Alternative Treatments for Heartburn

By: jimbunt
It is a simple matter to swallow an antacid tablet or liquid if you suffer the pain of indigestion or heartburn. But, doing it too often or suffering increasingly painful episodes could make the antacid useless. Even the powerful acid lowering drugs have unexpected side effects and can cause damage if you take them for too long.

One answer is to investigate your circumstances to find the root cause of your heartburn. But, while you are doing that, there are other treatments you can try. These treatments are just as effective as the drugs, but without the prospect of major side effects and untoward reactions.

Here is a brief rundown of some of these: -

Probiotics are bacteria such as Acidophilus, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobaterium bifidum that help protect your esophagus from acid attack and restore the normal balance of bacteria in your gut. The pain subsides, flatulence is reduced and inflammation is cut.

Herbs such as Slippery Elm Bark or Marshmallow Root Powder taken after a meal form a protective gel on top of your food and coats the lower part of your esophagus to protect it from the stomach acid.

Meadowsweet soothes the stomach lining and help heal damage there, too, as well as lowering the acid levels.

Garlic kills bacteria involved in stimulating acid production. So long as the garlic is fresh you can eat it whole, juiced or crushed. One clove a day may be all you need.

Antioxidants from fresh fruit and vegetables are useful in preventing inflammation caused by acid leaking up into your esophagus.

Water, strangely enough, helps your stomach work normally. Avoid simply drinking it with a meal because that dilutes the acid and hinders digestion, but sip as much as 8 pints spread through the day. Combined with some other alternatives such as probiotics and dietary changes may be all you need.

Acupressure has been tested to see if it could help, and preliminary results were encouraging. One particular acupressure point in the wrist seems to be connected to the stomach sphincter. Stimulation of that point tightened up the sphincter and made it more efficient at preventing acid splashing or leaking back up into the esophagus.

Adjust your diet and allow the esophagus to heal naturally is the conclusion of studies showing that your choice of foods makes all the difference. Avoid anything that could irritate or damage the esophagus. Things such as crackers, crisps, hard foods, spicy foods, hot peppers, fizzy drinks and alcohol come into this group.

Change to milder foods that are easy to cook and gentle on your stomach is the answer. Fresh fruits such as bananas, melon and apples help, too. Eat slowly in relaxed surroundings, and chew your food well.

Stress is a common factor in many cases of heartburn, so avoiding or coping with stress is an important way of treating it. Essential oils and aromatherapy techniques are simple to use and very effective in relaxing you and reducing anxiety, worry and stress.

I hope you can understand that you do not necessarily have to take your doctors advice and his prescription for powerful medicines to treat heartburn and indigestion. Take a little time to consider these alternative approaches to the problem.

You could be looking at a cure rather than a sticking-plaster approach to the problem. It is all very well relying on drugs while continuing your stressed lifestyle and poor diet. But, it will come home to roost sooner or later.

A few small changes now can mean a very different outcome to your health and happiness. You owe it to yourself and your loved ones to at least think about the alternatives. Go on, do it now!
Alternative Medicine
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