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What do you do for heartburn?

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

Any tips for avoiding?  How about easing it once you have it?  I'm trying to avoid over the counter meds.  Any natural rememdies you know that work?  It hurts.

 

post #2 of 27

eat smaller meals if possible.

Apple cider vinegar (if you can stomach it) always works for me --provided I haven't eaten too much.  I know this seems backwards but heartburn is actually cause by too little acid in your stomach--not too much. 

 

I also take a digestive enzyme which seems to help me as well. 

post #3 of 27

I find that eating regularly (small meals) helps----not letting myself get to that 'really hungry' stage is helpful.

 

My midwife suggested eating a few raw almonds (chew them slowly) after every meal to help combat acid.

 

Also, papaya enzyme if you're not allergic to latex.

post #4 of 27

I do massage! Gently press right under your ribs and breathe until any tightness relaxes. Spasmed diaphragms make the sphincter at the top of the stomach less functional, so I try very hard to keep mine happy!

post #5 of 27

I know you said you're trying to avoid OTCs, but I can't live without zantac right now!

post #6 of 27

I have my husband give me a mid-back adjustment (he's a chiropractor). Instant relief. 

 

If he's not available, I try and stretch (arms alternating between up and back, standing straight) and that often helps a bit. 

 

I was able to avoid all OTC meds this way last pregnancy. This time around, though, with DH out of town for the last three months of pregnancy, I'm either going to need to go in and pay for adjustments (which I probably won't do unless it gets really bad. Can't afford it with our insurance) or I'll be doing a lot more stretching and eating smaller meals and just trying to deal. Especially before bedtime; that's when it usually hits me--an hour or two after I've eaten and while I'm "lounging" (i.e., slumping!). 

 

Good luck. I think heartburn is one of the most painful things I know (next to a UTI). If, in the end, you need the meds, you need 'em. 

post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Beckily View Post

I do massage! Gently press right under your ribs and breathe until any tightness relaxes. Spasmed diaphragms make the sphincter at the top of the stomach less functional, so I try very hard to keep mine happy!



I think this is fascinating! Is there a pic anywhere online you can share a link to? Is it just in the middle, that you push? or actually under your ribs? (I have a difficult time visualizing from text. But I want to try this for when my hubby's out of town.)

post #8 of 27

I still take Tums but the next time I'm out and about (as in today) I'm picking up the chewable papaya enzyme.  It's perfectly safe and you can take as many as you need to get rid of the heartburn, instead of just two Tums.

post #9 of 27

I lived on Tums in my first two pregnancies. With this one someone told me to eat pickles. I have been eating pickles any time I feel heartburn coming on or when I want one, and I have had no problems with heartburn.

post #10 of 27

Ohhhhh I feel your pain.  I've never had heartburn so much in my life.  In fact, I never even had Tums in my apartment until my husband moved in with me.  Now I literally have the Tums on my nightstand right now as I type.  It always creeps in in the middle of the night for me.

post #11 of 27

From what I understand about how the stomach works, you don't want to be increasing (alkalizing) the pH of the stomach acid.  You want your stomach to be acidic because it inhibits the growth of bacteria. I believe that if the pH of the stomach gets above 5, bacteria (the kind that can cause peptic ulcers) can start to grow.   [Of course you WANT beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, just not bad bacteria in your stomach.] Tums and other antacids don't 'cure' heartburn, they just mask the symptoms for a while by increasing the pH of the stomach.  I know it sounds crazy, but the reason we get heartburn at all is often because there is too little acid in the stomach, and it's not able to properly digest proteins---which is why sending down some carefully chewed protein can help inhibit the acid that's rising (like the chewed raw almonds) or sipping apple cider vinegar diluted in water.

 

I know, it sounds insane, but it really works.  My midwife explained why she thinks Tums are a bad idea and the almond trick really does help! 


Edited by jennyfah - 3/28/11 at 10:46am
post #12 of 27

Sold.  I'll try almonds or ACV next time.  Thanks Jenny!

post #13 of 27

My mom's homeopath recommends CELERY for heartburn.  I've tried it and it works for me - so much that I keep big containers of small celery stalks in my fridge so I can grab them whenever...

 

Definitely worth a shot, right?

post #14 of 27

My friend who's also preggo swears by the papaya enzymes as well. I tried them and didn't get very much relief, but I'm not sure if it is something you need to be taking every day, or just when you have heartburn. I think they are diefinitely worth a try anyway. That's very interesting to hear about the acid dynamic going on down there. Does the cider vinegar need to be unfiltered and raw? Or can I use my regular stuff I use for cooking?

 

Also, even though we just learned that you might need more acid when you have heartburn, if you are miserable and really just want relief, try taking a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in some water. This always works really well for me, it's pretty much the same idea as tums but without any additives.

post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by RubyLu View Post





I think this is fascinating! Is there a pic anywhere online you can share a link to? Is it just in the middle, that you push? or actually under your ribs? (I have a difficult time visualizing from text. But I want to try this for when my hubby's out of town.)


I googled it! ;) Didn't find anything with good pictures, so I went for straight diaphram release in video so you can see :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWTuDVT-w4w I just found this on a search, so I don't know her, but she does it right! Also, he's cute ;)

 

It's not the mayan massage that I do, but it should be quite effective.

 

post #16 of 27

Hmmm, I don't know if it matters if it's unfiltered/raw----everything I've read just says ACV.  I have only tried the raw because that's what we have (Bragg).  But since I think it's the acid content that helps, I would think that any kind of ACV would work!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbouck5 View Post

  Does the cider vinegar need to be unfiltered and raw? Or can I use my regular stuff I use for cooking?

 

 



 

post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyfah View Post

From what I understand about how the stomach works, you don't want to be decreasing the pH of the stomach acid.  You want your stomach to be acidic because it inhibits the growth of bacteria. I believe that if the pH of the stomach gets above 5, bacteria (the kind that can cause peptic ulcers) can start to grow.   [Of course you WANT beneficial bacteria in your digestive tract, just not bad bacteria in your stomach.] Tums and other antacids don't 'cure' heartburn, they just mask the symptoms for a while by decreasing the pH of the stomach.  I know it sounds crazy, but the reason we get heartburn at all is often because there is too little acid in the stomach, and it's not able to properly digest proteins---which is why sending down some carefully chewed protein can help inhibit the acid that's rising (like the chewed raw almonds) or sipping apple cider vinegar diluted in water.

 

I know, it sounds insane, but it really works.  My midwife explained why she thinks Tums are a bad idea and the almond trick really does help! 


A couple of things about this explaination confuse me.  First, when you say "you don't want to be decreasing the pH of stomach..", you mean increase, right?  A lower pH is more acidic, and I think your point is that you don't want your stomach to become too alkaline?  I agree that an alkaline stomach is promlematic, but a couple of tums wont' get it any more alkaline than it is when it's full of food, and def not long enough for it to colonize harmful bacteria.  (I'm SO not trying to be snarky, I just wanted to defend tums a bit :))  My other confusion is that according to your midwife's explaination, heartburn is a result of not enough acid to digest proteins appropriately, how is adding more protein a solution?  I would think that would be even more difficult for your stomach to handle?  Sipping ACV seems to make more sense than adding more protein, according to that rationale, right?

 

My last point about late(r) pregnancy related heartburn is that I think it's more of an anatomical issue, as opposed to a physiological (acid producing) issue.  I know my belly is pushing up on my stomach, inhibiting emptying, and sending regurg back up my cardiac sphincter, which is what hurts.  The chiro solution makes a lot of sense to me for that reason.

 

Again, I am so not knocking the more natural remedies or trying to be snarky :)
 

 

post #18 of 27

Yes, you are right!  I edited the above post to reflect that----you don't want to alkalize the stomach acid by RAISING the pH.  Sorry, my MA is in philosophy and chemistry was never my strong suit.  lol.gif

 

Maintaining an acidic environment in the stomach seems to be important in preventing heartburn.  (I don't think popping a Tums in times of crisis is going to cause ulcers or a permanent alteration of stomach pH by any stretch of the imagination, but it's probably not a good long-term solution.)  

 

Weirdly, I never have had heartburn before in my entire life until I got pregnant this time.  Something about this baby has altered my stomach's chemistry!

 

Also, I wonder if there are multiple factors in the causation of pregnancy-induced heartburn?  I don't know if this is the case, but in the first trimester I imagined mine to come from hormone fluctuations----could changing hormones affect acid production in the stomach?  And I would think by the third trimester heartburn can be a result of the uterus pushing acid up into the esophagus.  The ACV helps both physiological and anatomical heartburn, I think; and perhaps the slowly chewed raw almond trick is especially effective for the anatomical heartburn of the third trimester, giving the acid in the esophagus something to work on?  Since the key is chewing them slowly, perhaps it's the 'meeting' that calms the acid creeping up the espophagus.  Just a guess---I don't know!  I just know it works.  smile.gif

 

Thank you for catching that! 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by copper.kettle View Post




A couple of things about this explaination confuse me.  First, when you say "you don't want to be decreasing the pH of stomach..", you mean increase, right?  A lower pH is more acidic, and I think your point is that you don't want your stomach to become too alkaline?  I agree that an alkaline stomach is promlematic, but a couple of tums wont' get it any more alkaline than it is when it's full of food, and def not long enough for it to colonize harmful bacteria.  (I'm SO not trying to be snarky, I just wanted to defend tums a bit :))  My other confusion is that according to your midwife's explaination, heartburn is a result of not enough acid to digest proteins appropriately, how is adding more protein a solution?  I would think that would be even more difficult for your stomach to handle?  Sipping ACV seems to make more sense than adding more protein, according to that rationale, right?

 

My last point about late(r) pregnancy related heartburn is that I think it's more of an anatomical issue, as opposed to a physiological (acid producing) issue.  I know my belly is pushing up on my stomach, inhibiting emptying, and sending regurg back up my cardiac sphincter, which is what hurts.  The chiro solution makes a lot of sense to me for that reason.

 

Again, I am so not knocking the more natural remedies or trying to be snarky :)
 

 



 

post #19 of 27

Well, this is interesting.  I just googled "almonds alkaline" and discovered that almonds are the most alkaline nut.  So, perhaps it's not the protein in them that quells heartburn, but rather their alkalinity? 

 

Most of the other info I've seen has pointed to the fact that they contain certain oils that calm heartburn.  I can't find any peer-reviewed lit on almonds and heartburn, or why they would work, but pretty much everyone who tries them says it helps.  Maybe we should do a study and write a paper! 

post #20 of 27

Apple cider vinegar.  I would get heartburn at night with my first DS so I would drink a mix of apple cider vinegar, aloe, and water right before I went to bed and it stopped it from coming on.

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