How to Stop Severe Heartburn

Heartburn is a condition that most of us have experienced a few times, at least. No matter how many times the symptoms of heartburn crop up, it never gets easier to deal with. In fact, people who suffer from chronic or recurring heartburn could suffer from erosion of the tissues of the esophagus, making heartburn more and more difficult to bear. Learning how to stop severe heartburn effectively can prevent long term damage to your body and save you from countless hours spent in pain.

Discover Your Heartburn Triggers

Learning which specific foods and drinks send you on a trip to heartburn city will go a long way in helping you stop severe heartburn attacks. The saying “prevention is better than a cure” is absolutely accurate in this instance, where frequent and recurring bouts of severe heartburn can actually cause erosion in the esophagus, the protective lining of the stomach, and even result in the development of ulcers. –And yes, these conditions are all as painful as they sound! The good news is that this can usually be prevented by avoiding the things that cause heartburn.

Alcohol may trigger heartburnImage: from Flickr

Alcohol may trigger heartburn

When deciding how to stop severe heartburn, a good starting point is your diet. Chances are, you experience heartburn regularly because of that spicy salami you’re so partial to. Okay, so for you it may not be salami, but you are probably eating a food (or foods) often that contribute to the onset of heartburn. Spicy foods are well known culprits behind heartburn, such as chili, hot sauce, curry, sausages, and even some Thai and Chinese cuisine. In addition to these, you may also want to forgo fried and greasy foods. Granted you may not be particularly sensitive to fried food, but you may want to reduce the occurrence of these foods in your diet. Acidic foods, such as tomatoes and citrus fruits should also be avoided.

Caffeinated drinks such as coffee and tea may also be worth consideration. Carbonated drinks, such as soda, some types of alcohol, and sparkling water can also lead to heartburn and are likely to also contain caffeine. Do your best to comb through the contents of your diet and eliminate any factors that could cause a heartburn flare up. In addition to this, you may want to consider giving up smoking if applicable, as cigarettes have also been linked to heartburn.

Helpful Foods that Can Stop Severe Heartburn

Knowing how to stop severe heartburn through prevention isn’t the only handy bit of information that you need to remember. Sometimes heartburn is unavoidable, and in those instances it can be necessary to call upon other items to help soothe the symptoms of heartburn. In times when you haven’t got any antacid medication on you (or you would rather try the natural route), you can always turn to food to combat heartburn. Bananas and pineapple contain elements that can help balance the acid level within the stomach. Milk and other dairy products are another great option–one that you might have heard about before. Fat free dairy products contain the calcium necessary to counter and neutralize the stomach’s acid. All it takes is about four to eight ounces of skim milk, a pot of fat free yogurt, or even a good-sized hunk of fat-free cheese to reduce your heartburn symptoms. Dairy products will get to work fast and tend to have a long lasting effect as long as they are fat free.

Chamomile, marshmallow root, and licorice root teas are other fantastic options to stop severe heartburn; however you are less likely to have these lying around in your pantry. If you do come across them, or purchase them specifically for the purpose of relieving heartburn, then you might just find them worthy of keeping around! Steep the tea (or root, if you so choose) in boiling water for about ten minutes. If you like strong tea or have a really wicked case of heartburn, you might leave it to steep five minutes longer. Strain the roots or flowers from the water and sweeten with honey. Honey will act as a protective shield for your esophagus until the acid is able to be neutralized by the tea.

Antacid Medications

If “au naturel” isn’t really your thing, the you might want to keep a few over the counter antacids nearby to stop severe heartburn. These come in the form of a chewable tablet, a drinkable liquid, and an effervescent tablet. They all get to work pretty quick but you will certainly have your preference when it comes to texture and taste. The chewable tablets are usually high in calcium–the active ingredient that makes the healing magic happen. They are often very chalky in texture so you might want to keep a glass of water nearby. Liquid antacids aren’t as bad flavor-wise but they do often have a chalky aftertaste. Most liquid antacids contain aluminum hydroxide, an alkaline that works well but should not be taken by pregnant or nursing women. And finally you have the effervescent option. This is a tablet that, when dropped into a glass of water, fizzes and dissolves–at which point it should then be consumed. The active ingredient in this is sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda. It works pretty well but the effects are a bit more short-lived than tablet and liquid antacids.

Continue to Natural Antacid Remedies article.