How to get rid of heartburn fast without going to the doctor 

How to get rid of heartburn
Medically reviewed by Dr. Ola Tarabzuni

Overview

Heartburn, caused by stomach acid reflux into the food pipe or esophagus, affects millions globally. While seeking medical advice is crucial for chronic or severe cases, there are strategies to alleviate heartburn at home. Symptoms can be lessened by changing one’s lifestyle to avoid trigger foods, eat smaller meals, and keep a healthy weight.  Over-the-counter antacids or acid reducers provide temporary relief by neutralizing or decreasing stomach acid. Herbal remedies like ginger or chamomile may also offer relief. However, persistent heartburn warrants medical evaluation, as it could indicate underlying conditions like GERD or ulcers. Telemedicine platforms can help you with diagnosis and management at home.  Home remedies can provide quick relief, but ongoing symptoms require professional attention to ensure optimal management. If the symptoms persist, an in-person evaluation may be necessary. 

How can you get rid of heartburn and acidity fast at home?

Heartburn, characterized by a burning feeling in the throat or chest, is caused by stomach acid backing up into the food pipe and is frequently brought on by particular foods, drinks, or lifestyle decisions. While occasional bouts are common and usually benign, persistent or severe heartburn can significantly impact daily life, interfering with eating, sleeping, and overall well-being. Fortunately, various simple and effective remedies exist to provide swift relief from this uncomfortable sensation, ranging from readily available over-the-counter medications to straightforward lifestyle adjustments and online consultations and management.

“ Acid reflux is not a PPI deficiency. Sometimes, the key isn’t taking the drug. It is finding the Cause.”

Dr. Mark Hayman says,

Here are a few ways how to stop heartburn and help you relieve symptoms depending on the cause

Dietary factors:

Consuming acidic or spicy foods, citrus fruits, caffeine, tomatoes, chocolate, and fatty or fried foods can trigger heartburn by enhancing stomach acid production or relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).  Avoid trigger foods and beverages, and opt for a balanced fiber-rich diet. Have smaller, frequent meals to decrease pressure on the stomach.

A healthcare provider can offer dietary recommendations tailored to your specific triggers and lifestyle, helping you create a personalized diet plan to manage heartburn.

Obesity or excess weight:

Excess abdominal fat puts pressure on your stomach, forcing stomach contents upward into the esophagus, leading to acid reflux and heartburn. Adopt a healthy lifestyle, diet, and exercise regularly to lose weight gradually. Focus on abdominal exercises and activities that strengthen the diaphragm.

Telemedicine consultations can provide access to weight management programs and nutritional counseling, facilitating long-term weight loss and heartburn management.

Certain medications:

Some medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, certain antibiotics, and bisphosphonates, can irritate the esophagus or relax the LES, contributing to heartburn. Talk to your healthcare provider about alternative medications or formulations less likely to cause heartburn. Take medicines with plenty of water and avoid lying down immediately after. Online consultations can help you discuss medication alternatives with your healthcare provider and receive guidance on managing medication-related heartburn.

Hiatal Hernia:

A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm into the chest cavity, affecting LES function and increasing the risk of acid reflux and heartburn. Eat smaller meals, avoid lying down after eating, and elevate the head of your bed for indigestion relief. Practice good posture and avoid tight clothing.

Remote consultations can guide lifestyle modifications and recommend treatments to manage hiatal hernia-related heartburn, including medications or surgery if necessary.

Pregnancy:

Hormonal changes and additive pressure on the stomach in pregnancy can weaken the LES and promote acid reflux, leading to heartburn, especially during the later stages of pregnancy. Eat smaller meals, avoid trigger foods, and sleep with your head elevated to reduce nighttime heartburn. Practice stress-reducing techniques like yoga or meditation.

Stress and anxiety:

Emotional stress and anxiety can trigger physiological responses in the body, such as increased stomach acid production and altered gastrointestinal motility, which may exacerbate heartburn symptoms. Practice relaxation techniques. Engaging in regular physical activity and ensuring an adequate amount of sleep may help cure heartburn.

Your heartburn may be a sign of an underlying medical problem. Consult now

What are the medications for heartburn?

Heartburn can be treated with various over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications. You can locate the ideal one for you online with the assistance of your physician, pharmacist, or doctor.

Prescription medication

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are usually used to stop heartburn that occurs more than twice a week. They function by reducing the production of acid in your stomach. They frequently function better than H2 blockers. Moreover, these medications have a longer half-life than H2 blockers.

PPIs can be obtained with a prescription or over-the-counter. However, you could require prescription-strength medicine if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), characterized by the reflux of stomach acid into the tube that connects your mouth and stomach.

PPIs function best when taken once daily on an empty stomach. To regulate stomach acid, you typically take the medication every morning, 30 to 60 minutes before breakfast. PPIs can take longer to work compared to antacids and H2 blockers. They are usually taken once a day, and it may take several days of consistent use to experience complete relief of symptoms.

If you take the prescription medication clopidogrel, which is used to prevent strokes and heart attacks, see your doctor before taking the PPI omeprazole. Clopidogrel’s efficacy will decrease if both medications are used.

The mildest PPI side effects that occur most frequently are as follows:

PPIs may also increase your risk of lung or intestinal infection; however, this is not common. Moreover, hip, wrist, and vertebral fractures have been connected to these medications. Those who use PPIs for a year or longer are most in danger.

H2 receptor antagonists

Some examples include Cimetidine, famotidine, and ranitidine. These drugs lessen the production of gastric acid, which helps ease the symptoms of GERD and heartburn. H2 blockers start working within an hour after taking them but may not provide immediate relief.

Prokinetics

These medications strengthen the (LES) lower esophageal sphincter and help move food through the digestive system. They are sometimes used to treat GERD.

Antacids

Use a magnesium or calcium carbonate antacid to relieve occasional, moderate heartburn. They aid in zapping acid reflux. Some stop acid reflux. Magnesium-containing ones also help heal stomach ulcers. They are fast-acting and available in liquid and pill form. Antacids can provide quick relief, usually within a few minutes after taking them.

Antacids can cause constipation and diarrhea. To lessen these adverse effects, look for brands that have aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, and calcium carbonate. If you suffer from chronic renal disease, avoid taking antacids that include magnesium. Because some antacids include a lot of salt, you should only use them to treat sporadic heartburn.

Antibiotics

Antibiotics are not typically used to treat heartburn unless there is an underlying infection that is causing the symptoms, such as H. pylori infection, which can be treated with a combination of antibiotics and acid-reducing medications.

Are you suffering from untreatable acidity? Consult now for an immediate relief plan for heartburn.

What are the home remedies for heartburn?

Check out our list of natural heartburn remedies below for various simple solutions to relieve heartburn when it occurs. These include sleeping on your left side and chewing your meal more completely, among other suggestions.

Chew gum

Chewing on a piece or two of sugar-free gum can help reduce heartburn naturally by encouraging saliva production. Because saliva is naturally alkaline, it neutralizes stomach acid and reduces the burning sensation often associated with heartburn.

Drink ginger tea

Ginger helps lessen the generation of acid and ease nausea. Try it as a tea by steeping sliced fresh ginger root in just-boiled water for about five minutes, or you may use store-bought herbal tea. If it needs sweetening, add a teaspoon of honey and drink gently. It is a natural relief from heartburn symptoms.

Eat heartburn-friendly food

Vegetables, potatoes (but not fries), melon, bananas, oats, shellfish, lean meat, ginger, and egg whites are good for heartburn. By baking or broiling items instead of frying them, you can lower your chance of injury. Changing high-fat products to low-fat ones will also help reduce your chance of developing heartburn. Six. Learn about the various foods that can give you heartburn.

Have dinner early

Have your last meal of the day in the early evening, and before going to bed, give yourself at least two to three hours for the food to digest. While your body is still breaking down food, lying down makes it more accessible for stomach acid to enter your esophagus.

Eat slowly and with time

Heartburn and reflux symptoms often start after meals, and eating too fast or in excess commonly causes heartburn. A few little meals throughout the day are preferable to multiple large ones.8 To prevent heartburn, enjoy your meal, chew it thoroughly, and sit down to eat.

Give your stomach a break

Unnecessary pressure is applied to your abdomen by tight waistbands or belts that dig into your stomach. Immediately after eating, take an antacid and remove the button on your jeans or take a notch off your belt. But sustaining a healthy weight is a superior long-term approach.

Sustain a healthy weight

Losing a few pounds can help relieve heartburn symptoms if you are overweight, partly because dieters are less inclined to consume high-fat foods. David A. Johnson, MD, an Eastern Virginia School of Medicine professor of medicine and chief of gastroenterology, claims that losing as little as 2.5 pounds will help lessen heartburn symptoms.

Give up smoking

Smoking increases the formation of stomach acid and decreases salivation, which is known to help balance stomach acid. Additionally, smoking weakens the lower esophageal sphincter’s (LES) protective function, increasing the likelihood that stomach acid will ascend into your food pipe and burn painfully in your chest and neck.

Eat a licorice snack

According to research, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) may reduce the irritation caused by stomach acid by thickening the mucous lining of the esophageal lining. Pharmacies and health food stores carry it in pill or liquid form.

Be careful what you drink

Heartburn can be caused by whole milk, coffee, alcohol, and peppermint tea. Carbonated drinks and sodas can relax the LES and increase the acidity of your stomach, which increases the risk of heartburn. Citrus juices with high acidities, like orange and grapefruit, can also cause some people to experience heartburn and acid reflux.

Try relaxation exercises

The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recommends relaxation strategies for heartburn relief. Relaxation exercises like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help alleviate heartburn symptoms by reducing stress levels. Stress has been linked to increased stomach acid production and heightened sensitivity to acid reflux, exacerbating heartburn. Incorporating relaxation techniques into daily routines can promote well-being and effectively relieve heartburn discomfort.

Tired of heartburn ruining your meals? Consult now for a treatment plan

When should I see a doctor?

Consult a physician if you experience severe or frequent heartburn. Your continued symptoms may occasionally be the result of GERD and necessitate medical attention.

Sometimes, it’s difficult to pinpoint the source of your chest pain. The symptoms of a heart attack and heartburn can be identical. Visit the closest emergency room or contact your local emergency services if your symptoms worry you.

FAQs about heartburn treatment

How can you get rid of heartburn during pregnancy fast?

Try having smaller, more frequent meals to prevent your stomach from becoming overworked and to help relieve heartburn during pregnancy. To help avoid acid reflux after eating, remain upright for at least one hour. To lessen heartburn at night, consider utilizing pillows to raise your head and upper body as you sleep.

Is it heartburn or a heart attack?

A notable distinction is that, as opposed to pain, a heart attack typically feels like pressure, tightness, or squeezing. The left shoulder, arm, and neck may also feel affected. Heartburn may radiate to the neck and feel more like a burning sensation.

How do you stop acid reflux at night?

Avoid having heavy meals or lying down immediately to prevent acid reflux at night. Using pillows, raise your head and upper body while you sleep to lessen the chance of acid reflux. Additionally, think about skipping trigger foods that aggravate acid reflux and eating dinner earlier in the evening.

How long does heartburn usually last?

The duration of heartburn might range from a few minutes to several hours. When your previous meal leaves your stomach, it should go away. There should be no food remaining for your stomach to reflux or regurgitate.

Your Doctors Online uses high-quality and trustworthy sources to ensure content accuracy and reliability. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and medical associations to provide up-to-date and evidence-based information to the users.

  • Wright, Jonathan V., and Lane Lenard. Why stomach acid is good for you: natural relief from heartburn, indigestion, reflux and GERD. Rowman & Littlefield, 2001.
  • Minocha, Anil, and Christine Adamec. How to Stop Heartburn: Simple Ways to Heal Heartburn and Acid Reflux. Turner Publishing Company, 2008.
  • Rinzler, Carol Ann, and Ken DeVault. Heartburn and Reflux For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, 2011.
  • Wolfe, M. Michael, and Thomas J. Nesi. The Fire Inside: Extinguishing Heartburn and Related Symptoms. WW Norton & Company, 1996.

Get started today

Talk to online doctors now and get medical advice, online prescriptions, and referrals within minutes. On-demand healthcare services at your fingertips.

talk to online doctor 24/7 free

See a doctor now