Do you get that burning lump somewhere between your stomach and your throat after a few bites of food? This condition, commonly called heartburn or acid reflux, occurs when the valve between your stomach and esophagus fails to close, allowing stomach acid to enter your esophagus.
The popular heartburn medication Zantac was recently found to contain a cancer-causing compound. With the resulting product recall and lawsuit, heartburn sufferers are seeking alternatives. A combination of the following remedies could reduce or eliminate your acid reflux symptoms:
1. Limit Certain Foods and Beverages
Heartburn can be caused by dietary choices. Your symptoms may be minimized if you avoid fatty and spicy foods, onions, tomatoes, garlic and anything containing chocolate or mint. Eliminating coffee, tea, alcohol and carbonated beverages will likely help also.
2. Be Mindful of How You Eat
When you overeat or eat too quickly, your full stomach can push digestive acids into your esophagus. Eating smaller meals more frequently and more slowly is less likely to cause this problem.
3. Keep Your Body Upright
Your body position affects stomach acids. Gravity is your friend when you are standing or sitting upright. Reflux can occur when you recline or lie down within three hours of eating. Using a wedge under your pillow or elevating the head of your bed can offer enough of an angle to prevent the problem.
4. Strive For a Healthy Body Weight
Excess body weight can prevent the esophageal valve from closing properly and allow acid to creep upward. Maintaining a healthy weight can prevent or reverse this common contributor to heartburn.
5. Try Over-the-Counter Medicines
While the Zantac lawsuit has resulted in fewer options for treating heartburn with medication, there are still some effective store-bought choices. Products such as Pepcid, Nexium, and liquid or chewable antacids can provide relief but may need to be combined with other remedies for lasting effects.
6. Refrain From Smoking
Smoking can relax the valve that keeps acids out of your esophagus. It can also reduce saliva production, which may contribute to the problem as well.
7. Try Some Home Remedies
The Zantac lawsuit has drawn attention to some time-honored home remedies for heartburn. Sipping a little diluted apple cider vinegar, ginger tea or Aloe vera juice can neutralize the acid. Dissolving a teaspoon of baking soda in water and drinking it slowly has also been effective at soothing the effects of acid reflux.
It’s no fun to be enjoying a great meal while dreading the symptoms of heartburn that can result. With a little commitment, these suggested remedies could make painful heartburn a thing of the past for you.