Heartburn is one of the symptoms of an acid reflux. The human body has an esophagus, a part of the digestive system, that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. There are two rings at the top and bottom of this organ. The top ring is known as the upper esophageal sphincter and the bottom ring is the lower esophageal sphincter. The upper ring opens up when a person swallows and the lower ring must prevent anything from the stomach to enter the esophagus. The stomach has gases and hydrochloric acid for digestion. These gases and liquids can enter the esophagus if the lower esophageal sphincter is not working as it should. The backflow of acids and gases into the esophagus is known as acid reflux, which can cause heartburn.
The esophagus is not meant to be in contact with stomach acids and any contact can cause immense discomfort. If you have experienced heartburn and want to know how to get rid of heartburn fast, then read on.
- Pineapple juice: The juice of a pineapple, freshly made can alleviate the discomfort of a heartburn. The bromelain enzyme helps in digesting proteins and will help calm the stomach.
- Ginger: Add ginger to your diet as much as possible, in any form. Raw, in juice form, powder or crystallized, ginger is excellent for the stomach. Fresh ginger tea soothes the stomach and intestines and is good for digestion. Raw ginger has gingerol that is anti-inflammatory.
- Licorice: Licorice protects the organs from erosive damage and coats the stomach lining.
- Apple cider vinegar: Mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to a small glass of water. This neutralizes the hydrochloric acid and balances the pH level in your stomach.
- Baking Soda: This is a natural antacid. Swallowing a teaspoon or a ½ teaspoon with some water will provide relief to a good extent.
- Fruits and vegetables: Vegetables like potato and cabbage are high in alkaline which balances out the acid in the stomach. Fruits like apple and banana also soothe the stomach as they are neutral and help in alleviating the discomfort.
Heartburn is also one of the symptoms of a hiatal hernia. It is caused by bile, stomach acid or air entering the esophagus. A hiatal hernia is a condition where the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm to the chest area. A diaphragm is a muscle between the stomach and the chest, which helps the body to breathe. Normally the stomach lies below the diaphragm, but a hiatal hernia can cause a part of the stomach to push up through the muscle. The stomach moves through an opening called the hiatus. This usually occurs in older people and when there is too much pressure, perpetually, on the muscles around the stomach. The repeated pressure can be caused by coughing, strained bowel movements, vomiting or lifting of heavy objects.
Hiatal herniapain can be experienced in the form of heartburns or chest pains. People with a hiatal hernia commonly also have GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease. However, it doesn’t mean that always go hand in hand. Medication, surgery and a healthy lifestyle are the options to deal with a hiatal hernia.