Do you get a burning sensation in your stomach before or after eating? Tried everything and still can’t stop the pain of heartburn or “acid stomach”? According to James Balch, M.D. in his book Prescription For Nutritional Healing ,“….heartburn often occurs when hydrochloric acid, which is used by the stomach for digestion, backs up into the esophagus.” It causes a backflow through the sphincter (ring of muscle) separating the stomach from the esophagus. If this muscle isn’t closing after food flows through, gastro esophageal reflux, or heartburn as you and I know it, can occur. Heartburn can also be caused by alcohol or smoking, which also relaxes the sphincter. Gastric spills can also happen from vigorous exercise or bending or lying down after a meal. There are times when heartburn is caused by a hernia. Please consult a doctor if your symptoms are more than occasional or are accompanied by nausea, shortness of breath or sweating. So we know how it can happen, how do we get rid of it or better yet…how can we avoid it?
Avoiding heartburn by eating slow, small meals is always a great start. Consuming your meals without distraction, in a relaxed atmosphere, will help the ingestion of food. Ghandi said, “Chew your drink and drink your food.” Optimally, one should chew food until liquid in the mouth and drink beverages that are room temperature. Do not drink liquids with meals. This will reduce the hydrochloric acid in your stomach which is needed for digestion and assimilation. Eliminating fried foods, carbonated beverages, processed food, spicy foods and those containing sugar and high in fat content can cause heartburn. Try to eat more raw food. Juice a meal! Eating food when it is liquid, predigested, is a great way for the stomach to immediately process your meal, spending less time in the stomach. Low fat and high protein foods like dried beans, fish, skinless chicken or turkey and skim milk can improve the muscle tone of the sphincter. Fatty foods increase acid in the stomach and will delay digestion. That after dinner coffee, drink or mint candy can also cause heartburn.
Now on to some “folk remedies.” I eliminated all my stomach problems with a high raw diet. The only time my stomach acts up now is when I eat sugar or too much cooked foods. Apple cider vinegar! I always have this on hand. Taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar with a splash of water is said to stop heartburn for those who do not produce enough acid in their stomach. How about a serving of cooked buckwheat groats or oatmeal in the morning? Not only will it help prevent heartburn, it’s a healthy alternative for breakfast. Some other options are: Lettuce water (iceberg lettuce with some water), raw potato juice with the skin followed by a water chaser, a stick of raw carrot or celery, or kiwi fruit. You can also try massage. Press or massage a point one inch to the left of the center of the chest for 10 seconds, release for another ten, and repeat three times.
Here’s what author, Louise Hay says about heartburn in her book, Heal Your Body, The Mental Causes for Physical Illness and the Metaphysical Way to Overcome Them. Probable cause: Fear, fear, fear. Clutching fear. New thought pattern: I breathe freely and fully. I am safe. I trust the process of life.
If your symptoms persist, please visit your doctor. The information written here should not take the place of your primary care doctor.