomforting reactions and effects which includes inflammation of the esophageal lining as well as ulcers.
The contents of the stomach may include a mixture of digestive juices, acid released for digestion as well as bile backing up from the duodenum. Out of all these components, the one that causes the most number of problems is the acid. This not only hinders the digestive tract but causes problems in other areas such as heartburn or chest pains.
Heartburn, which may or may not have been caused due to the stomach reflux, causes a stinging pain sensation in the area near the heart and the upper abdomen. This may feel like a heart episode but it is not. Although, the pain can be very severe in some cases.
Acid reflux is a very serious condition which is recurring in almost all of the cases. Once it gets serious, the likelihood is that there will be a continuous course of medication for an indefinite time period. In some cases though, only the intermittent conditions related to the symptoms may be treated depending on the severity of the condition.
Natural Way of Treating or managing the Heartburn
You don’t need to suffer the pain just because you do not know what to do or you don’t want to take the medication. There are a lot of natural or homemade options to bring you some relief from that awful heartburn. You might not know this but a lot of ingredients required for making natural or homemade remedies may already be in your pantry. Here’s a list of things that have been proven as a natural heartburn relief remedy:
- Aloe Vera juice is beneficial to your entire body. Just as it soothes the skin and softens up rough patches, Aloe Vera juice can be helpful during heartburns as well. Aloe Vera juice can cool down the temperatures inside the stomach cavity and it can also help in healing the damaged lining of the Esophagus.
- Bananas are not only considered high in Potassium, they are also very beneficial to the Gastric system. Bananas have been for long considered a natural antacid. They bring down the PH level in the stomach which helps in reducing the burning sensation from the regurgitated liquid.
- However surprising this alternative might seem to you, Garlic is a proven cure for heartburn conditions and acidic episodes of the stomach. All you need to do is to chew on a couple of cloves of Garlic and before you know it, your heartburn will be long gone. Other remedies include storing the cloves in apple cider vinegar and sipping on them when needed.
- You can even chew on your favorite fruit-flavored chewing gum to help you feel better. Chewing on gums increase the production and flow of saliva in the body. The flow of saliva washes away any accumulation there might be of the refluxed liquid and helps you feel better from the heartburn.
- You might even not know this but one of the most widely used and commonly available remedies for heartburn is Baking Soda. Baking soda can be found in almost every household and it comes in very handy. All you need to do is mix a teaspoon of baking soda with water and sip on it slowly when you’re going through an episode of heartburn. The baking soda balances the PH level inside the stomach and decreases the acidic content. This, in turn, reduces the pain drastically and helps you heal.
Taking the help of medication
Home remedies are good for quick and natural relief from the heartburn. But the relief is usually temporary. If you are looking for a more permanent solution than this, medication and a lifestyle change is the only route you can take.
There are many medications that can help you with this. In most of the cases, Antacids are enough for doing the job. In specialized cases, some sort of medication is needed which consists of H2 blockers and PPIs. Let’s talk about PPIs in a little detail.
What are PPIs?
PPIs or Proton Pump Inhibitors are a specific type of medication that is prescribed to individuals who are suffering from specific types of gastric disorders such as GERD and peptic ulcers.
As the name suggests, the Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs have inhibiting properties. Once ingested, the drug travels to the stomach cavity and starts its work there. The active agent inside the medication binds with the stomach wall and inhibits the production of acid in the stomach. This helps in bringing down the acidic nature of the stomach wall and the reflux episodes are also reduced. This also gives other affected parts of the body such as the Esophagus, some time to heal.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or the consequential Heartburn may be chronic conditions but they are treatable nevertheless. Start eating healthier alternatives, inculcate green and raw foods in your diets such as fruits and vegetables and try exercising regularly. This helps the body to heal itself naturally.