If you’re like most Americans, you’re spending tonight gathered around the TV and social media watching the election results come in. This has been one of the most divisive elections in modern history and many people are feeling the stress.
The digestive system is one of the first systems to suffer in stressful situations so with all the drama tonight I’m certain heartburn abounds!
While antacids work quickly to relieve the pain of heartburn, they actual impair digestion. You see, lowering stomach acid relieves symptoms, but with less acid we digest less of our food. Over time this leads to nutrient deficiencies and a host of symptoms.
Most people don’t realize that heartburn is actually the result of too little stomach acid.
That’s right. You see, stomach acid is what closes the valve leading from the esophagus to the stomach (the lower esophageal sphincter or LES). This prevents stomach contents from splashing back up into the esophagus causing heartburn. Without adequate acid the valve doesn’t close completely leading to heartburn.
So how does this relate to stress? Stress shuts down the digestive system and diverts energy to muscles so we can fight or flee. This is why heartburn and indigestion are so common when we’re upset.
So what home remedy might help your election-induced heartburn? Here are 3 things you probably already have in your kitchen:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
Since ACV is an acid it helps increase the acidity of the stomach, relieving heartburn. Raw, unfiltered ACV has the added benefit of probiotics. Simply take 2 tablespoons in about ¼ cup of water. You can repeat this every 5-10 minutes until the heartburn subsides.
2. Lemon Juice
Lemon is a stronger acid than ACV so can be more difficult to drink, but it does contain vitamin C which boosts the immune system (stress lowers immunity by the way!).
Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon (about 2 tablespoons) into a glass and add about ¼ cup of water. As with the ACV remedy, you may need to repeat this 2-3 times for full effect.
3. Your Last Resort – Baking Soda
Baking soda is a base, not an acid, so it actually reduces stomach acid the way antacids do. While this is not an ideal remedy sometimes you just need relief.
Mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda into ¼ cup of water. Wait 5-10 minutes and repeat if needed.
We all experience stressful times in our lives and these home remedies can help get you through them. But if you’re dealing with frequent heartburn it’s important to uncover and eliminate the root cause before your health gets worse.
Remember: Just because heartburn is common doesn’t mean it’s normal. No symptom is normal! They’re all warning signs that something isn’t right and needs your attention.
Nutrition and lifestyle play a key role in digestive health. If you’d like help improving your digestion, click here to schedule your 20-minute complimentary consultation.
To Your Best Health!