If you have a burning sensation in your chest keeping you up all night, you might be tempted to reach for chalky antacids and prescription pills—but there are plenty of natural solutions for heartburn to try instead.
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Heartburn, or acid reflux, is a reaction to acid in our stomach ending up in our esophagus. It's caused when a muscle valve called the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) between the stomach and esophagus becomes relaxed. The LES should allow food only to go one way—down. However, when the muscles that make up the LES relax, it can allow partially digested foods and stomach acids to go bi-directionally.
Heartburn can be irritated by high acid foods like tomatoes, citrus, and coffee as well as spicy foods. It can also be heightened by pregnancy, from both hormones relaxing the LES and due to the growing uterus crowding the stomach. Here are 9 ways to reduce acid reflux naturally.