The odds are that you or someone you know experiences heartburn!
Its actually so common that around half of North American adults experience it at least once per month.
Somewhere between 10-20% have it at least once per week!
Heartburn happens when the strong acid in your stomach creeps up into your esophagus.
It can feel like a burning sensation; hence the name “heartburn.”
Other common symptoms include bloating, burping, difficulty swallowing, or a sore throat. Often there is a bitter or sour taste as well.
Now don’t get me wrong, stomach acid is actually a good thing! Stomach acid is REQUIRED for good health and optimal digestion.
There are actually supplements to increase the acid in our stomach to protect us against harmful microbes (i.e. bacteria) that lurk in our food and drinks and help to break down our food, and digest nutrients.
The problem is we need that acid to stay in the stomach, and not get up to our esophagus!
Stomach acid doesn’t usually burn the stomach itself because it’s protected by a layer of mucus.
But your esophagus doesn’t have that same protection and when your esophagus is exposed to stomach acid too often, it can cause the infamous burning, inflammation, and other potentially serious issues.
I’m going to share a bunch of tips that may help you overcome your heartburn symptoms naturally.
Of course, if symptoms last for a long time, or get worse, it’s probably a good idea to see your doctor.
Tip #1 – Foods to eat (and avoid)
This is something super important that all my clients put into practice… start becoming more in tune with your body during and shortly after meals.
You may notice that when you eat or drink certain things, you get heartburn soon afterward.
These triggers may be different for everyone; but often include onions, garlic, chocolate, citrus, tomato, mint, spicy foods, greasy foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, or alcohol.
If any of these affect you, reduce them or even try cutting them out to see if it makes a difference.
Personally, I used to get heartburn ALL THE TIME. It wasn’t until I was tested for food intolerances that I discovered many of the foods I was eating I was actually super sensitive too.
I would recommend trying to eliminate grains, dairy, and processed foods for a few weeks and see if that helps you out like it did for me!
Now, you may also be wondering: “If I eliminate these foods/drinks, then what can I put in their place?”
One thing I recommend would be trying increasing fiber intake. Yes, this means more whole, unprocessed foods, especially veggies!
Tip #2 – How and when to eat
Another habit that my clients really learn to put into practice. This one is more important than you may ever realize, until you try it.
Eat slowly!!!! I cannot stress that enough. Use meal times to release stress. Chew your food very well and don’t eat meals that are too big.
Also, avoid lying down with a full stomach. We’re talking finishing eating a few hours before lying down, so schedule your dinner or snack with this in mind.
Tip #3 – Lifestyle techniques
Sometimes strenuous exercise can make heartburn symptoms worse. If this happens to you, then focus on low-intensity exercises like walking and cycling.
Another interesting tip is to try sleeping on your left side. Lying on your left side works because the valve that prevents the acid from “leaking” into your esophagus is located on the right side of the stomach. So, when you’re lying on your left, the acid is away from that valve.
Try these simple, natural strategies. They can help prevent or relieve heartburn symptoms for you.