Heartburn isn’t a malady I’m chronically afflicted with, but I’ve had to deal a lot with heartburn after eating certain foods, especially as of late.
Over the holidays the problem has only been exacerbated due to eating too much and drinking too much alcohol. I’d say the latter is my biggest vice. Since we’re well into January, I’ve since taken a break to allow my poor stomach and liver to recover.
Anyway, since many of us who have grown up with the “standard American diet,” we likely have some degree of gastric distress or damage. “Leaky gut,” ulcers, constipation, diarrhea and so on are among them.
There are many causes for these symptoms of gastric distress, many of which are not agreed upon and may affect people in different ways. I can eat spicy food that makes me sweat and my eyes water but never get heartburn. On the other hand, I can eat plain cooked (unsoaked) beans and have painful heartburn not much later.
While heartburn is just one symptom of gastric problems (usually too little stomach acid in this case, which is why antacids aren’t the best for you) there are a few ways I’ve learned to deal with it so it doesn’t ruin a night out or a good time spent with family.
One thing that you shouldn’t do all the time is eat antacids. While this can really work for cases where you have too much stomach acid, this is seldom the case for most people. Neutralizing stomach acid only creates more work for your stomach.
Eat some yellow mustard
Eating yellow mustard is a home remedy for heartburn I learned about a year ago. Sounds crazy, looks crazy to witnesses, and it tastes funky on its own. But the relief is worth it.
In the event of a nagging heartburn or stomach discomfort, I’ve eaten a heaping tablespoon of French’s yellow mustard. Heinz too. Both of these are American-style mustard, which from my understanding is a little different from mustard elsewhere the world. It has more zest than spice.
I’ve told several friends of this remedy. Some didn’t believe me until they were desperate and suffering from heartburn too, so eventually they’d end up trying it. It seemed to bring moderate to total relief from their heartburn.
Now what’s the mechanism behind the heartburn relief here? It’s not the vinegar.
Take some turmeric
If you look at the ingredients label of your mustard bottle, you’ll see that it has copious amounts of the herb turmeric in it. Any mustard containing turmeric will work. I’ve written about turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties before and in terms of dealing with mild to moderate heartburn, it really takes away the pain.
Note: It’s not a good idea to combine this with a medicine that is hard on the stomach such as aspirin, since your risk of ulcers may increase, according to one source. Turmeric can apparently help increase the levels of stomach acid for digestion.
Never mistake symptom for cause
Western medicine is highly effective at physically putting Humpty-Dumpty back together and putting him thousands of dollars into debt, but not very effective at determining the root cause of a symptom. Instead, it’s only good at relieving symptoms. The Male Health Protocol on the other hand has some suggestions for solving digestive problems from the root cause.
Digestive issues are a serious issue that can cause poor health all across the board. If your body can’t properly digest the foods or even the supplements you take, it won’t reap any of their benefits.
Begin paying attention to what triggers your heartburn. Sometimes it can be badly-prepared grains and legumes. Other times it can be exacerbated by regular alcohol intake as in my case. Other times, it’s caused by low stomach acid.
According to SCDLifestyle, low stomach acid causes the stomach to physically work harder at digesting since the acid isn’t able to break it down quickly enough, causing stomach acid to hit the lower esophagus in the turmoil.