There probably isn’t a person on earth who hasn’t had, at one time or another, an episode of heartburn severe enough to reach for the good old fashioned chalky mint flavored antacids. However, some people are more prone to it than others, which is why there are a million and one heartburn relief remedies. The trick is to find heartburn relief that is safe and effective for you. But, first you need to know what is causing that sour stomach that repeats on you.
What Causes Heartburn?
In order to find effective heartburn relief, it is important to understand the triggers that cause it. Heartburn is named as such because of the burning sensation experienced in the chest when stomach acid comes up backwards through the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). At this point the acid irritates the delicate lining of the esophagus causing that painful burning we have come to know as heartburn and why we are so intent on finding heartburn relief remedies.
What Causes the Acid to Work Back Upwards?
Sometimes the LES is not functioning properly and other times the valve is just weak. Then there are simply times when we eat too much of the wrong foods that cause excess acidity which cannot be neutralized quickly enough during the natural digestive process, so it refluxes (comes up the wrong way). The thing to look for is whether you have frequent heartburn which necessitates taking regular doses of heartburn relief medicine or if it only happens infrequently. If you have frequent heartburn it could be GERD, a disorder which often needs medical diagnosis and intervention.
Two Types of Heartburn Relief Remedies
If you have been diagnosed with GERD or other disorders such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, it is doubtful that heartburn relief natural remedies or antacids will provide the type of treatment needed. The treatment of choice for these types of disorders that affect the LES would be a group of medications classified as proton pump inhibitors which help to reduce the amount of acid being produced in the stomach. This is a significantly different approach than taking antacids which simply neutralize the acid in the stomach as opposed to stopping the production of it.
What Are the Best Heartburn Relief Remedies?
As mentioned, there are two types of heartburn relief remedies and they type which is best depends on the cause. Proton pump inhibitors are the best heartburn relief remedies because, over time, they help to stop the production of excess acid in the stomach. This is the best treatment for ongoing disorders. The best heartburn relief remedies for the occasional occurrence of heartburn might be an OTC antacid or heartburn relief natural remedies.
Natural Heartburn Relief Remedies
Some people swear by home remedies for heartburn. In fact, perhaps the number one heartburn relief home remedy is something we all typically have on hand in our refrigerators – milk! For heartburn relief, milk does seem to neutralize excess acid while it also soothes the lining of the esophagus which is burning from the reflux acid. Other people find that aloe vera helps to soothe the burning sensation even more powerfully than milk. Aloe vera is available in both gel caps and in liquid form at health food stores as well as in many pharmacies.
Whether you choose to find heartburn relief naturally or in pharmaceuticals, the main concern is to keep a diary of how often it occurs if you find that you seem to be experiencing it frequently. If you find that you are subjected to heartburn more than twice a week over a period of weeks, it’s time to consult with your doctor as there is obviously some underlying problem. However, for those of us who just have periodic bouts of heartburn, a simple OTC antacid or a heartburn relief home remedy should do the trick.