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If baking soda dissolves in water, carbon dioxide is formed, i.e. carbonic acid, which can even intensify the reflux and also lead to unpleasant gas.  

Does milk help against heartburn?

For a long time, milk was considered the number one home remedy for heartburn. It is supposed to dilute and neutralize the gastric juice. However, the effect is controversial. In a study with 400 patients, Korean researchers were able to show that milk is not the best choice for heartburn.

Because milk and dairy products have a slightly acidic pH, they can make heartburn worse in sensitive people. In particular, cow’s milk with a high fat content increases the acid value in the stomach. This is also because the digestion of fats takes longer and therefore leads to the increased production of stomach acid. 

Yogurt, whose effect on the stomach is said to be similar to that of citrus fruits, seems to be particularly bad for heartburn. Low-fat milk and soy milk performed slightly better. A study by the medical faculty of the University of Texas with almost 400 test subjects had already produced results similar to those in Korea in the 1990s.

People who suffer from lactose intolerance should avoid milk as a home remedy for heartburn anyway. Lactose-free milk can also promote heartburn, as the cause of the increased gastric acid production is milk fat and not milk sugar. Conclusion: A glass of water is the better way to dilute gastric juice. 

Foods to avoid

Cheap food

Raw vegetables cooked white flour productsWhole grain productsCoffee and energy drinksOat or almond milkTomatoesOat-fat meat or sausageLean meatBritished beverages WaterPeppermint tea, black and green teaHerbal teas (chamomile, caraway and spicy teas, potatoes, cumin and spicy lemon juice, citrus fruits, and lemon juice, fennel and rice juice, fennel and rice

Medicines: be careful with acid blockers

Heartburn complaints and irritation of the sensitive esophagus can be relieved in the short term with acid-binding drugs. Antacids are made from a combination of aluminum, calcium and magnesium. The drugs, usually administered in tablet form, neutralize stomach acid or inhibit excess acid build-up in the stomach.

Many of the remedies that are prescribed for heartburn are also available over the counter from pharmacies. Therefore, people with complaints often tend to take them for longer periods of time and in uncontrolled amounts. Dr. Martin Adler, specialist in general medicine and herbal medicine from Siegen, advises caution here. Acid blockers should generally not be taken permanently, warns Adler. Often they would even have the opposite effect and lead to increased acid production in the stomach. Long-term use can lead to an increase in bone fractures, especially in older people, and cause severe diarrhea in the gastrointestinal tract.

Heartburn can be treated with acid blockers. Long-term use can also cause severe diarrhea.

Causes: How does reflux occur?

A sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach ensures that the food slips through from top to bottom, but cannot flow back again. If this valve doesn’t close properly, the acidic stomach contents can enter the delicate esophagus and cause the painful symptoms. This sphincter muscle can wear out over the course of life.

But not only age-related wear and tear is a possible cause of heartburn – obesity and pregnancy also promote painful reflux when the tightness in the abdomen pushes the stomach contents back up again. During pregnancy there are also hormonal changes that relax the esophageal sphincter and thus promote the reflux of gastric acid. 

Diet also plays a major role. Urgent meals on the doorstep and too much alcohol and nicotine are typical triggers for heartburn. But also fatty, spicy or fried foods promote the reflux of porridge.how to write a great argumentative essay Both very sweet and sour foods stimulate gastric acid production and are therefore not advisable for sensitive people. The excessive consumption of so-called acid looseners, such as fruit juices, soft drinks, coffee or black tea, can also cause the leak "Valve" be.

Stress can also trigger heartburn, as the stomach becomes cramped and the production of stomach acid increases. In addition, the sphincter slackens in stressful situations, so that the rise of acid into the esophagus is facilitated. 

On the other hand, there are organic causes that range from congenital defects, such as muscle weakness, to diseases such as an irritable stomach or inflammation of the esophagus, to anatomical disorders. The most common organic trigger is the diaphragmatic hernia: the transition from the esophagus to the stomach runs through the diaphragm. If the point of passage is enlarged, it is called a break. A diaphragmatic hernia is caused, for example, by being overweight and can cause the cardia to open and stomach contents to flow upwards.

Reflux Disease: Consequences of Heartburn

Occasional heartburn is usually harmless. Constant heartburn over a long period of time, however, should not be taken lightly. If the symptoms occur several times a week, you should definitely consult a doctor. While the stomach has a protective layer against the aggressive hydrochloric acid, the esophagus is at its mercy. Persistent reflux disease can therefore lead to severe esophageal inflammation and even esophageal cancer. Doctors speak of reflux esophagitis. 

Typical symptoms of reflux disease are pain in the upper abdomen, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. "Understandably, most patients do not think of the esophagus when they experience chest pain. Research then shows that the pain is not coming from the heart or lungs. In reality, they are reflux symptoms", explains Professor Siegbert Rossol, gastrointestinal and liver specialist at the Nordwest-Klinikum in Frankfurt am Main. 

Specialists differentiate between two phases in reflux disease:

NERD ("Non-erosive reflux disease"): The esophagus is inflamed, but not further damaged. GERD ("Gastro-erosive reflux disease"): A pathological change in the esophageal mucous membrane is detectable. A so-called Barrett’s mucous membrane forms. This is an adaptation process with which the mucous membrane tries to protect itself from the corrosive stomach acid. The larger the Barrett’s mucous membrane and the more cell nests that are formed, the greater the risk of developing esophageal cancer. How far the mucous membrane has already been damaged can only be seen through a gastroscopy.

In detail on the topic: Reflux disease

Prevention: Effective Tips For Heartburn

Eat slowly and chew thoroughly: this is how enough saliva gets into the chyme. It contains enzymes that are crucial for breaking down food into its constituent parts. Eating several small meals a day: Large portions put a strain on the stomach. In addition, the pressure on the muscle that seals the esophagus is reduced and the backflow of acidic stomach contents is made more difficult. Don’t eat too late in the evening: the last meal should be eaten three to four hours before bedtime. If there is a celebratory meal, it is best at noon. Exercise is good after eating: Instead of lying down, you should rather take a digestive walk. Reduce acid loosener: These include caffeinated and carbonated drinks. You should also avoid very fatty, sweet, sour, spicy and spicy dishes. Avoid alcohol: Alcohol stimulates the production of acid in the stomach and is therefore an acid loosener. In addition, alcohol also relaxes the muscle between the esophagus and stomach, which acts like a valve to prevent stomach acid from rising. No cigarette after eating: If you are prone to heartburn, you should avoid the cigarette after eating. Nicotine stimulates acid production and weakens the muscles of the esophagus, which are supposed to prevent the gastric acid from flowing back into the esophagus. Elevate the upper body at night: In case of night-time complaints, it helps to elevate the upper body to prevent the backflow from the stomach. Comfortable Clothing: Clothing that is too tight increases the pressure on the abdomen and promotes reflux. Avoid stress: Excitement and hectic pace literally hit the stomach. With meditation and yoga you are not only doing something good for your soul, but also for your body.

Heartburn in children

Obesity and an unhealthy diet can lead to heartburn in children and adolescents as well. About two to ten percent of children in Germany are regularly affected by heartburn. If your child complains of pain behind the sternum, hoarseness and possibly difficulty swallowing, you should definitely consult a pediatrician. "In addition to chest pain, signs of a bitter taste in the mouth, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing or feeling the food stuck in your throat, or a dry cough may be signs", explains Ulrich Fegeler from the professional association of paediatricians in Cologne.  

Dysfunction: This helps with an irritable stomach. Sufferers often clueless: Possible cause of sleep disorders Tips and home remedies: Quick help with heartburn

"A change in diet and lifestyle is usually sufficient", reassures Fegeler. For the time being, fat and fried food should no longer be on the children’s menu, just like citrus fruits and drinks, tomatoes, chilli peppers and black pepper. Because they irritate the sensitive esophagus unnecessarily. It also helps if you make sure that the children eat slowly and chew well. When children chew gum after a meal, it stimulates saliva production, which neutralizes the acid more quickly. A glass of lukewarm water or herbal tea after a meal has a similar effect. If none of these measures help, medication may be necessary. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "Surname": "Symptoms: How do you recognize heartburn?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The typical symptoms of reflux are: acid regurgitation burning pain behind the sternum pain in the middle upper abdomen after eating discomfort after drinking alcohol discomfort worsen when bending over and lying down pain and burning sensation when swallowing feeling of lump in the throat hoarseness and coughing nausea and vomiting feeling of fullness more on heartburn" }}, { "@type": "Question", "Surname": "What to do with heartburn", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Treatment for heartburn depends on the cause, frequency, and extent of the symptoms. For those affected who occasionally have problems, it is often enough to take home remedies or acid-binding medication. People who frequently suffer from reflux should see a doctor after four weeks at the latest. If necessary, the esophagus, stomach and duodenum are mirrored. Once it is clear where the reflux is coming from, appropriate treatment will be given. more about heartburn" }}, { "@type": "Question", "Surname": "What Tips And Home Remedies To Relieve Heartburn?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Whether chewing gum, drinking herbal tea or a glass of lukewarm water or eating a boiled potato: There are some tips and simple home remedies to relieve heartburn. more about heartburn" }}, { "@type": "Question", "Surname": "Does milk help against heartburn?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "For a long time, milk was considered the number one home remedy for heartburn. It is supposed to dilute and neutralize the gastric juice. However, the effect is controversial. In a study with 400 patients, Korean researchers were able to show that milk is not the best choice for heartburn. Because milk and dairy products have a slightly acidic pH, they can make heartburn worse in sensitive people. In particular, cow’s milk with a high fat content increases the acid value in the stomach. This is also because the digestion of fats takes longer and therefore leads to the increased production of stomach acid. more about heartburn" }}, { "@type": "Question", "Surname": "How does reflux occur?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach ensures that the food slips through from top to bottom, but cannot flow back again. If this valve doesn’t close properly, the acidic stomach contents can enter the delicate esophagus and cause the painful symptoms. This sphincter muscle can wear out over the course of life. But not only age-related wear and tear is a possible cause of heartburn – obesity and pregnancy also promote painful reflux. more about heartburn" }}]}

Sources used: Gastro-Liga e. V. The Korean Journal of Gastroenterology Vol. 55.2 (2010) Gastroenterology Vol. 108 (1995) Professional Association of Paediatricians CologneMore sourcesShow less sources

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