When stomach acid floods our esophagus, it feels like our chest is on fire. From us you will learn how to extinguish the conflagration and what to do for constant heartburn.
Frequent belching of stomach acid, burning pain in the sternum area and an uncomfortable feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen – many of us know all too well the aftermath of an opulent meal with generous alcohol accompaniment. Heartburn is one of the most common consequences when we have once again gone overboard culinary-wise. And it is generally considered harmless as long as it does not occur regularly or with serious accompanying symptoms.
From a purely technical point of view, heartburn is usually the result of a malfunction of the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, but this can be caused by a variety of factors: Fats, for example, are digested more slowly and therefore contribute to a delay in the digestive process in the stomach, which promotes the reflux of gastric acid into the esophagus. In turn, stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, sweets or nicotine boost acid formation in the stomach and also cause the esophageal sphincter to slacken. Other risk factors are obesity, lack of exercise and stress. A too tightly chosen wardrobe can also put the esophageal sphincter in distress, as it presses the stomach contents back upwards.
Home remedies & lifestyle
As long as heartburn is only a sporadic problem, it can be cured or prevented relatively quickly and easily with a number of home remedies and lifestyle modifications. For example, starchy foods such as rusks, potatoes or bananas bind any excess stomach acid, and chewing nuts or a spoonful of mustard after a meal can also regulate an out-of-balance acid balance. In addition, it is important to avoid fatty or smoked foods, carbonated drinks and juices made from citrus fruits, as well as hot spices. Furthermore, it is advisable to eat several small and light meals per day, as well as to enjoy them consciously and chew them slowly. A digestive walk after the meal can also not hurt.
Symptoms of the disease
People who are regularly plagued by heartburn may suffer from reflux disease. This involves a complete slackening of the esophageal sphincter, which results in frequent penetration of stomach acid into the esophagus. If the remedies already mentioned remain ineffective and the complaints keep recurring, a visit to the doctor is inevitable, since untreated reflux disease can lead to mucosal ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus and, if the stomach acid penetrates into the oral cavity, erosion of the tooth enamel.
Under the knife
The doctor first makes sure that the condition is not caused by a disease such as a hiatal hernia or irritable stomach before prescribing the patient medications such as proton pump inhibitors, which curb the release of stomach acid, or H2 blockers, which reduce stomach acid. In rare cases, anti-reflux surgery may also be necessary. In this surgical procedure, the upper part of the stomach is placed around the lower end of the esophagus and fixed in place. While the treatment does not make taking medication obsolete, it does cause a significant reduction in the daily dose needed.
6 Ways to treat heartburn naturally.
Aloe vera juice cools the stomach and balances stomach acidity
An apple effectively decimates stomach acid after just a few minutes
Chewing two to three basil leaves relieves stomach pressure and heartburn
Chewing gum promotes salivation and flushes the stomach.
Eating 10 to 20 grapes relieves heartburn almost instantly
Chamomile tea soothes the stomach and is ideal for preventive treatment.