Thursday, May 17, 2007

3 Home Remedies for Heartburn

Heartburn is no walk in the park. But a walk in the park may be just what the doctor ordered.

A stroll can help soothe reflux, chronic heartburn that is caused by acid backing up into the esophagus. According to one study, walking for an hour after a fatty meal helped minimize the spill and the burn. Another home remedy?

Sometimes nothing says relief like a bottle of antacids. But if you don't have one handy, you have other options. Here are three easy home remedies for soothing heartburn symptoms:

1.Take a walk.
When people with reflux walked for an hour after eating a big breakfast, the amount of time that stomach acid was in contact with the esophagus was cut by 17 percent compared to the people who just sat for several hours after the meal. But the benefit only lasted as long as the walking did, so you may need to walk to the drugstore to get your Tums.

2. Chew gum.
This home remedy has a longer shelf life. People who chewed gum for an hour after a meal had less reflux for the remaining 4 hours of the study. But don't chew peppermint gum. Mint is a common heartburn trigger -- it may relax the esophageal sphincter that's supposed to help keep stomach acid from spilling back up into your esophagus.

3.Drink milk.
Some people find relief by sipping a small amount of milk every 1 to 2 hours to help wash acid back down into the stomach.

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