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Natural Remedies: Heartburn

Tips for treating nighttime heartburn

Heartburn or reflux is an unpleasant burning chest pain which moves toward the throat and leaves an acid or bitter taste in the mouth.

Almost everyone has experienced heartburn at least once in their life. However, some have severe, persistent heartburn due to a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Eating large meals, late in the day and fatty foods are the three top triggers resulting in night time heartburn.

Following are some tips which help alleviate night time heartburn.

1. The first thing one should do when awakened by heartburn is to stand up and drink a glass of cool water.

2. Drinking a mixture of 1 tablespoon of baking soda and half a glass of water afterwards is also effective.

It should be noted that drinking the abovementioned solution in pregnant women or those suffering from high blood pressure can raise the blood pressure or cause water retention.

3. Drinking milk or sucking on mints will not alleviate heartburn.

Milk contains fat and proteins which cause the stomach to secrete more acid and worsen the heartburn.

Mints relax the small valve between the esophagus and stomach aggravating heartburn symptoms.

4. Sometimes heartburn is a result of inadequate acid production. In such cases, downing a teaspoon of vinegar can be beneficial.

5. Having certain foods before bed can cause nighttime heartburn. These foods include soda pop, coffee or caffeinated beverages, alcohol, garlic, onion, chocolate, citrus fruits, tomatoes and tomato-based products and spicy foods.

6. Eating a banana each day works like an antacid to soothe heartburn.

Eating pineapple or papaya or a teaspoon of mustard can also help indigestion.

7. Nothing should be consumed two hours before going to sleep. Late night snacks can keep the stomach busy all night and prevent deep restful sleep.   

Article originally published on Press TV (January 4, 2008). Reprinted with permission.

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