I count myself very fortunate that so far I have never suffered from heartburn or acid reflux. However I understand that it’s not only a common complaint but also a very uncomfortable one. Many people are forced to consult their doctor and are often prescribed Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s).
However these medications are only meant for short term use which doctors don’t always explain to their patients. Long term use can cause all kinds of problems. Finding the foods that cause the problem is therefore very important as is looking for natural remedies to ease the discomfort.
Thank you to pharmacist Shabir Daya from Victoria Health for explaining the causes and coming up with some solutions in this article of his.
Most people at one time or another will either suffer from heartburn or will have suffered from heartburn. Heartburn is usually caused by some foods and staying away from these foods usually helps prevent heartburn. Heartburn symptoms are frequently described as a burning sensation in the chest. Some people state that they experience a warming sensation whilst for others it is pain in the chest cavity.
Heartburn symptoms are very common but this does not mean that we should treat them lightly. The symptoms of heartburn usually occur behind the sternum, known as the breastbone. This location is near the heart hence the name heartburn. If the heartburn symptoms are associated with food then we should try and reduce or eliminate the specific food types responsible for these symptoms. Otherwise, further investigation may be required in order to eliminate possible concerns such as ulcers and GERD’s.
What causes heartburn?
Unfortunately, there is not a clear list of foods that are responsible for heartburn however we do know that greasy foods, acidic juices and some beverages can contribute to the symptoms of heartburn. Whilst many people resort to over the counter remedies to help alleviate heartburn, these may not always work and in some cases may actually block the production of acid which is required to break down the food we ingest. This incomplete breakdown of food can result in nutrient deficiencies.
What are the best supplements for heartburn?
To help alleviate heartburn, I recommend the use of A Vogel’s Centaurium Tincture; take fifteen drops three times a day. Centaurium is considered a stomach bitter working to help improve digestion by increasing both the secretion of digestive enzymes and helping gut motility. These actions occur via the hormone ‘gastrin’ and enhance the breakdown of food, which often helps to relieve the symptoms of nausea, flatulence and gastric discomfort. It is often the improper breakdown of proteins that results in hyperacidity, which subsequently inflames the upper tract.
Another important function of gastrin is to tighten the oesophageal sphincter. This helps reduce the tendency for reflux of the gastric contents into the oesophagus and used over a period of time (approximately 6-12 months) may actually aid to prevent recurrences of heartburn.
I would also recommend the use of Mega Probiotic ND; a probiotic capsule that contains eight strains of acid resistant bacteria.
Probiotics play a vital role in numerous concerns in the body
These include detoxifying acids once they reach the gut and they also help with the efficient breakdown of food aiding in the prevention of stagnation. Additionally probiotics help in the production of vital immune enhancing compounds.
Both remedies are perfectly safe for long-term use and are not contraindicated with any conventional medicines.
- Centaurium Tincture £10.50 for 50 ml;
- Mega Probiotic ND £19.50 for 60 Capsules.