Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your throat or chest. It occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.
GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for heartburn. You should know that GERD is not a disease. Even though many people believe that it occurs because of over-production of stomach acid, it usually occurs due to underproduction of stomach acid.
If you have underproduction of stomach acid, the food that you consume can’t be digested properly, so it sits in your stomach and ferment, which in turn produces gas that causes pressure to build up. This pressure pushes open the sphincter valve then the acid spill back out in the esophagus. Esophagus tissues can’t handle this pressure, so eventually, it leads to burns.
Those who suffer from GERD usually experience burning sensations, pressure, pain, and discomfort in the chest. Many people who suffer from GERD take antacids in order to neutralize the supposedly “over-acidity” without knowing that even though antacids may provide short-term relief, they can cause the under-production of stomach acid to be suppressed. Eventually, this will cause indigestion and other digestive disorders.
Symptoms of Heartburn
People who suffer from heartburn experience a terrible chest pain and intense pressure beneath the breastbone. In some cases, the pain is so great that people may think it is a heart attack. Sufferers can experience difficulty swallowing food like there is a lump because of the ulcers and wound from the stomach acid burns. Actually, this means that the scarred tissues that have thickened over time.
Other common symptoms include a sore throat, belching, bloating, excessive mucus in the throat, stomach pain, constipation, and flatulence. Some people can also experience bad breath, constant coughing, choking in the sleep, and ENT infections.
Causes of Heartburn
There are many factors which can lead to chronic heartburn and they mostly depend on the lifestyle you follow. Some of the risk factors are: smoking, overeating, obesity, poor diet, the excessive consumption of processed foods high in salt and fats, and low in fiber, prolonged stress, drinking chlorinated water, and long-term medications.
A Hiatal hernia is considered as another possible cause. A Hiatal hernia is a condition that occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm and into your chest cavity. H. Pylori bacterial infection is also a risk factor. The bacteria can cause numerous problems if your body is too acidic and heavily toxic, so make sure to keep your body “alkaline” by eating plenty of fresh whole foods.
First of all, it is extremely important to stop taking antacids since they can only reduce the stomach acid production and eventually lead to indigestion. Make sure to follow a soft diet and consume the appropriate juices in order to heal the ulcers. Regardless of what doctor says, you should know that acid reflux can be healed. A complete gastrointestinal cleanse will effectively reduce the symptoms by half. Then, you should go on a course of high-quality probiotics.
Stop taking antacids, and instead, you can try some of these natural remedies in order to temporarily relieve the heartburns:
- Eat a banana or avocado
- Drink an 8oz glass of water with 1 tsp of baking soda stirred into it
- Drink an 8oz glass of water with 1 tsp of spirulina powder stirred into it
- Drink a large glass of water at the first sign of pain
There are some ways which can help you to increase stomach acid production:
- Add 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 2 teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water and make sure to stir well. Consume this 10 minutes before every meal or until you experience improvements
- To encourage stomach acid production, such on a licorice candy 5-10 minutes before a meal
- In order to stimulate the production and improve stomach acid, you should chew on some bitter foods for 5-10 minutes before a meal. You can try radicchio, dandelion greens, arugula, endive, chicory, and bittergourd.
- Drinking a small amount of bittergourd juice (5-10 minutes before a meal) will also stimulate the production of stomach acid.
Make sure to avoid chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dietary fats, mint, gas-causing foods and hot-spicy foods. Do not forget to mention that it is very important to quit smoking!
Recommended Healing Foods to Relieve Heartburn/Acid Reflux
You can effectively treat heartburn by making a simple change in your diet and lifestyle. Bear in mind that the untreated chronic heartburn can eventually lead to cancer. These foods are alkaline-forming and gentle to your gastrointestinal tract.
Root vegetables like carrot, potato, jicama, and lotusroot are very mild and have calming effects to wounds/ulcers in the tract and to the digestive system. Kohlrabi and fennel possess potent antiseptic properties and can effectively improve the digestive system.
Avocado, papaya, and banana are alkaline foods that also have a soothing effect to the intestinal tract. They can neutralize the acidic environment which in turn will reduce the pain.
Some Suggested Combos (measurement for one portion):
- 2 carrots + 1 cucumber + 6-8 ribs of celery + 1-inch ginger root
- 2 carrots + 1 jicama + a 6-inch section of lotusroot
- 3 carrots + 6 ribs of celery + ¼ head of cabbage
- 6 ribs of celery + 1 fennel + a bunch of spinach + ¼ lemon
- 1 jicama + ½ medium-sized beetroot + 1 cup broccoli
- 2 carrots + 1 jicama + 1 medium-sized potato
You should pound 6 lemongrass bulbs (make sure that the white part is closer to the root) and slice an inch of ginger root. Boil them for 5 minutes in 500ml of water. Add some manuka honey and consume it while it is still warm!