Heartburn is the discomfort caused by acid reflux from the stomach up the food pipe. You may already know that it is called heartburn because the pain can even feel like a heart attack!
Usually if you are diagnosed with GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) or Heartburn, you are probably prescribed a Proton Pump Inhibitor Drug – but all these drugs do is decrease your stomach’s natural acid production – and this isn’t good for the body!
While it may seem quite a contrary idea, one of the main causes of Heartburn is inadequate acid production in the stomach, and so instead of putting yourself at the risk of the side-effects of usual PPI drugs, let’s look at easy and natural fixes – heartburn diet and lifestyle changes anybody can incorporate into their schedule!
We’re giving it to you stepwise here:
What causes the actual reflux and the heartburn? Ultimately it’s indigestion. And this indigestion has to be dealt with first. When digestion happens normally, your stomach will not remain full for long, and the acid won’t get pushed back up.
For this, the first step in treating heartburn is to include probiotics into your diet. These replenish your stomach flora – the good gut bacteria that help to digest your food.
Once you’ve got the digestion on track, it is time to take a good look at what you are eating.
Eliminate food triggers
Certain foods actually increase the chances of acid reflux – coffee, oranges, oily spicy food - you need to avoid these foods. Add nicotine to the list of triggers for acid reflux. Alternately, foods that could lead to allergies are also best avoided.
With the trigger under control, you will be able to naturally decrease instances of reflux. One way to ensure this is to shift to an…
Alkaline diets contain foods that produce alkaline substances in your stomach and body. These alkalis help to neutralize the excess acid that is probably coming back up and causing all the discomfort. However, it is also essential that while you keep a lid on the symptoms, you actually treat the condition. And here heartburn or reflux is the symptom – the condition is the state of your stomach and digestive system.
And that brings us to treating the condition…
Increase natural production of stomach acids
Obviously for whatever reason, your stomach’s ability to produce as much acid as is needed is getting inhibited. Now, the acid that is produced in a human being’s stomach for digestion is hydrochloric acid. And inadequate acid production can actually be an indication that the body is not getting enough of the components it needs through food. To encourage your body to make more hydrochloric acid, include Himalayan salt in your diet. This boosts the amount of trace mineral intake. Alternately, you can also try out other ways to have these components or ‘raw materials’ – with other foods or supplements.
The question of minerals and supplements brings us to an essential vitamin …
Optimize vitamin D levels
Vitamin D is required by the body to perform a variety of functions. But a lesser known fact is that Vitamin D can actually help the body to treat heartburn by itself. So make sure your Vitamin D levels are steady and not low.
And do you know what’s the best way to boost Vitamin D levels in the body? Not with supplements but through Sun exposure! So bask in natural sunlight more often and utilize that time to do one other thing that is extremely good for treating heartburn –
Implement an exercise routine
One of the key factors contributing to GERD and heartburn is being overweight. And to control the condition you have to try to lose the excess weight. But to lose weight and increase Vitamin D levels – give the gym a miss and go and workout outdoors!
Not only will you lose weight, but you will also boost your immune system and this means it will fight infections in the body much better!
Heartburn is actually an indicator of conditions being pretty bad in the stomach. But when you take charge and start incorporating these heartburn diet and lifestyle changes into your daily schedule – you will see that reflux is happening less frequently. And if you keep going, pretty soon you will beat heartburn completely!