What is Heartburn ?
Heartburn plain and simple is the burn you feel right behind the lower part of the sternum after or soon after indulging in some types of foods. It is due to spasmodic acid reflux that enters your esophagus from the stomach. Normally a little flap muscle at the end of your esophagus called the lower esophagus sphincter prevents acid from escaping or flowing up. If that flap for some reason relaxes and lets the acid escape, the acid flows upward and causes the burn in heartburn. Symptoms can range from mild to severe . Although sometimes it feels like your heart may want to explode, heartburn contrary to its name has absolutely nothing to do with your heart.
People that tend to eat fast, are overweight, or consume high fat meals suffer more from heartburn than people that eat slower and have lighter meals. Smoking also tends to exacerbate the condition. For healthy individuals an occasional bout of heartburn is nothing serious but if you experience it frequently or more than a few times a week it could be a more complex gastrointestinal disorder like GERD. Either way you benefit from avoiding laying down soon after a meal especially if overly full. It is easier for acid to travel up from a lying position.
Not all trigger foods are the same for everyone but the ones below tend to be the most common culprits. Some of these foods have compounds that relax the lower esophagal sphinter muscle and allow the acid to linger longer than other non producing heartburn foods.
How I cured my Heartburn with Apple Cider Vinegar
I remember not too long ago dreading nighttime for the sheer fear and panic of anticipating what had become the nightly heartburn attack. It started off with an uncomfortable burning sensation a few days here and there, then turned into back to back days, then weeks and finally months. It was like it knew exactly my bedtime, when I would just be lying down for the night the burning in my chest would just be awaking . It would be hours until the pain subsided, usually between 3 or 4 in the morning. I was miserable.
My doctor prescribed prevacid and I did take it everyday for about 3 months. They worked great for me but they were expensive. My doctor would on occasion give me samples but when I stopped taking them , a few days would pass fine and I would again experience the heartburn. I figured I could take them every other day and that worked for awhile. By this time I had started mega online research. I knew the foods that triggered it worst for me. I avoided fried foods, spicy foods, tomato sauce, OJ, red wine, soda for me (was possibly the worst offender) . I avoided eating late at night or just before bedtime. I wouldn’t overeat , to tell you the truth I was afraid to eat. After religiously following all tips I found online and still not getting relief I would sometimes wake up , pace the floor in the middle of the night , read , try multiple antacid tablets and nothing seemed to work
One day I caught an infomercial on TV about natural remedies doctors do not tell us about. Of course they were trying to sell a book. As an example they offered apple cider vinegar as a natural cure for heartburn. That night when my heartburn struck I immediately went to my kitchen cabinet and straight from the bottle took a swig of straight vinegar. I didn’t have the apple cider that evening but it worked. Half an hour later I was sound asleep. The following morning I rushed to the nearest supermarket for the largest apple cider vinegar bottle I could find.
My new remedy seemed to be working fine. Some days worked better than others but at least I was sleeping again 5 or 6 times a week. I decided to look into natural remedies and lo and behold I found testimony from people suffering from chronic heartburn just like me that swore on the apple cider vinegar. Since drinking vinegar is a bit distasteful some suggested purchasing organic Mothers Natural Apple Cider Vinegar in liquid form sold online or in specialty stores like GNC. They suggested diluting it in water and drinking a dose daily. Other suggested the apple cider vinegar tablets. Again, the first chance I had I ran over to GNC for my supply of both. I found I didn’t care for the liquid form vinegar so I stuck with the tablets. They are well worth the cost, I paid about $9.99 for 90 tablets. Make sure you get them without the cayenne. I took them for about 4 months without fail. Just like a vitamin I would pop one in my mouth every single morning. Almost overnight my heartburn was gone. I haven’t taken anything now for over 8 months and have not had one single recurrence of heartburn.
While I am not one to believe or even try what I believe are quack practices, this in one of those finds I did try out of desperation and thought I needed to share. I realize I probably sound like an infomercial but it is the truth. Apple cider vinegar worked for me , I hope it does for you as well.
Why Stomach Acid is Good for You
This groundbreaking book unleashes a brilliant new plan for permanently curing heartburn by relieving the root cause of the problem: low stomach acid.
No More Heartburn: Stop the Pain in 30 Days--Naturally! : The Safe, Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders by Sherry A. Rogers
Truly a blessing! Now I finally understand why I have heartburn - it isn't a deficiency of Prilosec that's for sure. Had I known sooner, I could have solved the real problem and spared myself not only a lot of expense but also have avoided the side effects of the drug. Contains lots of helpful health and nutrition advice too. Easy read. Because it lists so many scientific studies, I'm giving this book to my doctor who was as frustrated as I was.
Foods to Avoid
If you are a common sufferer of heartburn you might want to avoid the following:
tomato based foods (sauce, juice, tomatoes)
high fat foods
citrus and citrus juices