Heartburn: Symptoms, Treatment, and Home Remedies

What helps with heartburn? We show you which symptoms indicate heartburn and what you can do about heartburn.

Heartburn is a real common disease. Around every fifth person in Germany suffers from reflux symptoms again and again , which also includes heartburn. A sumptuous dinner, a lot of caffeine or one or the other glass of alcohol too much – it can burn in the breastbone area for many people.

However, for most people who experience heartburn only occasionally and whose reflux symptoms go away quickly, there is nothing to worry about. However, if you suffer from heartburn for a longer period of time or if you have other symptoms, you should consult your doctor.

Here we show you what you can do against occasional heartburn and which simple home remedies can help you with mild reflux symptoms .

Heartburn symptoms

The term heartburn is on everyone’s lips – but what does it actually mean exactly? And what are the symptoms associated with heartburn?

We speak of heartburn when you feel a tight or burning sensation under or behind your breastbone . Often there is also some acid or even part of the previously half-digested food.

Burning in the sternum area is a sign that stomach acid is flowing back up into your esophagus (reflux) and irritating your lining. In addition to the burning sensation in the sternum area, symptoms such as these can also occur:

  • (acid) belching
  • stomach pain
  • Feeling of pressure in the upper abdomen
  • hoarseness
  • nausea
  • bloating
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Stomach acid reflux can occur after heavy meals, especially with sweet, fatty or acidic foods . Likewise, if you lie down too quickly after eating, bend over, or exercise. In addition to a (too) large meal, there are other causes that can make you particularly susceptible to heartburn. In addition to an inflammation of the esophagus or the gastric mucosa, these also include an irritable stomach.

However, some people also complain of heartburn if they have not eaten for a long time and are still not hungry. Others experience a burning sensation in the sternum area when they are under a lot of stress .

If the reflux of stomach acid only happens to you occasionally, you usually don’t have to worry about it. However, if you often suffer from heartburn, this can be an indication of reflux disease – in technical jargon it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease . In this case you should consult with your doctor.

Heartburn – what to do?

If you have occasional heartburn without any other symptoms, reflux is usually harmless. Then these tips can help you against heartburn :

  • Healthy lifestyle
    Excessive, fatty or sugary foods can lead to heartburn. Just like nicotine, alcohol or too much caffeine. Because all of this increases the amount of acid and irritates your mucous membranes. Leading a healthy lifestyle will help prevent heartburn. Avoid stimulants such as nicotine, coffee, alcohol and meals that are too fatty or large . Also, always try to have your last meal at least 4 hours before bedtime. And: It’s better to drink still water and unsweetened tea instead of carbonated drinks – otherwise they can make your heartburn worse.
  • Clothes that are too tight
    Do you like to wear tight trousers or a belt? Clothing that is too tight can promote heartburn in some people because it puts additional pressure on the stomach. Maybe you feel a lot better with a little more clothes – and it’s always more comfortable!
  • Stress
    Emotional stress, stress or even nervousness promote the occurrence of reflux symptoms such as heartburn. You can prevent heartburn with sport and relaxation techniques – for example targeted breathing exercises , breaks or resilience training .
  • Overweight
    People who are overweight are more likely to suffer from heartburn. The reason for this is that being overweight puts additional pressure on the stomach. This makes it easier for the gastric juice to be pushed back into the esophagus. Try to shed excess pounds by changing your diet , which has many health benefits.
  • Acid-binding medication
    In the case of acute heartburn, medication such as acid blockers can also provide short-term relief. However, you are not fighting the cause of the reflux symptoms, but only the symptoms. After stopping the acid-binding medication, the heartburn can come back. It’s best to talk to your doctor about this.
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Which home remedies help with heartburn?

If you want to relieve painful heartburn, you can also use a few simple home remedies. Proven heartburn home remedies include:

  • Natron,
  • Tee,
  • Whole grain products,
  • almonds or
  • To chew bubble gum.

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) is a very popular home remedy for heartburn. The baking soda – for example from baking powder – can neutralize your excess stomach acid and thus relieve your heartburn.
Important: Do not consume too much baking soda, as this also stimulates gas formation in your stomach. Bloating can result.
If you have illnesses such as edema, high blood pressure or heart problems, you should stay away from baking soda.

A highly recommended heartburn home remedy is also soothing tea, such as with fennel, caraway or chamomile . Black tea, on the other hand, should be avoided if you have heartburn because of the caffeine. The same applies to peppermint tea – this has a stimulating effect on your stomach acid and is therefore not recommended for heartburn.

Whole grain products can also help you with heartburn – for example in the form of bread, pasta or rice. Why? Whole grains are high in starches, which can absorb excess acid in your stomach. The same goes for oatmeal , by the way . Sourdough bread, on the other hand, can make your heartburn worse. So, hands off!

Do you like to eat nuts? Then grab twice for heartburn, especially for almonds . Important: chew well and slowly! The background: Nuts and almonds can neutralize your stomach acid and thus help you with reflux symptoms.

Chewing gum can also have a positive effect on your reflux symptoms. Because chewing stimulates your salivation, which counteracts the reflux of stomach acid.

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Reflux symptoms in pregnancy

During pregnancy, women often suffer from heartburn – especially towards the end of pregnancy. This can have several reasons. For example, a changed hormone level can promote increased heartburn. In addition , the uterus, which grows during pregnancy, puts additional pressure on the intestines and stomach . This can also make it easier for stomach acid to rise up. If you are pregnant and suffering from reflux symptoms, it is best to consult your doctor.

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