Best Home Remedies for Heartburn
Nov 14, 2019
Heartburn is often described as discomfort or burning in the mid and upper chest, sometimes including the neck and throat. About a third of Americans experience heartburn once a month or more. Some deal with it every day. Heartburn can be incredibly uncomfortable, which is why many people look for daily home remedies for heartburn that can help.
Frequent heartburn, which happens when your stomach acid and other contents move up into your esophagus, can cause long-term issues. If you experience it more than twice per week, you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD). Heartburn can also cause inflammation and other problems in the esophagus.
Thankfully, there are some changes you can make right away to help reduce symptoms and hopefully bring relief. Here are some heartburn home remedies to try.
Chewing Some Gum
It’s such a simple act, but research has shown chewing gum can help stimulate saliva production, increase the amount of swallowing you do, and clear acids from your esophagus.
All of this may help reduce heartburn symptoms in some people. Try chewing gum around a half-hour after eating a meal to see if it remedies some of your issues.
Avoid Heartburn Food Triggers
What you do and don’t eat can greatly affect heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. As much as possible, avoid common trigger foods and drinks like:
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus fruits
- High amounts of spearmint
You might also keep a log of what you eat for a few weeks. If your symptoms are worse after certain meals or snacks, you might be eating something that aggravates your heartburn.
Eat More Fiber
Fiber helps aid digestion by promoting good gut bacteria and keeping you “regular.” This often helps manage the symptoms of heartburn or GERD.
If you’re not used to eating high-fiber, start slowly to avoid discomfort. Here are 33 high-fiber foods to try.
Wear Looser Clothing
Tight clothes add extra pressure to your stomach and digestive system, which can further push acids up into your esophagus. This can increase or even cause your heartburn issues.
Try immediately loosening your pants or belt to see if it brings relief. Also, consider wearing loose-fitting clothing as much as you can while the heartburn persists.
Elevate Your Sleeping Position
Lying down can worsen heartburn—but you have to sleep, of course! Thankfully, there are some adjustments you can make even during bedtime.
The key is to elevate your entire upper body, not just your head. Some adjustable beds allow you to do this. If that’s not an option, you might use a wedge pillow to raise your body from the waist up or add wood blocks under your bed.
Sleeping on your side can also exacerbate heartburn and acid reflux. Although you can’t always control your sleeping position throughout the night, try falling asleep on your left side instead.
Be Careful How and When You Eat
Besides the food triggers mentioned above, your eating habits may affect heartburn, too:
- Try to stop eating two to three hours before you go to bed. This will ensure your stomach has emptied before you lie down. Having food in your stomach while you sleep may make heartburn worse.
- Eat slowly and take small bites. Be mindful when eating, taking time to savor the food and chew it thoroughly so your body can digest and process better.
- Focus on reasonable portions. Eating large meals at once can trigger heartburn. Instead, try eating smaller, more frequent amounts of food throughout the day.
Other Possible Home Remedies for Heartburn
Aloe vera gel after meals may also help, as well as marshmallow root, slippery elm bark, taking a trusted multivitamin, calcium, melatonin, and okra.
If you try these home remedies for heartburn, pay attention to how they affect your heartburn symptoms. Little changes may go a long way towards bringing relief.