Stomach heat is a common digestive problem affecting millions of people worldwide. The symptoms are irritating, discomforting and difficult to deal with.
Sometimes, this burning sensation can radiate from your stomach up to your chest. This burning sensation is simply caused by acid reflux in your stomach.
Stomach heat is also known as indigestion, upset stomach, burning stomach, and dyspepsia. This is also caused by a high digestive process and most people with this condition have smelly breath and swollen gums.
There is no need for alarm if you have this condition and it can easily be treated at home.
Causes of Stomach Heat
Scientists believe this is the main cause of stomach heat. Stomach acids digest all the foods and liquids you consume, and the entry of foods into the stomach is controlled by a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter.
This valve prevents food from going back into the esophagus and it also prevents stomach acids flowing into the esophagus.
Acid reflux that causes stomach heat and heartburn occurs when the sphincter doesn’t close properly, this makes it possible for the stomach acids to enter the esophagus.
This causes a burning sensation in your stomach and heart and it also comes along with other discomforting symptoms.
Acid reflux is also known as GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease). Stomach heat is not only caused by a high amount of stomach acid, it can also be caused by a low amount of stomach acids and other factors.
This condition makes the lining of the stomach inflamed. Gastritis can also lead to stomach ulcers, stomach bleeding, and it increases the risks of stomach cancer.
It causes stomach heat, a feeling of fullness after meals, nausea, and vomiting.
These bacteria can infect your stomach and cause stomach ulcers, in fact, it is the leading cause of stomach ulcer and it also increases the risks of stomach cancer.
pylori infection cause stomach heat, frequent burping, weight loss, nausea, bloating, and loss of appetite.
Peptic ulcers lead to the development of sores inside the lining of your stomach and the upper part of your small intestine. The main telltale sign of peptic ulcer is a burning stomach.
It also comes along with intolerance to some foods, a feeling of fullness, nausea, bloating, heartburn, and burping.
Irritable bowel syndrome
This is an intestinal disorder that causes stomach heat, burping pain, and abdominal discomfort.
Commonly known as dyspepsia or upset stomach, this condition causes discomfort in your upper abdomen and it is followed by stomach heat. Most times, it is a sign of another digestive problem.
Excessive use of some medications, most especially painkillers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can lead to gastrointestinal issues. This leads to stomach heat and burping pain.
Popular NSAIDs that can cause stomach heat and pain while taking them are oxaprozin, aspirin, ketoprofen, celecoxib, indomethacin, ibuprofen, and naproxen.
This is a condition that occurs when an organ pushes through the tissues or organs around it. Hernia is of many times and most cause a burning sensation in the stomach in the region of the bulge.
The symptoms of hernia depend on the type you have it can include a feeling of fullness, discomfort or pain around the affected area, and feeling pain when lifting objects.
Food intolerance or reactions to certain foods can cause stomach heat in some people.
For instance, those who are lactose intolerant don’t produce enough enzymes that digest milk, they can have stomach heat, bloating, cramping, or nausea when they take milk.
Also, people with celiac disease who eat gluten have their small intestine attacked by their own bodies. Gluten is a protein found in wheat and they might experience burning stomach, weight loss, bloating, diarrhea, and other intestinal symptoms.
Stomach cancer causes a burning sensation in the stomach and other symptoms it comes along with are weight loss, fatigue, vomiting, feeling full after eating small amounts of food, nausea, and a severe stomach heat or severe heartburn.
Other common causes of stomach heat are;
- High intake of fatty and fried foods
- Lying down immediately after meals
- High intake of caffeine
- High intake of spicy foods
- Excessive use of painkillers
- Excessive use of antibiotics
- Stomach ulcer
- Food allergies
- Stomach inflammation
Common Signs and Symptoms of Stomach Heat
Most times, stomach heat comes along with other symptoms such as:
- Discomfort in the lower chest or upper abdomen
- Feeling full early while eating
- Acid reflux or heartburn
- Thirst for cold drinks
- Frontal headaches
- Swollen and painful gums, the gums might even bleed sometimes
- Constant hunger
- Sour regurgitation
- Sour or bad breath
- Stomach ache and discomfort
- Belching and in some cases, a foul-smelling or bitter fluid comes up
- Dry lips or mouth
- A burning sensation in the stomach, throat, or esophagus
- Food stagnation
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Red tongue with thick, dry, and yellow coating
Effective Home Remedies for Stomach Heat
There are lots of effective home remedies for stomach heat and we will be taking a look at some of them. Medications can help relieve the symptoms but their effects are not long-lasting and they also have side effects.
Try any of these natural remedies and stick to the one that works best for you. Most of these remedies are kitchen items and they help to restore the natural function and gastric balance.
This is the first and one of the most effective home remedies for stomach heat. Your body needs sufficient water to digest foods, water is also needed for proper absorption of nutrients in the body.
Dehydration makes digestion difficult and ineffective and this is likely to increase your chances of an upset stomach. If you want to prevent and treat stomach heat, then you have to increase your intake of water.
Men should drink about 3.7 liters of water daily while women should drink about 2.7 liters of water daily according to the Health and Medicine Division (HMD).
You can also get water by taking fresh fruits and vegetables, home-made and unsweetened fruit juices, smoothies, and herbal teas. Note that sodas and all these canned drinks cannot hydrate you, rather they cause dehydration due to their high contents of salt and sugars.
If you want to increase your intake of water, you can start by having 8 cups of water daily and then you slowly build up from there. If you are experiencing stomach heat, you need more water than someone who doesn’t have this problem.
Almond nuts neutralize stomach acids and also stomach juices because they have a high content of calcium. This helps in relieving and preventing problems of acid reflux such as stomach heat and heartburn.
Eat 5 to 6 almonds after every meal.
This herb contains natural substances that help reduce gas, relieve cramping, stomach heat, improves appetite and boost your overall digestion.
It contains eugenol, a powerful antioxidant that helps in reducing the number of stomach acids in the body. Basil also contains high levels of linolenic acids and this has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
Boil basil leaves and drink the decoction or you add 2 tablespoons of basil leaf powder to a cup of boiling water, mix well and drink. These will relieve your symptoms.
Lemon or lime juice, water, and baking soda
Get lemon or lime, juice it and mix it with water and add a pinch of baking soda, drink this solution to relieve stomach heat and other problems of the digestive system.
This solution produces carbonic acid in your body, this help reduces gas and the symptoms of indigestion. It will also improve intestinal mobility and improve the secretion of bile.
The acids and other nutrients in lemon or lime juice boost the digestion of foods and help with the absorption of fats. It also neutralizes acidity in the stomach and bile acids.
You can take this 10 to 15 minutes before meals to stop the stomach heat and heartburn from occurring in the first place, this is a preventive measure.
You can take lime or lemon juice daily but don’t do this if you are adding baking soda. Baking soda is high in salt and this can lead to nausea or swellings.
You can take baking soda three times weekly.
Fennel can effectively reduce gas and bloating due to its powerful antioxidant properties and rich content of phytochemicals. It also boosts the secretion of digestive enzymes and this, in turn, helps in relieving stomach heat, heartburn, and inflammation.
Take a teaspoon of fennel seeds after every meal, chew it or make tea with it. Add these seeds in a cup of boiling water and leave it for 15 minutes before drinking it.
Licorice root has natural substances that can reduce inflammation of the stomach lining or gastritis. It is also used in treating peptic ulcers and other conditions related to the digestive systems.
Drink licorice root tea several times daily if you are suffering from stomach heat, you can make your own licorice root tea at home by adding 2 tablespoons of licorice root powder to a cup of boiling water.
Mix thoroughly before drinking.
These are healthy microorganisms that help the body prevent and treat diseases by killing harmful microbes. These friendly bacteria boost a healthy immune system and also promote a healthy digestive tract.
Don’t lie down
When experiencing stomach heat, especially after meals, don’t lie down. It makes your stomach acid comes up into your esophagus and this can lead to bad breath and heartburn.
Also, wait for a few hours before going to bed and if you must lie down immediately after eating, prop your head, neck, and upper chest using pillows.
This is a rich source of both soluble and insoluble fibers, it absorbs water and becomes a gel-like substance in the digestive tract. This soluble fiber protects your digestive organs like the stomach and esophagus from the effects of acidity.
Spearmint treats a lot of digestive problems like nausea, diarrhea, stomach heat, gastrointestinal infections, and intestinal spasms.
You can get already prepared herbal tea from a reputable health store in which spearmint is the main ingredient. Drink this several times daily until your symptoms improve.
Papaya is one of the most effective home remedies for an upset stomach, diarrhea, and other digestive problems including stomach heat and acid reflux.
It even treats constipation, this is due to its magical substance, papain, a natural digestive enzyme present in papaya. Papain breaks down proteins and breaks up foods that irritate your stomach.
Papaya also promotes a healthy acidic environment in the stomach, this won’t cause stomach heat or heartburn.
Some of the powerful antioxidants present in cinnamon are camphor, linalool, cinnamaldehyde, and eugenol. There are other phytochemicals present in cinnamon that reduce belching, gas, bloating, and cramping.
They also neutralize stomach acidity, indigestion, and heartburn. Add a tablespoon of cinnamon powder to a cup of water, mix thoroughly and drink. Do this as many times as you can daily.
Fruits with high content of water such as cucumbers, watermelon, and peach relieve stomach heat by making foods easy to digest. Avocados and bananas neutralize acidity.
You can eat plain rice when to treat stomach heat and other types of stomach complaints. Rice adds bulk to your stool, it eases pains and cramps, and it absorbs fluids that may contain toxins.
If you are experiencing stomach heat, eat half a cup of plain and well-cooked rice. It is also helpful to those who are vomiting or have diarrhea. Continue eating this until the symptoms stop.
This is a common natural remedy for digestive problems, pains, and indigestions. Ginger is a storehouse of biochemicals like Gingerol and shogaols, these help speed up stomach contractions and aid proper digestion of foods.
Ginger moves foods that are causing problems or that are difficult to digest through the stomach quickly and the biochemicals present in this powerful herb can relieve symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting.
Take ginger tea daily if you have stomach heat and you can also use ginger when preparing your meals, it is a wonderful spice that increases the tastes and aromas of foods.
This superfood has very high amounts of magnesium and potassium, these nutrients reduce cramps, muscle spasms, and pains. It also rehydrates the body and fights off the negative effects dehydration has on the body.
Take 2 glasses of coconut water every 4 hours to relieve you of stomach heat and other symptoms of indigestion.
Cloves are rich in phytonutrients that help relieve gas and reduce high gastric secretions. It normalizes digestion of food and reduces the pressure and cramping that comes along with indigestion.
Add two tablespoons of powdered cloves with one tablespoon of honey and take this once daily. You can also boil a few cloves in water and drink this tea slowly. This is a great remedy for heartburn, stomach heat, and nausea.
Drink this once or twice daily.
Bananas are rich in folate, potassium, and vitamin B6. These nutrients boost healthy digestion and relieve the symptoms of digestive problems like muscle spasms, pains, and cramps.
They relieve diarrhea by adding bulk to your stool and also relieve stomach heat by ensuring the digestion of food goes on smoothly.
Eat bananas daily, as much as you can until you see an improvement in your symptoms.
Mint relieves the symptoms of stomach upset, it prevents diarrhea, vomiting, it relieves pains and reduces muscle spasms in your intestines. It also freshen your breath thereby preventing bad breath.
You can take mint leaves either raw or cooked, but it should be slightly cooked so that all the nutrients won’t be lost. You can also boil the leaves and drink the decoction or you juice the leaves and add it to other drinks and foods.
Mint leave powder is also available and can be added to drinks and foods.
Apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Ingesting more acids when you are having acid reflux can help calm the situation down. ACV regulates the production of acids in the stomach and this helps in bringing balance to the situation.
Add three teaspoons of ACV to a glass of water, add a tablespoon of honey, mix thoroughly and drink. Drink this solution whenever you have stomach heat, heartburn, or acid reflux.
You can repeat after a few hours if it doesn’t subside.
The active ingredients in cumin help reduce excess stomach acids and relieve indigestion. They also relieve gas and act as an antimicrobial agent and they relieve inflammation as well.
Add 2 tablespoons of cumin powder to a glass of water, mix well and drink or you boil few tablespoons of cumin seeds in a cup of water and drink this tea.
In some traditional healing systems, raw cumin seeds are chewed to relieve heartburn.
A glass of cold milk after your meals can help in stabilizing the acids in your stomach thereby bringing instant relief from acidity. Its rich content of nutrients will prevent the build-up of stomach acids.
Drink this after every meal until you recover. If you have lactose intolerance, avoid this remedy. You can use alternatives like plant-based milk, they will help also.
These include coconut milk, almond milk, tiger nut milk, and even rice milk.
This helps treats diarrhea. BRAT means Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. All these foods mentioned contain starch and these bind to stools and make your stool firmer.
They will decrease the frequency of your bowel movement and ease other symptoms of diarrhea. These foods do not contain substances that irritate your stomach, throat or intestines because they are bland.
This diet can even soothe inflammation of the tissues caused by acids in the vomitus. Also, the BRAT diet is rich in important nutrients magnesium and potassium, this helps to replace these nutrients lost via vomiting and diarrhea.
Milk of magnesia
This remedy is rich in magnesium, an important nutrient with powerful antacid effects. This remedy is effective for mild to acute cases of acid reflux.
Read the instructions on the bottle and follow it strictly, pregnant and breastfeeding women should check with their doctors first before using this remedy.
Figs are natural laxatives due to the nature of phytochemicals they have and this helps in easing constipation and encourages a regular bowel movement.
Figs also have compounds that fight indigestion. Eat whole fig fruits few times daily until your symptoms improve. You can also boil some fresh fig leaves and drink the tea instead.
Avoid figs if you are having diarrhea.
This remedy has bactericidal properties, it can kill H. Pylori, a bacteria that causes stomach ulcer and a burning sensation in the stomach.
Pop one of these gums into your mouth and chew whenever your stomach is burning or you are experiencing heartburn.
Quit drinking and smoking
Smoking increases your risk of stomach irritation and it also irritates your throat. If you vomit often and you smoke, this can further irritate the delicate tissues already sore from the attack of stomach acids.
Alcohol is a toxin and it is difficult for the body to digest it, this causes damages to the liver and the lining of the stomach. If you have stomach heat, indigestion, and other digestive problems, you should quit smoking and drinking.
Green tea can neutralize stomach acids. It calms down the stomach and fights inflammation, this soothes the burning in the stomach and chest.
Take as many cups of green tea as you can in a day. Other herbal teas with powerful acid-neutralizing effects are ginger, licorice, and cinnamon herbal teas.
Aloe vera gel or juice relieves many symptoms of dyspepsia by reducing excess stomach acid, reducing inflammation, promoting the levels of healthy bacteria, improving the digestion of protein, encouraging the removal of toxins from the body, and encouraging the healthy movement of bowels.
Drinking aloe vera juice or gel will give you relief from stomach heat, food and acid regurgitation, heartburn, vomiting and nausea, belching and flatulence.
Take two tablespoons of aloe vera gel or take a cup of aloe vera juice daily.
Plain yogurt soothes the lining of the stomach and the esophagus. It reduces the burning sensation you feel and calms your stomach. This is due to the rich content of probiotics such as the lactobacillus cultures in yogurt.
Drink a cup of plain yogurt, preferably cold yogurt whenever you experience this heat in your stomach and chest.
Avoid foods that are difficult to digest
Some foods are easy to digest while some are harder and such foods should be avoided if you experience stomach heat. Foods that are difficult to digest are heavily processed foods, salty foods, creamy or rich foods, and fatty or fried foods.
This is a powerful remedy for acid reflux, it coats the lining of the stomach, throat, intestines, mouth, and throat. It is rich in antioxidants, this help treats inflammatory bowel symptoms.
Slippery elm treats and protects your stomach against burning by stimulating the nerve ending in your gastrointestinal tracts to produce mucus.
This mucus produced protects your gastrointestinal tracts against excess stomach acids and ulcers.
Put a tablespoon of slippery elm powder in a cup of water and mix well, drink a cup or two of this solution before meals.
The flowers of yarrow are high in flavonoids, resins, tannins, lactones, and polyphenols/ these compounds reduce the amount of stomach acid produced.
These compounds do this by acting on the digestive nerve called the vagus nerve. Boil yarrow leaves and drink the tea or you add yarrow leave powder to a cup of boiling water.
Mix well and drink, do these twice daily.
Mustard is a storehouse of minerals, it is also an alkaline food and it helps the body produce saliva. It can neutralize excess acid in the stomach and also in the throat because of its alkaline nature.
Mix a teaspoon of yellow mustard in a cup of water and mix thoroughly. Drink this solution whenever you are having stomach heat, heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux.
When to See a Doctor?
Stomach heat is not a serious condition and the symptoms should clear within a few hours. If the heat is frequent and persistent, you should see a doctor right away.
If you notice any of the following symptoms below, you should also see a doctor right away:
- Painful urination
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin
- History of iron-deficiency anemia or related conditions
- Difficulty swallowing
- The presence of a lump in your abdomen or stomach
- Unintentional and Unexplainable weight loss
- Pain in the arm
- Lightheadedness and dizziness
- Difficulty passing gas
- Bloody vomit and stool
- Chronic constipation
- Swollen abdomen
- Uncontrollable or continual diarrhea or vomiting
- BRAT diet: Recovering from an upset stomach FD