Heartburn - causes and treatment

Heartburn - causes and treatment

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A change in diet often helps with heartburn
Heartburn often occurs along with other digestive complaints such as acid regurgitation, nausea, and feeling of fullness and can be an indication of various diseases in the area of ​​the stomach and esophagus. Usually there is no malignant disease, so that the complaints can be successfully treated by naturopathy.

Heartburn is caused by gastric acid reflux

“Heartburn” is a burning and possibly itching sensation in the esophagus that is caused by rising stomach acid or chyme from the stomach. Burning often occurs after a sumptuous meal, especially if gastric acid and contents flow back into the esophagus (reflux) and burn it as a result of inadequate occlusion of the gastric entrance (cardiac insufficiency). The symptoms can also occur with overweight or hasty slings and temporarily during pregnancy, because the pressure in the upper abdomen is then greatly increased. One then speaks of heartburn as an uncomplicated reflux symptom.

Chronic heartburn as a symptom of various diseases

If the heartburn is accompanied by gastric pressure, stomach pain and a feeling of fullness and this may be associated with further digestive disorders such as constant belching, nausea and vomiting, it can be an irritable stomach (functional dyspepsia), an inflammation of the stomach (gastritis), a stomach ulcer (ulcer disease) or is a gastric carcinoma.

In addition to swallowing difficulties, a feeling of fullness and pressure in the chest, a diaphragmatic rupture, an inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) and in rare cases also an esophageal carcinoma can be considered. Coronary heart disease should also be excluded.

Heartburn and constant regurgitation in pregnancy

Many women suffer from heartburn during pregnancy. The reason for this is the increased formation of the hormone progesterone, which ensures that the internal sphincter (esophageal sphincter) no longer seals properly. As a result, stomach acid can get back into the esophagus and cause a burning sensation behind the breastbone, neck and stomach as well as acid regurgitation. The symptoms mainly occur when lying down and often become even stronger in the last third of pregnancy, because the stomach is pushed upwards by the constantly growing uterus and the pressure load increases. This often causes other symptoms such as Stomach cramps after eating or pressure in the stomach area, as well as bloating, abdominal distension, bloating and a so-called "lump in the throat" often occurs during pregnancy.

In order to make pregnancy a little “easier”, it often helps to eat several small portions throughout the day instead of less luscious meal times. Oily and spicy dishes should be avoided to protect the stomach. Even with coffee, it is advisable to drink it only in moderation due to its stimulating effect on gastric juice production - however, experts advise pregnant women anyway. Drinks with little or no carbon dioxide are ideal, as have tea blends with peppermint and chamomile. Another helpful home remedy for heartburn during pregnancy is oatmeal. Acid-inhibiting or binding drugs such as However, like all other medicines, pantoprazole should never be taken during pregnancy without consulting the doctor in charge.

Treatment for heartburn

In the case of chronic reflux, a medical or specialist examination should be carried out to rule out a malignant disease. The professional naturopathic (possibly accompanying) treatment depends on the underlying disease. For heartburn caused by uncomplicated reflux, naturopathic “home remedies” and a change in diet can help.

Home remedies and naturopathy for heartburn

If a serious illness can be ruled out, different treatment options and home remedies for acid regurgitation are considered depending on the cause. It often helps to adjust certain lifestyle and eating habits. Above all, this includes giving up smoking as well as the significant reduction in alcohol, carbonated drinks, sweets, fatty, fried and spicy meals. In order to prevent the symptoms in the long term, it is important to avoid being overweight or obese. Eating shortly before bed can also quickly lead to complaints, so dinner should always be taken in time and late snacks avoided.
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Since stress is considered to be a major trigger, relaxation exercises are ideal to ensure a stronger inner balance and to be better able to cope with everyday demands. Proven methods for reducing stress are e.g. Yoga or autogenic training, meditation, breathing exercises, tai chi or progressive muscle relaxation can also lead to more inner peace.

Another popular home remedy for heartburn is chamomile, which thanks to its anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties can relieve the symptoms. In the acute case, just a cup of tea (ten chamomile flowers per liter of boiling water) can have a positive effect, with a prolonged or constantly recurring burning a so-called "roll cure" is particularly suitable. With this, you first drink a large cup of chamomile tea and then lie on your back for about five minutes. Then they "roll" one after the other for about five minutes each on the right side, the stomach, the left side and finally back on the back.

Through the movement, the valuable ingredients reach all areas of the gastric mucosa and can therefore have an even more intensive effect. The cure should, however, be carried out daily for at least a week and ideally in the morning on an empty stomach - for severe complaints up to free times daily. After a round of "rolling" it is advisable to take a break of at least 30 minutes.

Homeopathy offers a variety of remedies that can help against heartburn. If the severe stomach ache, stomach pressure and acid regurgitation occur especially at night, Robinia D6 can be the method of choice, especially if the complaints are accompanied by headaches in the forehead and temples. If there is a burning sensation primarily due to stress and hectic pace and there is an aversion to cold drinks and the smell of coffee, Acidum sulfuricum D6 may be indicated. Iris versicolor D6 can be the right remedy for acid regurgitation, nausea and a lot of tough mucus.

Other proven means of self-treatment for heartburn from reflux are regularly drunk white cabbage juice and healing earth (e.g. Luvos or Bullrich's), which is stirred into water or taken in capsule form. Schüssler salts are often recommended in naturopathic practice. Salt # 9 (sodium phos.) Is particularly suitable for acid regurgitation; a burning pain can already be felt in the esophagus, should this be taken alternately with Calcium phosphoricum (No. 2).

New study: healing with water rich in hydrogen carbonate

Healing water with hydrogen carbonate can help against sore throats. This is shown by a current study by the research institute analyze & realize, which was published in the "World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology". For the study by researchers André-Michael Beer, Ralf Uebelhack and Ute Pohl, a total of 50 subjects (18 to 64 years) with heartburn occurring at least twice a week had drunk 1.5 liters of medicinal water with 1,775 mg of hydrogen carbonate daily for six weeks. The result: In 90 percent of those affected, both the frequency and the duration of the complaints decreased.

To alleviate the burning sensation naturally, medicinal water from around 1,300 mg hydrogen carbonate per liter can help. Ideally, 1.5 to two liters of this should be drunk per day, according to information from the German Healing Well in the Association of German Mineral Fountains. V., who was involved in the study. Accordingly, the medicinal water can replace other drinks and should best be drunk before and with meals or in the event of acute complaints. Consumers could find out about the amount of hydrogen carbonate in a product from the label. (jvs, nr)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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