If you deal with heartburn, chances are you’re already familiar with TUMS, America’s number-one antacid brand (thanks to its active ingredient, calcium carbonate). But if you’re looking for a little extra help when it comes to fighting back against acid reflux — perhaps the kind of help that doesn’t cost anything — you may be considering the idea of home remedies.
While it’s important to treat heartburn as soon as you feel it coming on with targeted medicine, these seven doctor-recommended home remedies may help you ease the frequency of your symptoms. And the best part? You don’t have to buy any of them!
Home Remedies to Treat Heartburn
Raise the Head of Your Bed. Research has shown that raising the head of one’s bed is one of the top ways to relieve occasional heartburn, especially at night. Try raising the head of your bed six to eight inches, using something hard and sturdy under the bedposts. It’s important to note that simply sleeping on two pillows may not work in the same way.
Eat Earlier at Night. It can take your stomach anywhere from four to five hours to fully digest a meal. Eating late and then going to bed within a few hours could exacerbate heartburn systems. If your typical bedtime is 10 p.m., make it a point to eat your biggest meal no later than 6 p.m.
Avoid High-Fat Meals. Yes, certain high-fat meals taste great (pizza, anyone?), but because fat takes the longest amount of time to fully digest out of the stomach, avoiding frequent high-fat meals may keep your heartburn symptoms in check.
Consider Frequent, Smaller Meals. Eating a big meal can increase stomach pressure, which can in turn increase heartburn. Try to eat smaller meals throughout the day, or at the very least, eat a large meal slowly to keep that “too full” feeling from happening.
Avoid Tight Clothing. Tight clothing can restrict and put unnecessary pressure on your stomach. If you occasionally deal with heartburn, it may be a good idea to leave those close-fitting leather pants at home!
Ease Off the Cocktails. Alcohol is a common heartburn trigger, especially when combined with carbonated beverages or citrus mixers.
Maintain a Healthy Weight. Both individuals who have a high body mass index (BMI), or who have recently gained weight, are at risk for heartburn. While it’s always easier said than done, maintaining a healthy weight is just one of those life habits that’s beneficial for a whole host of reasons!