Acid indigestion, also called heartburn, is a very common ailment. Over 60 million people across the US experience acid indigestion monthly. Acid indigestion can be very uncomfortable, causing a burning, painful sensation in your chest and throat, an acidic taste in your mouth, bloating and belching, and nausea.
Frequent, severe heartburn can be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a condition that a doctor needs to treat. Thankfully, however, mild or moderate acid indigestion can often be treated effectively from home. Here is a look at some of the top home remedies for acid indigestion.
Foods to Avoid
The first thing you should do as a home remedy for acid indigestion, is figure out which foods are causing the problem, and cut those foods out of your diet. Common foods and drinks that cause acid indigestion include:
- Spicy food
- Fried food
- Soda and other carbonated beverages
Overeating can also cause acid indigestion, so you should watch how much you eat in a sitting and try to spread your food intake throughout the day, rather than eating big meals.
If you are experiencing acid indigestion, there are some foods, drinks, and other home remedies you can try to get relief. These include:
1. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be an effective treatment for acid indigestion. Some people find that a small amount of it (no more that ½ a teaspoon) seems to reduce the acidity in their stomach, providing relief to mild or moderate acid indigestion.
2. Chewing gum
Sugar-free chewing gum can provide heartburn relief if chewed shortly after a meal. The gum has been shown to reduce acidity in the esophagus, but peppermint gum can actually make the symptoms worse, so it is best to choose a flavor other than peppermint or spearmint.
3. Nonfat milk or yogurt
Nonfat milk and yogurt are used as home remedies to treat a wide variety of gastrointestinal issues. They have been demonstrated to provide relief for some people suffering from acid indigestion. If you have persistent symptoms, incorporating more nonfat milk or yogurt into your diet could provide relief.
Bananas are a vitamin rich fruit that many people use to treat issues like acid indigestion. They have been demonstrated to soothe the digestive system and may provide welcome relief to acid indigestion symptoms for some people.
In addition to the above home remedies for acid indigestion, lifestyle changes can provide relief to sufferers. If you suffer from acid indigestion, you should also try:
- Losing weight. If you are overweight, the extra weight can put additional stress and pressure on your stomach, forcing more of your stomach contents into your esophagus and triggering indigestion
- Quit smoking. Smoking can increase the acidity of your stomach and loosen muscles around you esophagus that help regulate acid indigestion. If you smoke, you would be well advised to quit, in order to reduce your symptoms.
- Avoid eating at night. Late-night eating can trigger acid reflux symptoms. You should have your last meal no more than 3 hours before you go to sleep. Eating right before bed can cause acid indigestion.
If you experience worsening heartburn at night, you should try to avoid laying down for at least 2 to 3 hours after eating. This can help you keep the contents of your stomach from traveling back up to your esophagus, and prevent acid indigestion. Additionally, when you do go to sleep, sleeping with your head elevated, or better yet, the front of your bed raised by 4-6 inches can provide relief from heartburn.
When to See a Doctor
Frequent heartburn or heartburn that causes serious pain, vomiting, weight loss, or trouble swallowing, can be a sign of a more serious issue. If you experience any of these symptoms, see your doctor. There are professional treatments and procedures that can provide relief to these more severe symptoms.