10 Tips to Calm Stomach Acidity
You may be one of the many people who’ve experienced heartburn or stomach acidity. In general, this is characterized by a slight burning sensation in the chest and throat.
It usually occurs in these areas as stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food from the oral cavity. Some foods could also cause this feeling, such as spicy and fatty foods.
Tips to calm stomach acidity
Although heartburn can be treated at home, you should be aware that if you experience it more than twice a week, it may be a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition in which stomach acid rises the esophagus and irritates its lining. In the following article, we’ll tell you about the natural ways to relieve stomach acidity.
1. Loosen your clothes
It may sound a bit strange, but it’s possible to have heartburn because your clothes are too tight. This is because what you’re wearing can compress the stomach, causing its contents to rise up into the esophagus.
For this reason, the first tip to relieve heartburn is to slightly loosen your belt, pants, dress, or any other garment that puts pressure on this area.
2. Adopt an upright posture
Posture is also linked to stomach acidity. If you’re sitting or lying down and feel this discomfort, you should stand up. Similarly, if you’re standing, opt for a more upright posture.
Being upright puts less pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), known for being the muscular ring at the junction of the esophagus and stomach, capable of preventing acid from flowing back upward.
3. Raise the upper body
As we’ve seen, lying down can exacerbate stomach acidity. Therefore, if you have to lie down with this condition, place yourself in a position in which you raise your upper body.
According to the Mayo Clinic, raising the head with pillows may not be enough to calm heartburn, so more adjustment is needed. If you have a movable bed, placing it at a suitable angle provides relief. If you don’t have such a bed, you can change the angle at which you rest with a wedge pillow.
4. Drink water with baking soda
A study published in the Journal of Medical Toxicology showed that baking soda can relieve heartburn and reflux. This is because it works as an absorbable antacid that neutralizes stomach acid and improves symptoms.
However, it should be noted that suddenly lowering the acidity of the stomach can cause an acid rebound and worsen the sensation, so its effects are temporary.
If you want to prepare it, you just have to dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink slowly. In fact, you should always drink this way when you have heartburn.
5. Add ginger to your diet
In traditional medicine, ginger has been used as a remedy for heartburn. As it has been shown to help control nausea, it’s believed that it could also be effective for heartburn.
To introduce this aromatic plant into your diet, you can add grated or diced ginger root to stir-fry recipes and soups. Similarly, ginger tea can be prepared by steeping the raw root, dried root, or tea bags in boiling water.
On the other hand, it is preferable to avoid ginger ale. Sodas or carbonated drinks are known to cause heartburn. In addition, most of the brands that make them use artificial flavorings that are far removed from the natural properties of ginger.
6. Take licorice root supplements
Licorice root has also been used as a folk remedy for heartburn. This is because it’s linked to an increase in the mucus that makes up the lining of the esophagus, which is why it’s believed to be capable of protecting this tube from damage caused by stomach acid.
However, some of these supplements can have side effects. This is the case of deglycyrrhized licorice (DGL), made with licorice processed to remove part of the glycyrrhin.
Similarly, ingesting large amounts of licorice or DGL has been shown to increase blood pressure, lower potassium levels, and interfere with certain medications. In that regard, a doctor should be consulted before starting to take these supplements.
7. Drink apple cider vinegar
Given the belief that apple cider vinegar can neutralize stomach acidity, it has been used as a home remedy for its treatment.
One study showed that drinking diluted apple cider vinegar after eating can calm heartburn in some people. However, more research is still required. To try this remedy, you should dilute apple cider vinegar with water and drink it after eating.
8. Chewing gum
According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastrointestinal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, chewing gum for half an hour after eating can decrease the feeling caused by heartburn. In general, chewing gum is known to stimulate saliva production and improve swallowing.
9. Avoid cigarette smoke
Among the many harmful effects of smoking are heartburn attacks. Nicotine often relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, causing acid from gastric juices to rise up into the esophagus.
If it’s within your reach, you should avoid smoking or coming into contact with cigarette smoke to reduce how often you feel burning in your chest and throat.
10. Take medication for heartburn
There are over-the-counter drugs that can help soothe heartburn. These are antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. These last two are responsible for reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach, which prevents the symptoms of heartburn.
In any case, despite the fact that these are over-the-counter drugs, it’s always preferable to have a professional evaluate the case. Some adverse effects must be considered, as well as interactions.
How to calm stomach acidity?
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the throat and chest. It’s common to feel this bitter taste after certain foods such as spicy, fatty, and acidic foods.
If you want to calm heartburn, it’s important that you loosen your clothes a bit and adopt an upright posture. You can also drink water with baking soda and apple cider vinegar, take licorice root supplements and over-the-counter heartburn medications, chew gum, avoid smoke (both firsthand and secondhand smoke), and add ginger to your diet.It might interest you...
- Mayo Clinic Health System [Published 2020 Apr 17]. Heartburn – Diagnosis and treatment. Available from: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373229
- Al-Abri, S. A., & Olson, K. R. (2013). Baking soda can settle the stomach but upset the heart: case files of the Medical Toxicology Fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco. Journal of medical toxicology : official journal of the American College of Medical Toxicology, 9(3), 255–258. https://doi.org/10.1007/s13181-013-0300-4
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [Updated September 2016]. Ginger. Available from: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/vulvovaginal-health
- Najafi, S., Koujan, S. E., Manifar, S., Kharazifard, M. J., Kidi, S., & Hajheidary, S. (2017). Preventive Effect of Glycyrrhiza Glabra Extract on Oral Mucositis in Patients Under Head and Neck Radiotherapy: A Randomized Clinical Trial. Journal of dentistry (Tehran, Iran), 14(5), 267–274.
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health [Updated August 2020]. Licorice Root. Available from: https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/licorice-root
- Martinucci, I., de Bortoli, N., Giacchino, M., Bodini, G., Marabotto, E., Marchi, S., Savarino, V., & Savarino, E. (2014). Esophageal motility abnormalities in gastroesophageal reflux disease. World journal of gastrointestinal pharmacology and therapeutics, 5(2), 86–96. https://doi.org/10.4292/wjgpt.v5.i2.86
- University of Michigan Health System (UMHS) [Published 2019 Agu 11]. GERD: Controlling Heartburn by Changing Your Habits. Available from: https://www.uofmhealth.org/health-library/ut1339#:~:text=The%20nicotine%20from%20tobacco%20relaxes,the%20esophagus%2C%20which%20causes%20heartburn.