What do you do for heartburn? - Mothering Forums
August 2011 > What do you do for heartburn?
SoonToBe's Avatar SoonToBe 07:29 PM 03-27-2011

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.

 



HawaiianBlesing's Avatar HawaiianBlesing 08:37 PM 03-27-2011

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. 


jennyfah's Avatar jennyfah 08:43 PM 03-27-2011

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.


Beckily's Avatar Beckily 08:46 PM 03-27-2011

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!


copper.kettle's Avatar copper.kettle 05:38 AM 03-28-2011

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


RubyLu's Avatar RubyLu 06:05 AM 03-28-2011

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. 


RubyLu's Avatar RubyLu 06:08 AM 03-28-2011


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.)


Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 06:24 AM 03-28-2011

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.


lisastrickland's Avatar lisastrickland 06:57 AM 03-28-2011

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.


yell's Avatar yell 07:32 AM 03-28-2011

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.


jennyfah's Avatar jennyfah 08:22 AM 03-28-2011

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! 


Baby_Cakes's Avatar Baby_Cakes 08:45 AM 03-28-2011

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


psulalie's Avatar psulalie 08:53 AM 03-28-2011

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?


Jbouck5's Avatar Jbouck5 10:32 AM 03-28-2011

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.


Beckily's Avatar Beckily 10:40 AM 03-28-2011


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.

 


jennyfah's Avatar jennyfah 11:01 AM 03-28-2011

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?

 

 



 


copper.kettle's Avatar copper.kettle 11:18 AM 03-28-2011


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 :)
 

 


jennyfah's Avatar jennyfah 11:42 AM 03-28-2011

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 :)
 

 



 


jennyfah's Avatar jennyfah 12:05 PM 03-28-2011

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! 


Greenlea's Avatar Greenlea 12:16 PM 03-28-2011

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.


sublime*momma 01:07 PM 03-28-2011

Hi, I am due August 1 but never post :) 

 

I just read this book http://www.amazon.com/Natural-Pregnancy-Book-Nutrition-Holistic/dp/1587611783/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1301338968&sr=1-1 and the author writes to suck on Thayer's Slippery Elm lozenges.  I found them at Whole Foods for cheap and I think they work ok, but not as much as Tums for me.  They do help me cut way back on Tums though... hope that helps because I know heartburn sucks.


FischK's Avatar FischK 03:38 PM 03-28-2011

I love to read about all the natural remedies that work for heartburn, and I have tried many of them. Sadly to say, none of them works for me because I have pregnancy-related GERD. I've had this with my last pregnancy where I held out to week 24 without prescription meds (nothing worked and I woke up most nights because of the reflux). This time around, the heartburn started around week 8 and by week 14 my stomach was inflamed, making impossible to eat anything. I really don't like taking drugs to control this problem, but I'm stuck with it for the time being. I primarily wanted to bring this up because there are cases of "heartburn" that are more difficult to control than others.

 

 

 


HawaiianBlesing's Avatar HawaiianBlesing 04:30 PM 03-28-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyfah View Post

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!
 



 


raw is better but if you don't have it the regular kind will work too.  I've used both.  I just drink it straight 1 Tbsp undiluted.  Not many people can handle that though.

 


Greenlea's Avatar Greenlea 07:57 AM 03-29-2011


Quote:
Originally Posted by HawaiianBlesing View Post




raw is better but if you don't have it the regular kind will work too.  I've used both.  I just drink it straight 1 Tbsp undiluted.  Not many people can handle that though.

 



You need to be careful with straight ACV, it is bad for the enamel on your teeth.

 


Maurine's Avatar Maurine 01:01 PM 03-30-2011

Ack!  Had tomato soup for lunch and tried the almond thing (natural, raw).  Yikes!!  It did not work for me and now I am in worse pain...  greensad.gif  Maybe for me Tums is the only thing.


MrsMike's Avatar MrsMike 08:05 PM 03-30-2011

Yes to the Apple Cider Vinegar. I use Bragg's raw ACV. When I remember to use it, I dilute 1 tsp in 8 ounces of water. I add a little raw honey from time to time. I usually do it before bedtime. Papaya enzymes do work well. As does homeopathic acidil. Acidil is made by Boiron and comes in either the little pellets (green tube) or a dissolvable tablet. I've used both the tablets and the pellets and they both work fine.

 

So far, the heartburn hasn't been too evil. It was horrible with Ds. Papaya enzymes and Acidil helped, but I was literally cured by a single chiropractic adjustment. I went from weeks of being woken up every single night with horrible heartburn to absolutely none after that chiro visit. So, if you are interested in chiropractic I would definitely recommend it.

 

The thing with Tums is that it uses a very cheap and rather crappy form of Calcium - calcium carbonate (chalk) - to replace the calcium it normally leaches from your bones. The calcium carbonate is typically bioavailable, unless your stomach acid pH is wonky or neutralized, which is the case if you have heartburn and are taking an antacid. If the Tums neutralize your stomach acid then the calcium carbonate can't work as well. Too much calcium carbonate can lead to kidney stones. The idea that it causes placenta calcification does come up now and then. It's also a pregnancy class C.


Bri'sgirl's Avatar Bri'sgirl 05:49 PM 04-01-2011

I agree with the ACV.  I've been pretty lucky with this pregnancy, as my heartburn has not been as bad as previous pregnancies (knock on wood!).  Only once has the ACV not worked for me, and then I had to resort to Tums, but for the most part, it's been working.  I'm going to look into the papaya enzyme, too.  Thanks for that suggestion!


 


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