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7 Quick Fixes for Heartburn

By HERWriter
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7 Quick Fixes for Your Heartburn Dash/Fotolia

Heartburn is an uncomfortable feeling you can get after eating a heavy meal, when you lay down flat to sleep a night, or sometimes after you have bent over to lift something heavy.

However, heartburn is not actually related to the heart. It is the result of stomach acid washing up against the esophagus and causing irritation.

Heartburn and acid reflux are terms that are often used interchangeably. More than 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month, according to WebMD.com.

If you suspect that what you are feeling is not gastric upset, such as shortness of breath or pain that radiates down your arm, do not hesitate to seek medical attention right away.

Symptoms of heartburn include:

- A burning feeling behind the breastbone after eating

- Increased discomfort when lying down

- Burning or acidic-tasting fluid in the throat

- Trouble swallowing

- A feeling like food is stuck in the middle of the chest or throat

Here are some quick fixes for heartburn symptoms:

1) Loosen your belt or tight clothes

Stop wearing clothes that are too binding around the middle especially those that do not stretch. That includes skinny jeans or elastic waistbands that put pressure on your middle.

2) Elevate the entire head of your bed

Buy 6-inch blocks to put under the back legs of your bed frame, or place a pillow wedge under the mattress, so you elevate the head portion of your bed. Do not just use pillows alone, as you will cause more pressure if you are bent at the waist.

3) Chew gum

Chewing gum increases the amount of saliva in your mouth, which helps dilute the stomach acid as it makes you swallow more often. A small 2005 study showed that chewing gum for 30 minutes after a meal reduced acid reflux. Drinking a glass of water may also help for the same reason.

4) Drink some skim milk

Drinking milk may temporarily relieve heartburn by buffering the acid, but the fat in regular milk may cause a rebound of stomach acid. So stick with skim, and no more than 8 ounces.

5) Try antacids

Antacids may offer temporary relief. Antacids work by neutralizing and buffering acid in the stomach. Examples of antacids you can buy over the counter are Tums, Maalox, Mylanta, Gelusil or Gaviscon.

6) Try an herbal remedy

The Mayo Clinic says that there are no proven herbal treatments for heartburn, but some still may provide relief. It is best to talk with your doctor to make sure they do not interact with any other medication you are taking. Examples of herbal treatments are licorice, slippery elm, chamomile and marshmallow.

One product called Iberogast is made up of nine herbal extracts that limited research has shown to be helpful in reducing gastric symptoms.

7) Avoid typical foods that cause heartburn

It may take a bit of trial and error to determine what foods bother you. Common offenders are citrus fruit, chocolate, tomatoes, spicy food, alcohol, coffee, garlic or onions.


GERD: Alternative medicine. Mayoclinic.com. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

Acid Reflux Symptoms. WebMD. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

Heartburn Symptoms. Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

Iberogast-Product Review. GI Society Canadian Society of Intestinal Research. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

Michele is an R.N. freelance writer with a special interest in woman’s healthcare and quality of care issues.

Edited by Jody Smith

Add a Comment6 Comments

Thanks Michele and Anonymous to answer my problem. I have used lime earlier and it gives me a temporary relief. But I want to long lasting solution. I think eating healthy, non-oily and non-spicy will be only option for me.

February 12, 2016 - 6:21am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Valeria Clarity)

Hi Valeria, I find that the lime (or lemon) doesn't provide short term relief (it actually burns if it is too strong, hence the water) it is a gradual process that changes your body from more acidic to more alkaline (basic). I believe this is why hot lemon water and alkaline water is so popular too. I used to have a terrible time with alcohol, wine (esp red), coffee and sugars and processed foods - they all gave me terrible heartburn. Sorry if line or lemon didn't work for you, but maybe try a month long trial to see if you notice a difference? You might have some other issues beyond what I did, but my heartburn was crippling at times and I lived on Rolaids and Tums. My life is so much better now after a 3Xweek dose of lime water. Best of luck, I certainly know your pain ; (

February 12, 2016 - 7:18am

Thanks for sharing this article.
Heartburn has become a routine in my life. Whenever I eat anything spicy or oily I have to face this. All tips here are really helpful and I will try to incorporate them into my lifestyle and eating habit.

February 10, 2016 - 6:04am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Valeria Clarity)

This really helps me I'm 13 and this is all new thanks for the tips.☺☺

June 21, 2017 - 5:51am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Valeria Clarity)

Valeria, I used to get heartburn very regularly, often due to the items in the article. Lime juice in water (basic vs acidity) every second day or so has changed my life. We often think that limes and lemons are acidic, but they become basic when they mix with stomach acid. It is incredible and it works. Lime from concentrate works too, but I use half a fresh lime in a pint of water every second day and it changed my life. Google it, it really works. Best of luck.

February 10, 2016 - 7:47pm
HERWriter (reply to Valeria Clarity)

Glad they were helpful and I hope you feel better.  It does take a bit of sleuthing to figure out what causes one's stomach trouble.  I know for myself, if I eat later in the evening and try to go to bed my stomach is likely to bother me at nite and keep me up.  I need to have stopped eating a good 3 hrs before bed. So it was less about what I ate and more about what time I ate.


take care,



February 10, 2016 - 10:59am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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