Heartburn natural treatment with herbal supplements, home remedy
January 21 2017
by Ray Sahelian, M.D.

Heartburn, also known as dyspepsia, is a common condition and many people search the internet to find information regarding this topic.

Natural therapy and remedy for heartburn
Artichoke leaf extract has been tested. There is not a lot of research with this herbal extract, but if you wish to read more, see a website fully devoted to the benefits and side effects of artichoke leaf extract.

Do not eat right before you sleep. Those who go to be bed within three hours after eating are many times more likely to suffer from heartburn as those whose dinner-to-bed time is four hours or longer.

Avoid large amounts of spices that are harsh to the stomach such as garlic, onions, and pepper before bedtime. These spices have many health benefits so small amounts, if they do not bother you, are fine to consume.

See more information at GERD diet for suggestions that can provide heartburn relief.

Heartburn Medication May not be Safe
Popular anti- heartburn medication such as proton-pump inhibitors that block stomach acid production heighten the risk of an increasingly common infectious form of diarrhea. Taking a heartburn medication such as AstraZeneca's Nexium or Losec or their generic versions significantly increases the risk of diarrhea blamed on the Clostridium difficile bacteria. Frequently prescribed anti-heartburn drugs called H2 antagonists that include GlaxoSmithKline's Zantac were found to double the risk of the bacterial diarrhea. The drugs reduce gastric acid, allowing for bacteria to multiply in the digestive system. Clostridium is the third-most common type of infectious diarrhea in patients aged 75 and older. Exposure to Clostridium difficile bacteria, which causes infection and inflammation of the intestine, previously occurred mostly during hospital stays, but cases have increasingly been contracted in community settings. While antibiotics formerly blamed for outbreaks of the illness have declined in use, the acid-blocking drugs have become steadily more popular to treat ulcers and conditions such as gastric reflux disease. SOURCE: Journal of the American Medical Association.
   Taking certain types of medication to deal with heartburn and excess stomach acid may increase the risk of cognitive impairment in the elderly. The drugs in question -- called histamine-2 receptor antagonists or H2As -- include popular medicines such as Zantac and Pepcid.
     If you are on heartburn medication, remind your doctor to review your case periodically to make sure you are not taking a heartburn medication longer than you need to. Sometimes doctors forget the medicines they have prescribed to patients and continue prescribing them even if they are no longer needed. 

Heartburn drugs increase bone fracture
Heartburn drug use increases the risk for hip fracture. Proton pump inhibitors block the absorption of calcium which can decrease bone density and increase the risk for osteoporosis and bone fracture. The risk for bone fracture from the use of heartburn drugs increases with increasing age. One if four elderly who break a hip die within the following year. Those taking heartburn drugs may reconsider whether they really the drugs and if so they should consider adding additional calcium to their diet through calcium supplements.

Heartburn drugs like Nexium and Prilosec may cause bone fractures when used for more than a year. The Food and Drug Administration said in May 2010 several studies showed increased risk of hip, wrist and spine fractures in patients using drugs that block stomach acid.

Dementia, brain function loss, memory loss
Heartburn medications raise a senior's risk of dementia. Called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), this group of drugs includes Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid. They work by lowering the amount of acid produced by the stomach. But German researchers found that people 75 or older who regularly take the medications had an increased risk of dementia, compared with seniors not using the drugs.

Increased risk for kidney disease
People who take popular heartburn pills known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be more likely to develop chronic kidney disease than individuals who donít use these drugs. The association is worrisome because tens of millions of people a year take these pills, sold by prescription and over-the-counter in some countries, with brand names including Prilosec, Prevacid and Zegerid.

Heartburn drugs, medications
Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix.

Heartburn medications raise a senior's risk of dementia. Called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), this group of drugs includes Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid.

Chronic heartburn and esophageal cancer
Chronic heartburn appears to be associated with the nation's fastest-growing cancer, esophageal cancer. Some 3 million Americans are thought to have a type of esophagus damage from severe acid reflux that puts them at increased risk for the deadly cancer. There has been a six-fold increase in the last two decades in the main type of esophageal cancer.

Heart attack risk
People who use certain heartburn drugs for a long period of time may have a heightened risk of suffering a heart attack. Using medical records from nearly 300,000 U.S. adults with acid reflux disease (commonly called heartburn), researchers found that the risk of heart attack was slightly elevated among those using proton pump inhibitors such as Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.

Heartburn is described as a burning pain in the stomach that rises up towards the chest or towards the neck. Heartburn, a burning sensation or discomfort behind the breastbone or sternum, is the most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Heartburn may be accompanied by regurgitation of gastric contents into the mouth or the lungs. Lung manifestations such as asthma, coughing, or intermittent wheezing and vocal cord inflammation with hoarseness occur in some patients.

Gastroenterol Clin North Am. 2014. Pathophysiology of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. GERD is one of the most common digestive diseases in the Western world, with typical symptoms, such as heartburn, regurgitation, or retrosternal pain, reported by 15% to 20% of the general population.

Heartburn without a cause
Functional heartburn is defined as the presence of a burning sensation behind the sternum in the absence of pathologic gastroesophageal reflux. The underlying pathophysiology seems to be heterogeneous. In a subset of patients, esophageal hypersensitivity to physiologic esophageal acid exposure is involved, and this is likely to respond to intensive antireflux treatment. In the remaining patients, non-acid reflux, esophageal sensitivity, and psychological factors may be involved. Treatment options in these patients are limited owing to a lack of studies. Emerging therapies include antidepressants and relaxation therapy.

I read that tomatoes are not good for people suffering from heartburn or acid reflux. My question is whether taking a lycopene supplement made from tomato extract would cause heartburn symptoms to worsen just like tomatoes do?
   I am not convinced that a small amount of tomato consumption is harmful for those with heartburn. I have seen no indication that lycopene has any negative effects in this condition.

I suffer from heartburn every evening. I was scoped several years ago and it showed gastritis but negative for Helliobacter. I take Nexium every evening and it relieves it. I have cut out all strong alcohol, tomatoes, chocs, curries ets but still have my pint of Guinness.

I have severe heartburn problems and sensitive stomach. I use Zantac and Slippery elm to control my acidity. If I am not taking any supplement and just eat on time, my acid problems are very low. As a part of treating acidity I used some herbal combination for one year and after that I started seeing a very low libido. I tried multiple herb extracts and most of them seem to work for ED but give severe heart burn. I am looking for a solution that helps with ED and heartburn. I went through the products on your website and was not sure about which one will help with my condition.
   A. Hardly of the herbs discussed on the aphrodisiac page influence heartburn to any great extent. It would probably take trial and error to find out which helps the most.