Apple Cider Vinegar for Heartburn
Disclaimer: This content has been produced purely for informational and educational purposes only and is never intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical guidelines including diagnosis, advice, and treatment.
There is increasing popularity of the use of apple cider vinegar for heartburn as an effective home remedy nowadays. It is believed that apple cider vinegar has a significant ability to alleviate various symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) including acid reflux and heartburn. But does it really work?
In this article, we’ll look into the effects of using apple cider vinegar for heartburn along with precautions and possible side effects. But before we get into the details of how apple cider vinegar can help with heartburn and its associated symptoms, it’s important to learn the fundamentals of heartburn a little bit more. So, let’s get started.
Table of contents
- What is heartburn?
- Symptoms of heartburn
- Causes of heartburn
- Risk factors of heartburn
- What is apple cider vinegar?
- Benefits of using apple cider vinegar for heartburn
- How to use apple cider vinegar
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is an uncomfortable sensation of burning pain in the upper chest behind the breastbone that involves the throat and neck and may worsen when bending over or lying down. An episode of heartburn may last from a few minutes to a few hours depending on its causative factors.
While occasional heartburn is common and can easily be managed with simple lifestyle changes and home remedies, more frequent heartburn that affects daily routine might be a symptom of medical condition that needs medical attention.
Symptoms of heartburn
As the name suggests, heartburn feels mainly like a burning sensation in the mid-chest and upper chest that is often associated with the throat. Common symptoms may include:
- A burning pain or sensation in the chest and throat that usually occurs after eating
- Pain may worsen when bending over or lying down
- A salty, sour, and acidic taste in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
Causes of heartburn
Heartburn is typically caused by acid reflux, a condition where stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that carries foods and drinks from the mouth to the stomach.
Usually, when foods and drinks are swallowed and are reached the lower part of the esophagus, a band of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes so that the foods and drinks can flow down into the stomach. When the muscle of the lower esophageal sphincter does not work properly for any reason, stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus, which is physiologically known as acid reflux that causes heartburn.
Risk factors of heartburn
Heartburn might be triggered by certain factors that are not always due to any underlying disease, such as:
- Tight clothing
- Spicy foods
- Fatty or fried foods
- Carbonated beverages
- Citrus foods or drinks
- Coffee and other caffeinated beverages
- Late night eating
What is apple cider vinegar?
Apple cider vinegar is a form of fermented vinegar that is made from crushed apples. It is made through two fermentation processes. In the first fermentation, the apples are crushed and mixed with sugar, yeast, or other carbohydrates. Then the mix is left for a required time, allowing natural bacteria to convert carbohydrates into natural alcohol.
In the second fermentation, the natural alcohol is fermented again to transform into organic acetic acid. Apart from organic acetic acid, apple cider vinegar contains probiotics and various nutrients such as B vitamins and minerals, making it a widely used tonic for centuries.
Benefits of using apple cider vinegar for heartburn
Apple cider vinegar has been traditionally used for centuries to help ease symptoms associated with various health conditions such as heartburn, diabetes, obesity, and kidney stones. Though there are not enough scientific studies on the effects of apple cider vinegar on the body, a large number of health benefits have been proved by traditional uses. It can promote gut health and help counteract several gastrointestinal issues including heartburn and acid reflux.
Apple cider vinegar can help ease heartburn in several ways. In people who are suffering from heartburn due to low stomach acid, apple cider vinegar can assist in digestion with its acidic support and may help reduce heartburn. Moreover, apple cider vinegar can kill negative pathogens including bacteria that can cause heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues.
How to use apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can be used in several ways. It can be added to diets such as salads, pickles, and soups. For medicinal use, supplementary capsules are more efficient. Though doses are individual and may vary from person to person depending on the specific conditions and aim of use, 500 mg to 1000 mg apple cider vinegar capsules once or twice a day is a good option to start.
Precautions and side effects
Although apple cider vinegar can help ease heartburn in some people, it can make certain cases worse such as when, for example, acid reflux is caused by too much stomach acid.
Besides, overdoses may cause some side effects, including, but not limited to:
- Low potassium levels
- Eroded tooth enamel
- Low blood sugar levels
- Nausea and vomiting
Furthermore, apple cider vinegar may interact with certain medications such as diuretics and diabetes medications. Therefore, it’s strongly recommended to consult with a qualified naturopathic medicine professional before starting apple cider vinegar for heartburn so that he or she can analyze your specific health condition and determine your best dose and method of use.
Apple cider vinegar has been found to have many beneficial effects on gut health. It can help regulate gut microbiomes and acidity and improve the way how foods are absorbed in the gut, making it highly beneficial for gastrointestinal problems including heartburn and acid reflux. But it may also make heartburn worse in some instances.
Therefore, it’s essential to consult with a certified naturopathic medicine practitioner before using apple cider vinegar for heartburn to determine whether it is right for your specific health condition.
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