Do You Have Heartburn or Acidity? They’re Not the Same!
Although the symptoms are similar and we often confuse these two problems, heartburn and acidity are actually complete opposites. Heartburn occurs due to a lack of stomach acid, and acidity is caused by an excess of that same substance.
Lots of people suffer from one of these problems at some time or another, usually after eating an unbalanced meal, while others have to deal with them day in and day out, no matter what they eat. In this article, we’ll explain why both heartburn and acidity occur, because getting to know what they’re all about and knowing how to tell them apart will help you determine what sort of imbalance you suffer from, so that you can treat it with the natural remedies suggested below.
Factors that play a role
Some factors are the same for these two conditions, so we’ll first point those out:
- Combining different types of foods in one meal: for example, meat and fish, legumes and meat, dairy and meat, etc. You should try to eat simpler meals.
- Eating too much: if your stomach has a hard time digesting food, the healthiest thing you can do for your body is to eat smaller portions throughout the day so that it can work through that food bit by bit.
- Eating desserts that are rich in fat, dairy or sugar: these are hard to digest and cause you to gain weight, which is why you should only eat them at mid-morning or mid-afternoon.
- Eating citrus fruits for dessert, because it is hard to digest acids after a meal. Try sticking to pears and apples, and eat citrus fruits in the morning.
- Eating too quickly, without properly chewing your food.
- Drinking a lot of water with your meals: it is much healthier to drink water up until half an hour before the meal, or a while after you’ve finished digesting your food.
- Eating while feeling stressed, nervous, anxious or irritable. When you’re eating, you should try to be calm, be in a comfortable place, be focused only on eating, and be with people who do not upset you.
- Having taken anti-acid medication during a long period of time, which could have affected your stomach’s natural acidity.
People who suffer from heartburn differ from the rest because have stomachs that produce a limited amount of stomach acids, which causes their improperly digested food to ferment.
Other common symptoms are:
- Slow, heavy digestion.
- Burning sensation after eating.
- Eating quickly.
- Getting full quickly.
- Also suffering from constipation, gas and swollen gums.
Remedies for heartburn
To combat these symptoms, you should follow these tips:
- Eat small portions throughout the day.
- Don’t eat very hot or very cold foods.
- Even if you feel like eating quickly, try to chew your food well and eat slowly.
- Take a natural supplement with digestive enzymes depending on which type of food is hardest for you to digest (fat, protein, carbohydrates).
Stomach acidity is quite the opposite of heartburn: the stomach secretes too many acids, causing your food to digest very quickly. You can recognize it due to the following symptoms:
- You experience acidity before eating.
- It tends to happen when you are very hungry, and eating makes it better.
- Wanting to drink lots of cold water.
- Also experiencing constipation and swollen gums.
Remedies for acidity
- Although eating seems to make acidity go away, try to do it as slowly as possible by chewing well, and make sure to choose healthy, refreshing foods.
- Avoid acidic or acidifying foods, such as citrus fruits, refined flour, sugar, fried foods, dairy or red meat. You can, however, drink a bit of lemon juice, because this acid is capable of neutralizing the acids in your stomach.
If you need to take an anti-acid, whether it be for heartburn or acidity, you should try out one of these natural remedies to alkalinize those acids without altering your stomach’s natural pH. Similarly, you should avoid medications and even baking soda, which can have negative long-term effects.
- Umeboshi plums: Japonese umeboshi plums have a very strong flavor, which is both salty and acidic at the same time. This comes from the fermentation process they undergo. However, they are very beneficial; just put a bit in the center of your tongue, leave it there for a few seconds, and swallow.
- White clay (for oral use): white clay is an extremely beneficial supplement that can help you eliminate toxins from your body, as well as neutralize your acidity. Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of clay. Stir with a spoon that is neither plastic nor metal. Let it set for ten minutes and drink.
- Raw potato juice: potato juice, despite its strange texture and flavor, is a natural anti-acid that you should always have on hand. You can blend up a well washed potato or buy this juice at a natural food store.