Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your throat or chest. It occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for heartburn. You should know that GERD is not a disease. Even though many people believe that it occurs because of over-production of stomach acid, it usually occurs due to underproduction of stomach acid.

If you have underproduction of stomach acid, the food that you consume can’t be digested properly, so it sits in your stomach and ferment, which in turn produces gas that causes pressure to build up. This pressure pushes open the sphincter valve then the acid spill back out in the esophagus. Esophagus tissues can’t handle this pressure, so eventually, it leads to burns.

Those who suffer from GERD usually experience burning sensations, pressure, pain, and discomfort in the chest. Many people who suffer from GERD take antacids in order to neutralize the supposedly “over-acidity” without knowing that even though antacids may provide short-term relief, they can cause the under-production of stomach acid to be suppressed. Eventually, this will cause indigestion and other digestive disorders.

Symptoms of Heartburn

Sufferers experience a crushing chest pain and an intense pressure beneath the breastbone. Sometimes the pain can be so great that it is mistaken for a heart attack. Due to the ulcers/wound formed from the stomach acid burns, sufferers may have difficulty swallowing food as if there is a lump. These “lumps” are really the scarred tissues that have thickened over time.

Other symptoms include excessive mucus in the throat, sore throat, stomach pain, bloating, belching, flatulence and even constipation. For some, there would also be constant coughing, choking in the sleep, ENT infections, and bad breath.

Causes of Heartburn 

There are various possible causes of chronic heartburn, and they are mostly attributable to a lifestyle factor. Some of the risk factors are: Obesity, smoking, habitually overeating, poor food combining that cause indigestion, eating processed foods that are high in salt, fats and low in fiber, long-term medications, prolonged stress, drinking chlorinated and fluoridated water.

Other possible causes could be hiatal hernia — a condition that occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. H. Pylori bacterial infection is another risk factor. This bacterium may not cause any problem in a healthy person who keeps his/her body “alkaline” with plenty of fresh whole foods. In a body that is heavily toxic and acidic, this bacterium is more likely to act up and cause problems.

Diet/Lifestyle Suggestions

First of all, it is extremely important to stop taking antacids since they can only reduce the stomach acid production and eventually lead to indigestion. Make sure to follow a soft diet and consume the appropriate juices in order to heal the ulcers. Regardless of what doctor says, you should know that acid reflux can be healed. A complete gastrointestinal cleanse will effectively reduce the symptoms by half. Then, you should go on a course of high-quality probiotics.

Stop taking antacids, and instead, you can try some of these natural remedies in order to temporarily relieve the heartburns:

  • Eat a banana or avocado
  • Drink an 8oz glass of water with 1 tsp of baking soda stirred into it
  • Drink an 8oz glass of water with 1 tsp of spirulina powder stirred into it
  • Drink a large glass of water at the first sign of pain

There are some ways which can help you to increase stomach acid production:

  • Add 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 2 teaspoon of ACV in a glass of water and make sure to stir well. Consume this 10 minutes before every meal or until you experience improvements
  • To encourage stomach acid production, such on a licorice candy 5-10 minutes before a meal
  • In order to stimulate the production and improve stomach acid, you should chew on some bitter foods for 5-10 minutes before a meal. You can try radicchio, dandelion greens, arugula, endive, chicory, and bittergourd.
  • Drinking a small amount of bittergourd juice (5-10 minutes before a meal) will also stimulate the production of stomach acid.

Make sure to avoid chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, dietary fats, mint, gas-causing foods and hot-spicy foods. Do not forget to mention that it is very important to quit smoking!

RECOMMENDED HEALING FOODS TO RELIEVE HEARTBURN/ACID REFLUX

Important Note: These foods are alkaline-forming and gentle to the gastrointestinal tract. Suggested juice recipes below are helpful to relieve heartburn pains. With change of eating habits and lifestyle, remedy is possible. But if uncared for and left untreated, chronic heartburn may lead to cancer.

The above alkaline foods help cool and soothe the pain of heartburn. The alkalinity neutralize the acidic environment, cleanse, repair, heal and nourish.

Root vegetables such as carrot, lotusroot, jicama and potato are very mild and calming to the digestive system and wounds/ulcers in the tract. Fennel and kohlrabi have antiseptic properties that help improve the digestive system and the other green vegetables are alkaline and soothing as well.

Banana, papaya and avocado are all alkaline foods that have similar creamy texture that is soothing to the already sensitive surface of the intestinal tract. The healing properties heal on its way down and also neutralize the acidic environment to reduce  pain.

Some Suggested Combos (measurement for one portion):

  • 2 carrots + 1 cucumber + 6-8 ribs of celery + 1-inch ginger root
  • 2 carrots + 1 jicama + a 6-inch section of lotusroot
  • 3 carrots + 6 ribs of celery + ¼ head of cabbage
  • 6 ribs of celery + 1 fennel + a bunch of spinach + ¼ lemon
  • 1 jicama + ½ medium-sized beetroot + 1 cup broccoli
  • 2 carrots + 1 jicama + 1 medium-sized potato

You should pound 6 lemongrass bulbs (make sure that the white part is closer to the root) and slice an inch of ginger root. Boil them for 5 minutes in 500ml of water. Add some manuka honey and consume it while it is still warm!

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Heartburn is a painful burning feeling in your throat or chest. It occurs when stomach acid backs up into your esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is the medical term for heartburn. You should know that GERD is not a...