Managing occasional heartburn at home

| Updated: December 20, 2022 19:36:34

Managing occasional heartburn at home

Ever felt a burning sensation in your chest after a meal? It is colloquially known as heartburn, a common and unpleasant feeling. Heartburn happens because our stomach acids go up into our chest, giving rise to a sour taste as well. This burning sensation is worsened by lying down.

How can we deal with heartburn at home? There are some simple solutions we can try. Sometimes, just standing straight and drinking a lot of water relieves it. If not, we can try herbal tea, especially chamomile. This can soothe the burning sensation.

Another home remedy is pineapple juice. A glass of juice can help control the stomach acid level, reducing the pain in the chest. Fruits like apples, bananas or grapes are also helpful. An apple slice has often been shown to relieve the pain quickly. Another option is peppermint.

An interesting way to relieve heartburn is sugar-free chewing gum. An article published in the Journal of Dental Research in 2015 corroborated this. The science behind this is chewing gum can increase saliva levels, thus buffering the acid. It also increases the swallowing reflex, pushing the acids down into the stomach.

If the burning sensation is severe, baking soda can be used. We can make a solution by dissolving ½ to 1 teaspoon of soda in a glass of water and then drinking it to feel relieved. However, this solution is quite salty and can induce vomiting. So, the advice is to use it only in case of serious pain and not frequently.

There is a perception that milk can be a good choice for heartburn relief. While it may work for a very short time, in the long run, milk can boost stomach acid production. If someone wants to try milk, it is better to use skim milk.


So, what can we do to reduce the risk of heartburn happening? First and foremost, we need to keep a healthy weight. Any weight reduction management should be verified prior by a physician or dietitian.

Other things we can do include avoiding wearing tight-fitting garments and specific foods known to cause heartburn in that individual, e.g., onions, lemon juice, tomatoes, caffeine, a high-fat diet, etc. More fibre should be added to the diet to help keep the digestive tract healthy.

To minimise the risk of heartburn, meals should be carefully planned. Instead of three large meals, we may divide it into five or six small meals. Immediately after a meal, we should wait at least three hours before we go to bed. While going to sleep, if we can keep our heads raised at least six inches, it will also be helpful. Last but not least, quitting smoking can go a long way as a preventive measure.

While occasional heartburn is not a cause for alarm, there are a few occasions when we should be concerned and talk to medical experts. This is especially true if the heartburn frequently occurs, there is difficulty in swallowing, the patient suffers from associated nausea and vomiting, or it is so severe that it does not respond to any remedies.

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