Heartburn, also called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD for short), occurs when the acid in the stomach splashes up into the esophagus. Foods like spicy dishes, coffee, tea, orange juice, milk, alcohol, onions, citrus fruits, peppermint, chocolate and nicotine can cause heartburn. It’s also common in obese people and pregnant women.

Symptoms of heartburn include burning pain radiating into the chest, a bitter taste in the mouth, feeling a lump in your throat, and hoarseness and all symptoms generally worsen at night. Most people find some relief when sitting propped up in bed.

Simple things you can do to lessen incidences of heartburn are to remain sitting up after eating, eat smaller meals, avoid the foods most likely to cause heartburn, chew gum after eating to increase saliva and bicarbonate production. From a naturopathic view food sensitivities are commonly found in people experiencing heartburn. Slippery Elm gruel works great to soothe irritated esophageal tissues, and there are some wonderful herbs and naturopathic treatments that help heal the esophagus. Probiotics have also been found to help reduce incidence and severity of heartburn.