Fix Your Heartburn Without Harmful Meds

Last week, we talked about the dangers of antacid medications. Its effects on the body can be serious, including upping your risk for heart attack.

This week, I wanted to share with you some natural alternatives you can use to alleviate heartburn.

Remember, excess stomach acid doesn’t cause heartburn. The majority of the time, people with heartburn have very little stomach acid.

Instead, a faulty valve in the esophagus causes heartburn. This messes with the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.

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Image Credit: Jopparn

Two things usually cause this:

  1. Hiatal hernia — when the stomach pushes upward through your diaphragm, causing the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) to open incorrectly. It is very difficult to spot without the help of a specialist.If you have a hiatal hernia, physical therapy on the area may work. Many chiropractors are skilled in this adjustment.
  2. Gut disease — two common gut diseases linked with heartburn are Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection and GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
  • Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection — this is a gastrointestinal infection. It causes chronic inflammation in your stomach lining that leads to a weakened LES and acid reflux.
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a condition in which mucosal damage to the esophagus occurs from chronic stomach acid and pepsin. They get trapped between the stomach and the upper esophageal sphincter.

This “trapping” gives the person the feeling of heartburn.

Having GERD can eventually lead to esophagitis, strictures, or even cancer from chronic inflammation if left untreated.

What Does Your ‘Gut’ Tell You?

H. pylori and GERD are just two of the many gut diseases that can create natural gastric imbalance in the gut.

If you’re experiencing heartburn, have a gut biopsy done as soon as possible and see a specialist.

The best diagnostic tests to determine if you have an H. pylori infection are:

  • A stool sample

OR

  • A lactulose absorption breath test.

Regular blood tests often fail at determining if you have a current H. pylori infection or have had an infection in the past.

Diagnosis of GERD requires an endoscopy. This operation will tell you the damage to your esophagus and the status of your LES and stomach.

However, one of the best ways to diagnose GERD is an esophageal PH monitoring test.

The test uses a flexible catheter with a PH monitor on the end. Then, it is placed through the nose down into the esophagus for at least 24 hours.

It is uncomfortable to have a tube down your nose and throat, but it is very useful to diagnose GERD.

Boost Stomach Acid,

Lessen Heartburn

You don’t have to live with heartburn, or its side effects.

Remember, in a majority of cases, heartburn symptoms come along with decreased levels of stomach acid.

Low levels of stomach acid can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the gut, resulting in various diseases such as GERD.

According to well-known naturopathic researcher Joseph Mercola:

“High-quality sea salt (unprocessed salt), such as Himalayan salt, will not only provide you with the chloride your body needs to make stomach, it also contains over 80 trace minerals your body needs to perform optimally, biochemically.

“Sauerkraut or cabbage juice is also a strong—if not the strongest—stimulant for your body to produce stomach acid. Having a few teaspoons of cabbage juice before eating, or better yet, fermented cabbage juice from sauerkraut, will do wonders to improve your digestion.”

Dr. Mercola also recommends other remedies such as apple cider vinegar, betaine, baking soda and aloe juice.

Clean Up Your Diet

The best way to combat heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function.

Eating large amounts of processed foods and sugars is a surefire way to experience heartburn. It will upset the bacterial balance in your stomach and intestine.

Instead, eat organic, whole foods such as vegetables, grass-fed meats, wild-caught seafood, nuts, and other unprocessed foods.

Cutting caffeine and alcohol from your diet can also have profound effects on the gut.

Turn to Fermented Foods

You can naturally balance your gut flora by eating fermented foods high in probiotics.

This can help eliminate H. pylori bacteria naturally without antibiotics and aid in proper digestion of your food.

You can include a variety of fermented foods and beverages in your diet. Each item will help immunize your gut with a variety of different types of bacteria.

Here are some fermented foods you can consider adding to your diet:

  • Vegetables such as sauerkraut and kimchi
  • Chutneys
  • Cultured dairy, such as yogurt, kefir and sour cream
  • Fish, such as mackerel and Swedish gravlax
  • Kombucha (but watch out for high sugar content in some brands)

These natural ways to ease heartburn are excellent first steps to take. However, for serious cases, I cannot stress enough the tests recommended in this article.

Best wishes,

Brad Hoppmann

Publisher

Uncommon Wisdom Daily

Your thoughts on “Fix Your Heartburn Without Harmful Meds”

  1. I normally don’t get heartburn unless I eat wheat or rice late before bed. Normally a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) in about 4-6 ounces of water relieves this.

    This used to be a normal treatment until the 70’s? Then the drug companies had a better??? idea (with lots of side effects added.)

    It works for me and has for years. (I Just turned 67. ;-))

  2. Eating a raw carrot was recommended by Edgar Calyces (considered to be the father of holistic medicine) about a hundred years ago. It works great and is much more palatable than vinegar or baking soda.

  3. You may want to follow up with Fearless Digestion/Fearless Eating for a more complete understanding of the low acid/GERD & gut health relationship…very thorough…fermented foods are great but only a part of a more complete, overall health solution!

  4. Watch the fermented food amounts. Larger amounts are related to esophageal cancer, most often when phosphates were present as well.

  5. A heaping teaspoon of sugar dissolved in a little water does the trick. Often the esophageal sphincter is NOT at fault. Too little stomach acid is. This causes the valve to relax and food backs up which causes heartburn. Vinigar after heavy meals prevents this and sometimes causes the food to “go Down” very rapidly. I have felt this myself.

  6. An excellent ayurvedic remedy for chronic digestive disorders is to take a small piece of fresh ginger, minced, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice and a dash of salt 15 minutes before eating. A friend of mine who had severe acid reflux for more than 10 years (so bad that regardless of what he ate or when he ate, he had to sit upright for two hours in bed before sleeping or he would be in excruciating pain). He does this at dinner time, and from the very first use, he NEVER had heartburn again. I just was introduced to some ayurvedic practices a few months ago and have found many of them to be simple, yet highly effective. I highly recommend a common sense book of health remedies from Dr. Vasant Lad who founded the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque “The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies”. It is excellent for a variety of health issues. It is amazing what wisdom the ancients had, and what we luckily are beginning to re-discover.

  7. I have had severe acid reflux problems for almost 10 years and at one point I had completely given up on trying to fix it. I almost developed Esophageal Cancer and felt like the end of my life was on its way. After years of searching I came across this blog where a guy told a story about how he cured his acid reflux completely.I read it and it has helped me out tremendously.

    Here is the story if you want to read it: http://anxiousreview.com/acid-reflux/

  8. I have been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia but refuse to continue taking the prescribed PPI. I turned to organic unpasteurized raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ 3 times daily and consume yogurt almost daily, eat sauerkraut often or drink sauerkraut juice and find I can go without any of the symptoms of my condition if I follow the things described above fairly closely. I often go several weeks without the vinegar and cabbage but continue with the yogurt without any symptoms. The PPI’s so quickly prescribed by the medical professionals should be used only for very short periods, if at all. PPI’s and statins have been forced on us with promises as cures however, the side effects often outweigh the benefits. Particularly long term and should be avoided if at all possible.

  9. Raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar restores the right acid. Also one or two tablespoons a day can take fat out of the body, stops acid reflux, gout, balance your ph, control allergies and 100 other good things. John

  10. A Tablespoon of Baking Soda and Water gets rid of Gas almost immediately….FYI

  11. Hi Brad,

    Just a quick note to tell you that for years now, I have combatted heartburn by eating one or two apples or just drinking water to which I add the juice of half a fresh lemon. Within a few minutes, the heartburn is gone forever. When I recommended this to friend who experienced regular heartburns due to high consumption of Whiskey (high in sugars due to colouring) and who was regularly using antacids, he reported back to me that the antacid manufacturers will go bankrupt once this becomes widely known. He never used antacids again after that that (20 years now). Trust this helps.

    All the best

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