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How to Get Rid of Heartburn (It’s a Long-Term Project)

1. What to Eat

Eat plenty of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains (except wheat). papayaFavor enzyme rich foods, including papayas, mangoes, sweet potatoes, yams, figs, brown rice, oats, pearl barley, daikon radish, apples, parsley, coriander, mint, dill, rosemary, ginger, bay leaf, fennel, dill, oregano, cilantro, sage, and anise.

2. What Not To Eat

Avoid Wheat, Dairies, and Sugar as much as possible. If you can do this, you can win half a battle. If you get rid of these three items, all there’s left are protein, vegetables, fruits, fat, and non-wheat grains. Avoid acidic foods, such as tomatoes, coffee, tea, wine, citrus fruits, pineapple, rich sauces, cream, greasy and fried foods, processed foods, and alcohol. Vinegar is an interesting subject here as many natural doctors recommend apple cider vinegar to treat heartburn.

3. How to Eat

mindful eatingEat slowly and in small amounts more frequently- you should leave the table only three-quarters full. Chew each bite thoroughly – remember that digestion begins in the mouth and that your stomach doesn’t have teeth. Eat with mindfulness – savor and be grateful with each bite and do not eat while stressed, angry, or preoccupied. Don’t watch television or read the newspaper while you eat, as the distraction takes energy away from the digestive system and makes its job that much harder.

4. What to Avoid

  • Avoid lying down immediately after eating. Lying down enables the acid to reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. During a flare-up, avoid lying flat on your prop-upback when you sleep- instead prop up your head and upper body with pillows at a 45-degree angle.
  • Certain drugs, including antidepressants and sedatives, as they can worsen heartburn. Talk to your doctor about alternatives. Avoid smoking, as nicotine is a muscle relaxant and can relax the esophageal opening in the stomach, making it easier for acid to spill into it.

5.  Home Remedies for Heartburn

  • potato juiceJuice 1 large or 2 small white russet potatoes. Discard the pulp, mix the juice with an equal amount of hot water, and drink on an empty stomach first thing in the morning.

 

  • JDaikonuice 1 medium daikon radish. Discard the pulp, mix the juice with an equal amount of hot water, and drink once a day after eating.
  • For really bad heartburn, dissolve 1 teaspoon baking soda in an 8- ounce cup of warm water for immediate relief.baking soda
  • Make a tea by boiling 1 tablespoon licorice root in 3 1/2 cups of water Make a tea by boiling 1 tablespoon licorice root in 3 1/2 cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain, and drink 1 cup after each meal 3 times a day for 2 weeks. Licorice is neutralizing and helps with digestion. licorice

Lastly, acupuncture can provide quick symptom relief and restore the natural flow of the intestinal tract. You may also need to consider nutritional support to support a healthy esophageal and stomach lining and normal gastric juice production.

 

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Chinese Medicine Says Heartburn is Caused by Three Things

Heartburn happens when the excessive food and liquid in the stomach churns up stomach acid which spills up into the esophagus and irritates the lining of the upper stomach and esophagus, as shown in this picture. acid reflux

Heartburn is often experienced as pain, a burning sensation in the stomach or chest, abdominal bloating, gurgling, distention, or belching.

Let’s jump right into what Chinese medicine says about heartburn, or overall indigestion.Chinese medicine says there are three main causes of indigestion:

  1. Poor diet damages the spleen-pancreas-stomach network.
  2. Emotional turmoil stressed the liver-gallbladder network, slows down the digestive process, and potentially cause hiatal hernia by pulling the stomach upward into the diaphragm.
  3. Pathogens in a post-nasal mucus drip or food-borne microbes can invade the stomach, causing upheaval.

In a nutshell, Chinese medicine views heartburn is not just a digestive malfunction, rather it is a mixed bag of poor diet, emotional/psychological issues, and immune functions relating to sinuses. I can vouch for this theory as almost all of the heartburn patients I have treated demonstrated stress/anxiety syndromes, chronic mucus drips, and relatively poor diet patterns.

 

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Does Your Heartburn Make You Sick?

Many of us suffer from acid reflux or heartburn, especially we eat more than we can chew. Eating too much of fatty, rich, spicy or acidic foods, alcohol, or drinking a lot of coffee make things worse. Eating while stressed, on the run, or late at night are actually silent killers. heartburnChronic heartburn or acid reflux is not a minor issue as it can easily develop into gastritis or esophagitis–the condition that erodes and ulcerates the esophagus, which can ultimately lead to cancer of esophagus. Let’s figure out what we can do to get rid of heartburn.

Strengthen Your Digestive Health with Acupuncture

Our gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) starts from the mouth and ends at the anus. There are a number of diseases associated with our GI tract ranging from excessive gas build-up, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea to more serious conditions such as acid reflux (GERD), ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and Crohn’s disease. Most of these conditions are chronic, although some conditions of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease can be life-threatening.

Early Chinese medical texts state that “The origins of any chronic disease can be traced back to compromised digestive function.” In other words, Chinese medicine views digestive health as the foundation to total health.

digestive health

According to Chinese medical theory, most digestive disorders are due to disharmony in the spleen and stomach. In fact, it’s not so much the stomach that holds the key in maintaining optimal digestive function, it’s the SPLEEN.

Unlike Western medicine that views the spleen as not-so-vital, Chinese medicine considers the spleen an extremely important organ, not only for digestive functions, but for reproductive health, immune functions, and vascular strength.

The spleen (which includes the pancreas in Chinese medical theory) takes a lead role in the assimilation of nutrients and maintenance of physical strength. It turns digested food from the stomach into usable nutrients and Qi (energy).

digestive health 2

The liver also plays a critical role in the digestive process. When the spleen is weak, the liver cannot move smoothly, so that the combined effects of weak spleen and liver often result in serious digestive disorders.

In addition, the large/small intestines, the gallbladder, and the kidneys are intricately involved in our digestive process. Therefore, maintaining optimal digestive heath always requires a holistic approach that takes into a whole body into account, not just the organs associated with the GI tract.

Acid Reflux Anyone?

It is estimated that more than 20 percent of the general population is affected by Acid Reflux (GERD). While other groups are impacted, at least half of all asthmatic children experience symptoms, and pregnant women tend to suffer more than the average population.

For some people, eating a heavy, spicy or fatty meal can produce the unmistakable signs of acid reflux. Symptoms can vary from a burning pain in the chest to a sour taste in the mouth as stomach acid and/or regurgitated food flows upward through the esophagus into the oral cavity. Additionally they may experience difficult or painful swallowing, sore throat, a dry, rough voice, or feeling of a lump in the throat that cannot be cleared away.

acid reflux

In western medicine views too much acidity causes Acid Reflux. Some doctors (including myself) think that Heartburn and GERD are NOT caused by too much stomach acid. They are caused by too little stomach acid and bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines. Therefore successful treatment is based on restoring adequate stomach acid production and eliminating bacterial overgrowth.

acid reflux 2

In Chinese medicine, acid reflux is viewed as rebellious stomach Qi. Typical treatment includes needling on the points to redirect energy downwards, as should naturally happen just after eating or drinking.

Diet is very important in helping to calm symptoms. By all accounts, reduce the intake of “wheat” and sugary foods. Drinking freshly-squeezed lemon in a one cupful of water with a touch of honey and/or eating an apple in an empty stomach, preferably first in the morning, can help tremendously in restoring acidity in the stomach.