Heartburn is such painful and discomforting condition; the hiccups, feeling of your chest being on fire, finding no ease in any position –sitting, standing, the fire remains burning. Heartburn mainly occurs due to acid reflux.
Our stomachs are muscular bags filled with acid. Sometimes, this acid gets pushed into the oesophagus, the pipeline which connects the mouth to the gut. In small quantities, this acid is bearable enough. However, certain factors trigger this acid reflux in increased frequency or and potency, that the lining of the oesophagus gets burnt.
When this condition becomes persistent, it is known as GERD (gastroesophageal acid reflux). This is also followed by a bad mouth in the tase, cough etc. as well. It also leads to secondary issues like sleep problems as well.
There are various reasons for acid reflux. Certain foods like spicy and oily foods have a greater tendency to cause heartburn. Lifestyle choices like eating before bed, dietary habits also play an important role. Some medications also cause reflux.
If this problem has been persisting for quite some time, it is best to visit an ENT specialist in Lahore before the situation worsens. However, there are some natural remedies that are useful in providing relief from the heartburn:
1 Dietary Choices
What not to eat;
Not everyone’s digestive system has tolerance to eat the extra spicy, extra heavy, deep-fried cheesy diet. These rich foods are one of the top reasons for heartburn. Similarly, certain natural foods like onions, garlic, mint also cause acid reflux. Caffeinated beverages, alcohol and chocolate are also amongst the culprits.
Hence, people with GERD or acidity issues should not consume these foods regularly but have moderated use only. However, for the very severe cases, completely laying off is best. Similarly, they should also stay away from carbonated drinks. The gas in them causes the burps, and hence reflux.
What to eat;
Instead, try lightly seasoned food instead of the spicy and richly flavoured ones. Drink water with baking soda when the heartburn is really bad. The alkaline baking soda helps to neutralize the acidic juice from the stomach.
Also, certain foods are also useful to treat or at least prevent the burning. Foods rich in fibre are great as they prevent overeating. Similarly, Psyllium husk, chia seeds and similar fibre sources are especially great as they soak up the extra acid in the stomach.
Moreover, people suffering from GERD should also reduce fat and carbohydrate intake.
2 Portion control
One of the reasons for acid reflux is delayed digestion. Amongst other things, it occurs due to overeating. Moreover, larger meals also mean more content in the stomach and thus greater reflux. Hence, eat small but frequent meals.
3 Do not lay down after eating
Let gravity do the job of keeping the acid down in the stomach. After you eat, for a couple of hours at least, the food remains in the stomach. When one lays down after a meal, this action allows for the backflow of the acid, leading to heartburn. Hence, stay up sitting or standing after the meal.
4 Lifestyle tips
Smoking is counterintuitive for heartburn, and thus should be disbanded. Those having acid reflux issues should also not eat in bed, especially heavy metals. Moreover, those who are obese have to lose weight to get rid of this painful condition. People having GERD also should not lay down flat in the bed, but rather in an inclined position so that the acid remains down in the stomach.
5 Herbal and condiments
Certain herbs and other natural foods are also helpful to curb acid reflux. These include chamomile, liquorice, ginger; these can be consumed easily via infused teas. However, these herbs might not settle well with some medicines. Hence, ask the top ENT specialist in Karachi prior to taking these teas.