Finding Relief From The Pain Of Heartburn

If you’ve got heartburn, you want pain relief. It’s a miserable, horrible condition. It can mimic a heart attack, or asthma, or you can feel like you’re going to die.

There are many ways to get relief from the pain of heartburn. You can use prescription drugs, or non-prescription remedies that are available over the counter. You can try natural methods, like certain spices (cinnamon, ginger, cumin…) or behavioral methods like eating slower, drinking more water, and staying upright after eating for a few hours.

Some people turn to using baking soda or antacids to give them pain relief from heartburn. This can work, but there are downsides, too. Let’s take a look at important information you should know about using these for pain relief from heartburn.

Baking Soda – Good Or Bad?

Taking baking soda is a quick and easy way to get rid of heartburn. It’s cheap, easily available – even without a prescription, and doesn’t taste all that bad. But is it a hero or villain?

Heartburn, or indigestion is caused by stomach acid leaking up into the esophagus, where it burns. Taking baking soda works because it is an alkaline. It neutralizes the acid from the stomach. Just dissolve a teaspoon or so in a glass of water, and sip it until the heartburn is better. Seems so simple.

However, used too much, the soda will neutralize the acid that is in the stomach. What happens next? The stomach needs to make more acid. And so you need more baking soda. And round and round it goes….until the stomach can’t make so much acid anymore, and there is less acid in the stomach – affecting the ability of the stomach to break down food. And that’s not good at all. That leads to inflammation in the body and allergies can develop.

Baking soda is also a bad idea long term if you want to avoid the sodium – if you have high blood pressure, for example.

What To Do Instead?

The best way to relieve the pain of heartburn is to have healthier habits. Eat foods that encourage digestion – fruits and vegetables. And avoid things that hamper digestion – spicy foods, fried foods, citrus foods, etc. Avoid other things altogether – like caffeine, smoking, and alcohol.

Drink water and exercise. If you get heartburn, some pain relief can happen by just drinking water to dilute the acid causing the problem. Chew gum to increase the saliva, which is alkaline and helps with the acid.

Saliva produced in the mouth is naturally alkaline and so can neutralize the acid. Chewing gum is a great way to increase saliva.

Baking soda may not be the perfect long term solution you wanted for relief from the pain of heartburn, but it can help for a short time.