Instant Heartburn Relief.
Home Remedy.

I’ve had gut issues for as long as I can remember. I don’t think I stress about stuff or get tense, but my stomach thinks otherwise. My stomach thinks I stress out A LOT and it, being the extremely thoughtful organ that it is, gets angry for me. Angry like a nest of wasps made out of acid. So my stomach takes care of all the stress and anxiety I feel, without having to bother my pretty little head about it.

I’ll believe in my mind that I’m moving along fine in life not being bothered by a thing when my stomach will start to tighten up. Then I’ll feel a bit bloaty maybe. Then I’ll notice my stomach is tightening, hard as a rock and ballooning to approximately the same size as a Water Buffalo. You know how when a country thinks conditions are unsafe and it’s under attack, it’ll go into lockdown? My gut goes into lockdown. Like North Korea.

I used to think I had some type of rare and special disease but as it turns out ………….. I have gas. Gas in itself isn’t all that bad. Especially if you make your living by belching the alphabet (which I do not). It’s when you can’t get the hell rid of the gas. When it just builds up and builds up inside your tiny little locked down stomach. There’s no movement going on in my gut or intestines. You know how your stomach gurgles throughout the day? I have no gurgling. There are no gurgles. I’m gurgleless. I bend, I stretch, I move around. I even hop on the spot in an attempt to burp myself (which actually works). I do Yoga poses entitled “Wind Releaser” and twist back and forth trying to force some kind of movement out of my stomach and convince it that everything’s O.K. No one is attacking it. I have no stress, I’m not bothered. Unless you count how stressed and bothered I am by the excruciating pain in my methane filled gut.

And then I burp and everything is fine with the world.

The other thing I get the odd time, which is equally excruciating, is heartburn. I don’t get it a lot, maybe 2 or 3 times a year but it’s always when I’m sleeping and it always wakes me up wondering what the hell is going on, and did why did I eat fire before bed?

There is one and only one way to get rid of heartburn instantly. I know the Internet will tell you various home remedies work but I can tell you they do not. At least not on my overprotective, angry, North Korean stomach.

Want to know what this miracle cure is?

 

heartburn-cure

 

Yes. A teaspoon of mustard. Regular old, Heinz or French’s mustard. Eat it. If it bothers you imagine there’s an Ikea hotdog underneath it. The first time I did this I remember almost gagging. The hotdog thing helped me out a lot. Now I kindda enjoy my teaspoon of mustard. I’ve heard of and tried all of the other tricks. Salty water, soda water, cider vinegar, Gaviscon, Tums …. all of it. And the only thing that has ever, actually, truly worked … is mustard.

I can’t imagine I’m the only one who knows about this as I’m sure the comment section in this post will soon attest to. I can’t absolutely and completely guarantee that this is going to work for you but I can tell you it’s worked for a lot of other people and definitely works for me when Kim Jong-un rears his ugly head (and weird haircut) in my gut.

A spoon full of sugar may make the medicine go down, but a spoon full of mustard can destroy a dictator.

Have a good weekend!

 

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111 Comments

  1. KiwiKat says:

    I rarely get heartburn, but for the burp thing, I’ve found lying down on my left side seems to get things moving in terms of gas. If I have overindulged and need to burp to relieve the pressure (and can’t), I’ll lie down for a couple of minutes and it’s all good. Not particularly lady-like, but when you’re as full as a tick, you’ll take whatever relief works!

    • Karen says:

      Ha! Amateur! That wouldn’t (and doesn’t) do a thing for me. I’ve tried more poses than a tenured acrobat. On my side, bum in the air, knee to chest, other knee to chest … nothing helps. Although bouncing and walk/bouncing does help a tiny, TINY bit. I need to only eat dry toast I think. For every meal. Always. ~ karen!

  2. IRS says:

    Mustard contains vinegar, which I’m pretty sure is what is doing the trick, and it’s probably easier to get down than straight vinegar. Apparently the way it works is a bit of a paradox: your stomach is producing too much acid, so taking a spoonful of plain white vinegar (which is 5% acetic acid) tells the stomach that it doesn’t need to produce more, and so it stops producing more. Plain old cheapy yellow mustard contains white vinegar, not apple cider vinegar. I have also found that ACV doesn’t work that well for this purpose, but the white stuff does. I take a swig as I’m dumping some in the laundry.

    • Karen says:

      That would make sense, but no that’s it. That’s partly it, but it’s a combination of the mustard and vinegar. Like I said in the post I’ve tried everything. Regular vinegar, malt vinegar, apple cider vinegar … Only mustard works for some reason. ~ karen!

  3. SusanKate says:

    Spoonful of sugar as fast a you can to stop the hiccups. Spoonful of bicarbonate of soda dissolved in small glass of warm water to make you belch (no delicate burping – it’s a full out belch). Try either one, what’s the worst that can happen?

  4. Carole says:

    I too used to get that awful bloating thingy that made me feel like a watermelon seed had actually sprouted in my stomach. OMG it was uncomfortable and I certainly stressed about it.
    ACIDOPHILUS!!! Get thee a HUGE jar in the gazillion strain ! Everyday – 3x and in about 1-2 you will feel normal again. And be able to eat cheese, milk, ice cream, beans – whatever the heck your tiny tummie wants!
    Oh and gurgles ….
    ACIDOPHILUS – lifesaver! You’ll be on it for the rest of your life but you’ll be happy!

  5. Rondina says:

    I’m going to put this to the test. What you describe is what happens when the kids come home. Where in the world did you get this remedy from?

  6. AliceM says:

    Since yellow mustard has turmeric in it (unlike brown mustards which are just made with mustard seeds), do you think that’s what is helping?

  7. LizWills says:

    I get heartburn a lot and the only thing that works for me is Pepcid complete, but it’s kind of expensive and probably not that good for you. Will try the mustard next time & hope it works!

    • Gary G from Holland, Michigan says:

      If you belong to a Sam’s Club (I believe that Walmart and other places sell it as well), buy ‘Ranitidine’. It’s the over-the-counter generic equivalent to Pepcid and other anti-reflux medications. It’s cheap and does the trick. You might have to take 2 pills to equal a prescription strength. My doctor approves of my taking this medication.

      • Susan says:

        Zantac is ranitidine and you don’t have to go to Sam’s Club to get it. It’s in any drug store over the counter. You can get 75mg or 150mg. But mustard does work too. Runners also use mustard during their run to help prevent leg cramps. So maybe the de-cramping effect helps the stomach in some way.

  8. Pam says:

    I am definitely going to try the mustard trick. Thx. 🙂

  9. Yvonne Wolf says:

    I almost spit out my hotdog (yes with mustard) as I was reading your post. No wonder I don’t get heartburn when I eat my late night franks since I cover them with mustard. Your posts are always spot on, and soooo funny…thanks for all of the enjoyment (and info) you give us!

  10. Cynthia Jones says:

    I’ll remember the mustard thing.

    I think this same problem is why I love Diet Coke too. If I am a bit uptight in the gut, nothing fixes it like a Diet Coke burp.

    It must be in a small bottle. The tins of Diet Coke are for the same people who drink wine out of cardboard boxes. No taste at all and I am shocked Karen. Just shocked. Get the bottles girlfriend.

    Just so you know, a tight internal gut can be from a lack of Dopamine. I know this cos I went onto a Dopamine enhancer for depression and all of a sudden I can burp like a wharfie and I poop first thing every single morning now.

    Yay.! Another post where there’s poop talk.

  11. maria-TO says:

    And here I was wondering what to do with my Costco size squeeze of French’s! Seriously, I have to try this next time the ol tummy starts acting up.

  12. Kathleen says:

    “why did I eat fire before bed?” Expelled coffee through my nose! Bwahaha!

    Karen, I feel for you! I only suffered from heartburn when I was pregnant with my son (28 years ago) and I can still remember how awful it was.
    However, I am not sure I would be spooning mustard down my gullet at midnight if I suffered from heartburn! I’ll leave that up to you.

    Have a superb weekend.

    • Auntiepatch says:

      You drink coffee after midnight??? Are you a night owl, too? I would be up all night!

      • Kathleen says:

        I read your Blog when I get to work, normally at approximately 07:00

        I am however a night owl, and yes, I drink coffee after midnight. I find it relaxes me. I am a coffee-holic, so it doesn’t affect me! 🙂

    • Ev Wilcox says:

      I too had heartburn only when pregnant MANY years ago! It was not fun. I don’t have stomach/intestinal issues, but I say-if the mustard works, who cares why it does? Leave it t Karen with all her wiles to find a homey solution!

  13. Sue says:

    The same spoonful of mustard is my cure for leg cramps….works in just a few minutes, but is kind of rough when you wake up at 3 in the morning…cold chills, but the cramp eases up. I always carry a small squeeze bottle when I travel.

    • SueSchneid22 says:

      Wow- hubby and I have lots of leg cramps. He and I love mustard, so I guess I’ll just station a bottle on the nightstand. He also has heartburn. He has eaten half an apple with great success after waking up in the middle of the night in distress. Great tips on here! Thanks all!

    • Pam'a says:

      As someone with occasional foot/leg cramps so bad I can’t stand up to walk them off, I’m willing to try anything. Here’s another one: Put a bar of soap in your bed. (I put it under the bottom sheet so it stays put.) No one knows why it works, but it does seem to help.

      [Sorry to derail. Resume your disgusting gas talk…]

      • Shelly C. says:

        YES!! This works!!
        No more restless legs or cramps in your calves or feet.

        Cheap soap works. I’ve heard don’t use Dove or Dial.
        I use the small bars from my hotel stay.
        Simply unwrap 2 (or 3) of the small bars and place them under the fitted sheet, down at the foot of the bed. Yes, nearby your feet, but it doesn’t need to be touching the feet.
        (I try to change out after several years, but I don’t know if you have to).
        No more Restless legs, or leg/foot cramps.
        Try it, it works!!

    • Cathy says:

      OMG…woke up with foot cramps this morning. Took a spoon full of mustard and the cramps were gone in under a minute.

  14. Auntiepatch says:

    Heartburn & leg cramps! Oh, boy! The terrible Twos! I just happen to have a large bottle of mustard in my pantry. Thanks for the tip. I learn so much just before I head for bed!

  15. shauna says:

    interesting exchange! I often wake up because my feet are trying to fit into imaginary teensy weensy Chinese shoes (they must think they are because they cramp up so I can hardly uncurl them!) But ONE sip of white vinegar (I mix it into a quarter cup of water – tried it straight and burned my throat) and the foot or leg cramps are gone instantly. Which is weird because it happens faster than the blood stream can even get from head to toe! So… white vinegar may be the cheapest, bestest thing for what ails us… and like a good Canadian, I love it on my fries.

  16. Grammy says:

    Never heard of mustard for heartburn or gas, and that’s weird because I’m old AND I’ve read a lot about old herbal (and other) remedies and don’t recall it ever being mentioned. Now I have to try it. It’s not going to be soon because I’ve only had heartburn maybe six times in my life, and only get tummy gas maybe once a year. I’ve always had great success with baking soda in a little water to make me burp, but I’ll try mustard just to see. Then, when the vinegar in the mustard gives me heartburn, I can still use the baking soda to neutralize it.

  17. Chartrice says:

    Shauna you put vinegar on fries?

    • MaggieB says:

      Absolutely Chartrice! My personal favourite is Sarsons Malt Vinegar especially on homemade chunky chips (as in not crisps), liberally sprinkled with salt and above mentioned vinegar. Excellent with battered fish and practically everything else, but especially on buttered farmhouse white bread – the delicious Chip Buttie!

    • Carolyne says:

      I also put vinegar on fries. I was always told it was Canadian to use vinegar. Only people raised in the States used ketchup, but now everyone uses ketchup.

      • Mary says:

        I was raised in the States(NiagaraFalls,NY) and we always used vinegar on our fries. No ketchup. It’s the only way to eat them.

    • Susan says:

      There are people who DON’T put vinegar on fries?

    • Karen says:

      Me too. Salt, vinegar, ketchup. It’s the Canadian way. ~ karen!

      • Pam says:

        I’ve used mustard on my fries and, a few times, malt vinegar (even tho’ I live in the states — can’t stand ketchup all that much unless I’m missing some nutrient or mineral my body knows it will provide) but I’ve never tried mustard for heartburn and I get it quite frequently now that my gallbladder has been removed. I’ll have to try that trick… but I don’t think the imaginary hotdog will work for me… unless we’re talking a Kosher imaginary hotdog?

  18. Kim says:

    Hi Karen, OMG, your posts are always spot on for me and hilariously funny!! I can completely empathize with your tummy troubles. North Korea Lock-down Gut describes it perfectly LOL!!!

    The vinegar in your mustard is what’s doing the trick for you. As Grammy mentioned, Vinegar also helps with leg cramps. Most of the data indicates it’s the minerals like potassium in the vinegar that help with the cramps. I’ve had much success using the Ayurveda remedy of apple cider vinegar in warm water to aid digestion. Also, as Carole suggested, I highly recommend pro-biotics. They aid in digestion and will help you “unlock” your gut.

    The Medical Community refers to the Gastro-Intestinal system as the second brain because it contains the second highest concentration of nerve endings. There is amazing new research coming out on the Gut Microbiome, the billions of bacterial strains that should be in your GI tract to symbiotically aid in digestion. We destroy these with antibiotics and poor food choices. Please don’t hate me for saying this but soda is one of the worst things you can ingest. Though I can completely relate to your Diet Coke addiction. I only finally gave it up a couple of years ago and I still occasionally have a relapse requiring me to re-enter rehab :p.

    • Karen says:

      Yeah I’ll never give up the Diet Coke, lol. I’ll deal with the gut issues. 🙂 Although at least I don’t have it for breakfast anymore, like I did when I was in highschool. 😉 ~ karen!

    • IRS says:

      The second brain, huh? Well that explains it. My “second brain” is just as ornery and perverse as my first one. I eat copious amounts of garlic, spices and hot sauce, to the amazement of everyone around me. If I’m not offending people 2 counties over, it’s not enough garlic, and if it doesn’t burn like the ninth circle of hell (coming and going), it’s not enough hot sauce. Maybe that’s why I have such a sweet disposition. And why I rarely have stomach trouble.

  19. Bwright says:

    The fastest most effective thing I have found is a stick of spearmint gum. Chew the stick for about 10 seconds, drink about 8 oz of water and instantly cool the heartburn. To keep it away, chew the gum for 1 more minute, then swallow with a few more big swigs of water. My husband thinks its gross,but it works like a charm.

  20. Kae says:

    If you suffer from this a lot, it can often be a sign of low stomach acid. Get yourself on the kefir, fermented veggies, probiotics etc. Fix your stomach and the problem will go away. A test of low stomach acid is if you pee purple after eating beets.

    • Karen says:

      Funny! I’ve only ever done that once (the red/purple pee from beets). It was years ago. Freaked me OUT. ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        Or it could mean that you are very regular, with a good amount of fiber in your diet and thus the beets and betanin goes through quickly and doesn’t get metabolized completely.

        Turning my pee bright purple and pink was the delight of my childhood spent on a farm with a nutrition professor-father who would have spoken up if it had been a problem. I think that was about half the reason I loved eating beets so much. The side effects were hilarious. My other favorite food? A tomato and mustard sandwich.

        No guts, no glory! Eat on!

  21. I use Sriracha HOT Chili sauce “Chicken Sauce” by Huy Fong Foods – never have indigestion. Use it on meat lovers pizza and any type of greasy food with no problems – I highly recommend it if you are having a problem. It is mildly hot but has a short time burn and no need for ice cream!

  22. Barb says:

    PHAZYME-WORKS miracles for me.

  23. cary says:

    i second what Kae said above. fermented foods. especially the milk kefir. try and get your hands on some mk grains and make it yourself. it’s really good for your girls too. i have a hen that has trouble laying (soft shelled eggs, rubber eggs) and i am convinced her daily kefir intake keeps her from getting an infection. i think it would be really good for cuddles. also, you can use it in any recipe that calls for buttermilk. and it’s delicious! fermented foods such as mk, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi help build up our microbiome, and you can make them all yourself 🙂

    • Karen says:

      I actually already eat fermented foods most every day. :/ Not at on, but I ferment mouse melons and pickles and such. The chickens get fermented feed every evening before bed. 🙂 ~ karen!

  24. Beckie says:

    I drink a glass of milk to calm heartburn.

    I feel so *plain*. LOL

  25. I too suffer from heartburn, BAD heartburn and acid reflux. The vinegar only makes it worse, in fact, I think it brings it on, even citrus of any kind. Anyway, plain old baking soda dissolved in water does it for me though. Lately I have a glass of water with a small amount (1/2 tsp) of baking soda and something new diatomaceous earth, (a little dirt never hurt anyone) added to it just to kickstart my day. Diatomaceous earth is supposed to be one of those does everything kind of products. Take it internally, use it externally, rid your world of every pest or problem known to mankind., just don’t inhale. Would try the mustard to see but if vinegar is an ingredient I am a bit leery. BS (and DE) work for me!

  26. Rosie says:

    Karen,

    I suffered greatly from the excess gas thing. OMG, nothing gave me relief. When I could finally sleep, would wake up over it. Finally mentioned it to a doctor friend who said I was swallowing air in stressful situations and told me to get simethicone tablets. Walked doubled over into a drugstore, bought Gas-X, chewed a couple tabs. Then here came the gas escaping in huge loud quantities.

    I remember having it at work and using big paper clips to expand waistband 4 – 6 inches. Still not enough. My bra felt like a boa constrictor had hold of me. For years now, I keep a couple of tablets in a pill container in my car, have them available at home. Easy. And I think psychologically having a cure at hand helps.

    I’m running on and on, but this certainly struck a nerve. Gas-X and the like are available OTC. Sorry you’ve had to suffer with this.

    Rosie

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rosie! I actually have a cupboard full of Gas x. 🙂 You’re right, it does help a tiny bit. Just not quite enough. Along with marching and jumping and bobbing, it’s just barely enough to take the pain from excruciating to almost excruciating, lol. ~ karen!

    • ET says:

      Rosie, I remember doing the same thing with my skirt when my stomach ballooned after a (probably huge) lunch! The skirt had a wide closure and I was able to barely hold it together with a gigantic safety pin. I still expand like that on occasion – looks like I’m ten months pregnant. Gas-X has been my go-to for a long time, but I will definitely try the mustard the next time it happens. I take Prilosec daily now – it’s the only thing that keeps me from exploding.

  27. Mary W says:

    Pain in my stomach is hard pain but comes every couple years which results in hospitalization for removal of stomach “thingies”. They grow in everyone and acid helps keep them in check. It is your bodies way of knowing when to produce acid. My stomach doesn’t produce enough acid so my “thingies” grow uncontrollably and HURT once they are too large. My surgeon says it is common to middle-European heritage and I can’t eat enough acid to help. So, surgery. I wish I had acid – the grass is always greener in the other stomach.

    • Paula says:

      Okay, I have to know what these “thingies” in your stomach are and why they have to be remoced surgically. I am seriously curious. And a little freaked out.

      • Mary W says:

        Carcinoids of some kind but NOT cancerous. They grow to tell your stomach to produce acid which it does to reduce the carcinoids, then they come up and you have more acid, then they go down and this repeats in a healthy stomach (probably more acid in some making it very hurtful like Karens). But I have autoimmune disease which means my body is attacking all kinds of normal things inside. My acid producing mechanism is slowing, my thyroid quit, my pancreas produced too much insulin and has now almost quit (going from low sugar most of my life to type 2 diabetes now) and various other ways my body is having a wild manic episode against itself – FUN. But everything required to live is fine, nothing life threatening as long as I have meds. Normally even the carcinoids don’t hurt, but when they get too far out of control, my stomach linking becomes inflamed and thats when it really hurts. So antibiotics help this when it gets painful. Then when totally out of control, surgery – which is simple, and no recuperation needed. Day stay in hospital and $10,000 later, I’m free to eat what I please. Staying away from acidy foods helps me when the inflammation is present but now that I know they aren’t cancer I don’t even worry. So don’t you worry about yourself having them. In fact, I never get heart burn or acid reflux so my life is considerably easier in that department than Karen’s. I feel for her!

  28. Angela says:

    Check out the People’s Pharmacy website. They have all kinds of home remedies for anything that ails you.
    http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/

  29. jainegayer says:

    My son can belch the alphabet and I seriously wondered where I had gone wrong raising him until he learned how to tack on “I love you, mom” at the end of the alphabet.
    Thank you, for the mustard trick, Karen. You have a good, heartburn-free weekend.

  30. Just straight vinegar with ruin your teeth, destroys the enamel. I am really happy to learn this about mustard!

  31. Holibug says:

    I have developed a reaction to certain peppers & some onions that leave me with ‘heartburn from hell’. My go-to reliever has always been belting down a teaspoon of baking soda in 4-6 oz of water. Calms the burn nearly immediately and as a bonus: burpalooza!
    There have been times, however, where this remedy has not come through, so I think I will try your mustard trick next time I encounter a hard to relieve burn.
    😎

  32. Janet says:

    well I like to be safe than sorry. Sometimes people have reflux and don’t even know it. Except when it is really bad sending you to google in the middle of the night for a remedy. Reflux that is occurring without your awares can be causing irritation to your esophagus and lead to ulcers and worse. I might suggest you see your primary care provider and give them the scoop on your tummy story, she might suggest testing to figure it all out and provide a treatment plan to prevent a true North Korean blow out. all in good health.

    • Karen says:

      Oh I’ve seen many doctors for it. Even went to the ER a couple of times. Had many tests. Nothing wrong with me they said. So they were basically useless. It was me that figured out what was causing the pain, lol. ~ karen!

  33. Cathy says:

    I’m a leg/foot cramp person; going to try the mustard idea next time. The pain is off the scale!!!
    Glad you’re better, Karen

  34. Diane Amick says:

    Thank you, thank you, I don’t have the stomach/gas/belch/heartburn situation, BUT, mustard also helps with restless leg which I get many evenings while reading or watching TV. One tablespoon of mustard and it’s over. I now actually enjoy mustard, even when not on my hotdog.

  35. Sarah says:

    Can confirm. Pregnant lady here. I’ve found that mustard is the only thing that will ease my heartburn immediately.

    For hiccups, I cannot stress the power of a spoon full of peanut butter enough.

  36. I understand your pain; heartburn kills! I always keep some Tums/Pepto/Tagamet in the medicine cabinet. I’ve never heard of the mustard solution. Will most definitely try it though. Tagamet is expensive!

  37. leslie says:

    Karen- you will likely hate me for this but I’m going to say it anyway. If you are getting gas, you are eating something that your body doesn’t like. I say this as someone who, after a lifetime of stomach aches that I wasn’t even aware of until they stopped, an appendectomy and gall bladderectomy, finally had to reassess my diet. I was running out of organs to sacrifice and I had to get to the bottom of what was making me sick. I changed my diet radically and for the first time since I can remember, I have no stomach pain or gas AT ALL except when I eat those things that cause upset. I think it’s different for everyone but for me it’s high fructose foods, milk and cheese (I can have butter and some yogurt and a little cream), and mixing starches (beans, grains) with proteins (meat eggs dairy). Starches and proteins take very different enzymes to digest and digest at different rates (proteins take longer and starches start digesting from enzymes in the mouth continuing into the small intestine which releases specific enzymes almost right away and get missed if the starches are slowed down by having to be digested with protein). I also cut waaaaayyy back on bread and have switched to sprouted grain bread (or making stuff with sprouted grain flour) when I do eat it. It may be something different for you. I also take ox bile before every meal (yes, the bile of an ox.. I know, I know…)
    Chris Kresser has some really good information. I like him because he believes one size does NOT fit all and he breaks down the science of food and digestion and metabolism and poop, etc., etc. so, even though this isn’t what anyone wants to hear, it’s good to stop and take a careful look at how our metabolism has changed since we were… um… 25 and what we can do going forward to be as healthy as possible.
    Chris on gas and the gut: http://chriskresser.com/the-hidden-causes-of-heartburn-and-gerd/
    On stress and the gut: http://chriskresser.com/how-stress-wreaks-havoc-on-your-gut/

    • Karen says:

      The exploding stomach thing only happens once a year or so so I don’t need to change my eating habits I don’t think. Well … I guess what I’m saying is I won’t, lol. If it were something that happened all the time and disrupted my life I might but as it stands I’ll continue to eat what I like. 🙂 And what like to cook! Cooking it is half the fun of it for me. As for the ox bile … I’d eat that just for the fun of it. ~ karen!

    • ~JackieVB says:

      So great that you provided this information Leslie! – I am a patient of Chris Kresser so I was going to chime in here until I read your reply.
      I would just add for anyone who suffers to stay away from things like gasX because they only mask the symptoms – they don’t get to the root cause of the problem. When you search for ways to fix this look for the term SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) and if you need additional help then look for someone who practices functional medicine such as a Naturopath. Conventional doctors don’t yet acknowledge the gut-brain axis and therefore their solution is to prescribe medicine that masks the symptoms. Also helpful to remember that ‘stress’ to the gut doesn’t just mean mental stress – it also means exposure to foods that you are sensitive/allergic to. Lots of good info in the comments here. Good luck Karen.

  38. Amanda says:

    I was very excited to read your post today! During my first pregnancy I suffered from heartburn during the third trimester. I tried everything….but mustard… But, for some reason I also had an aversion to mustard the entire pregnancy which has lasted somewhat 2 years later…so, not sure if I would have been able to use it as a remedy. Now, I’m pregnant again and dreading heartburn…I’m going to do my best to get set mustard down my gullet this time around; as the mere thought of Tums again makes me feel sick! thanks for the suggestion! And, since I’m not supposed to have hot dogs I’ll enjoy the fantasy…

  39. Amy in KC says:

    I have been a lurker for a while, but I don’t think I have ever posted until today. Karen, I love your blog!

    I get bouts of heartburn and acid reflux several times a year. Occasionally OTC Pepcid will help, but my favorite remedy is aloe vera juice. I buy big bottles of it at our Asian grocery store but the ALO brand is also good (just more expensive). The drink is sweet and refreshing, almost with a Sprite/7UP flavor, but not carbonated. Oh, and it has chunks of aloe vera floating in it. So that may turn off some…but I find it delicious, and drinking just a few sips of it helps soothe my burning throat when I have a bad GERD attack.

    Warning: This is NOT the same stuff that Trader Joe’s sells in a big jug. I bought that it and it was horrible. It tasted like straight-up vinegar. I tried it for a while (had to shoot it down fast), but it didn’t seem to help as much and it just about made me gag. So if anyone goes looking for the juice, make sure it has the chunks of aloe vera floating in it. The Trader Joe’s stuff didn’t, but the good stuff I’ve had does.

    I will definitely try the mustard trick! Thanks for this tip.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Amy in KC! I don’t think I’ve ever seen Aloe Vera juice for sale. Just the gel. So I’ll have to keep my eyes open for it! ~ karen

  40. Gillian says:

    Check out the Low Histamine Chef. She had a post on a condition that sounds like this. Its something she’s been suffering with since she was quite young (much worse….or at least it happened to her more often) and she talks about how none of the doctors helped her and she started taking quercetin for something else and realized that it may have cured her. (OK, I haven’t finished reading that post, it’s really long and didn’t apply to me but, what I did read was good solid *seeming* info, her other stuff is.) I only read it because I’d started taking quercetin for something else. The post was about a month ago and the title had something to do with Leaky Gut Syndrome (I think, sorry about all the half info…..)

  41. Sheryl Powell says:

    I rarely have heartburn but my home remedy is to take a squeeze plastic lemon and squirt and good squirt way back in my throat so I don’t have to taste it too much. Nearly instant relief. I’m sure it’s the same thing, you are telling your body there is enough acid so stop making it.

  42. LazySusan says:

    To those who fairly regularly get acid reflux, if you haven’t had a test for h.Pylori, get one. You’ll need to go to a doctor. h.Pylori is a bacterial infection that causes high acid production leading to acid reflux, and can lead to ulcers and stomach cancer if not treated.

    I had a stomach like a stainless steel tank all my life, until I suddenly started having acid reflux a few years back. I bought over the counter remedies for quite awhile, which absolutely helped with the symptoms, but when I kept having to take the OTC medication, I knew something more must be going on. I tested positive for h.Pylori. An endoscopy (down your throat and into your stomach) and colonoscopy (up the other end) revealed an esophagus and stomach that were baboon’s ass red. There was a spot on my stomach that was just about ready to blow out into a full-on ulcer.

    Treatment involves very high dose antibiotics for ten days, along with Proton Pump Inhibitor medication. You also have to stop consuming anything containing tomatoes, carbonation, cola, coffee, tea, mint, chocolate until your stomach and esophagus are healed, because they ALL cause increase production of stomach acids.

    I was like you, Karen, with Diet Coke. I didn’t think I’d ever give it up. I own STOCK in Coca Cola, given to me by friends when I was in my 20s because I was NEVER without a can of Coke in my hand. I gave it up cold turkey, because if you think acid reflux is bad, it’s nothing compared to an ulcer or stomach cancer. I now only drink water, something I never thought I’d be able to do, and which I now thoroughly enjoy because of the freshness of it.

    My point is, get tested for the bacteria because NOT getting tested can lead to things far worse than acid reflux. I had a friend in the Netherlands who ended up with stomach cancer. Had. He’s no longer with us.

  43. Lauren says:

    I’ll have to try that, I get heartburn somewhat frequently.

    For gas that needs to come out the other end I swear by chewing dried fennel seeds. It works every time (best used in the privacy of your own home).

  44. Barbie says:

    I HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM KAREN!!!! You must be my long lost twin or something! For as long as I can remember I have had gut problems too. ….Tried SO many things….some have worked occasionally….some more than others. Gallbladder flushes etc. Recently, on one of my “middle of the night” episodes when nothing else was working and I was literally BEGGING for my husband to take me to the emergency room because the pain was just to much and I could not handle it any longer (as it had been hours and hours of pain) from about 1am to 5am ish…..finally I asked him to get online to find a “home remedy” thingy…..he gave me an apple cider vinegar drink thingy…..it made it WORSE for about 10 minutes…10 LONG ASS minutes….then suddenly….it was GONE…whoooosh just like that….gone…..no slow down on the spasms or anything …..just gone. However….I do not know if I want to try it again even if it did work in 10 horrible minutes…..so I will give your mustard a try! Looks like a little less than a teaspoon you’ve got there in your picture, is that correct? I didn’t read all the comments so perhaps someone else already asked that ….. 🙁

    PS: Do I have to take it on a beautiful golden spoon like the one in the picture or will any old ugly teaspoon from my flatware drawer work? Sometimes these things matter ya know…..especially when it comes to a good vs GREAT cuppa coffee….absolutely needs to be in the right cup…NOT an ugly one.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbie! Take around a teaspoon. Sometimes take another teaspoon just to be safe, lol. And yes. Never on a silver spoon. Always golden. 😉 ~ karen!

  45. Lupe says:

    Oh boy don’t I know how it feels to wake up in the middle of the night with that horrid monster (heartburn)!!! Here’s another one to add to the remedies I eat a couple of tablets of Bonine…yes it treats motion sickness but it works for heartburn as well. A long time ago a friend told me that Bonine is good for that little feeling (nausea) you get the day after you’ve have had a little too much to sip…lol. One day I felt nausea coming and instead I got heartburn and I took two of these Bonine and Voila all gone. Works everytime. I get heartburn at least 2 times a month depending on what I eat. (I get carried eating spicey foods late at night)

  46. Traci says:

    Wow! So many people chiming in on this topic! It has been an interesting read. I, too, suffer from the gas pain issue. I’ve never understood how people burp on command, I usually am praying to burp because I’m in such discomfort and pain from the gas build up! It got really bad when I was pregnant-it was keeping me up at night. One desperate late night google search netted me a remedy that actually works for that. Just hot water and lemon juice. Drink it like tea. Usually by the time I’m halfway through a mug of it I finally start to release the gas through burping or other means…if you haven’t tried it, I would give it a whirl next time you really need to burp! I believe that the juice of a fresh lemon is supposed to be best but I’ve used the squeeze bottle kind with success.

    Thanks for the mustard trick! I’ve recently started getting bad heartburn and didn’t know what to do. Picked up some tums but it didn’t do much. I’ll have to grab some more plain mustard at the store though as I only have dijon and spicy deli style right now. Go figure.

  47. Pam...not the same Pam that posted earlier says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever had heartburn (and boy am I glad!), but for occasional tummy bloat pain I take Papaya Enzyme tablets. A few tablets and a minute or two of movement (jogging in place, squats, hopping, etc.) gets the burping started and I’m good to go.

  48. Kelli says:

    Sadly a small part of the reason I am still single is just that: gas. Like, beyond the pale. I bet I could easily win any bout of “sheet fluffing” that any man might dare to test me with. Plus I love veggies, specifically stuff like asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage. Not good. So what do I do? Carry Beano with me everywhere: work, car, purse, home. God bless those who invented it. I really should buy stock. As long as I can remember to take it around the time I eat, I won’t have an issue. But should I forget: Oh, the horror. 🙁

  49. Ritz says:

    Sounds like it’s a good time to start taking a good probiotic!

  50. Gwen H. says:

    Mustard for gas. Interesting. Thanks for the information.

  51. Kasia says:

    I used to get heartburn quite regulary, wake me up in the middle of the night, nothing worked, etc. etc.
    Then, I had a REALLY bad episode, I was crying, moaning, hunched over, and begged my husband to take me to the ER. He did. I had gall stones. They were big enough that they couldnt be passed through the duct and would block it, causing this intense pain. The pain radiates in your chest, feeling like heartburn, but it’s not. I had my gallbladder removed two days later, and I haven’t had heartburn in years.

    So for those of you that mention having really really bad episodes like this, maybe it is actually a gall stone issue, and not heartburn at all. Worth looking into anyway.

  52. Oh if this works for me you are a life saver. This is something that I have never heard of, but will be giving a go for sure. I suffer terrible heartburn and reflux on a regular basis, something that gives me a lot of discomfort and pain. Here is to hoping that mustard works for me.

  53. A gozillion years ago I had heartburn/pain so bad I walked stooped like a 90-yr. old looking for a penny on the sidewalk. All. The. Time.

    It got so bad the only ‘food’ I could eat was a milkshake. Although the milkshake diet sounds awesome, and I did in fact lose weight, turns out you really can’t live on milkshakes. Sigh.

    So, I finally cratered and went to the doctor for the test where you drink this vile, thick, white shit – and you have to drink the WHOLE thing, but I didn’t because halfway through I nearly puked it all up so they figured half was better than none and proceeded – then they strapped me to this table that went up and down and over and around and they watched my stomach on a fluoroscope as I rode the roller coaster.

    Turns out my sphincter (stomach sphincter, that is) doesn’t close all the way. This means that when I eat it’s like dropping a rock into a vat of acid and standing there as it splashes back up into your face – technically, esophagus – eventually eroding holes in the parts of your body that are not supposed to have acid splashing around on them. That, in turn, can lead to cancer. Since that didn’t sound like fun I started taking Prilosec every day. That was almost 20 yrs ago now, and I never have heartburn…unless I overstuff my gut..like on Thanksgiving. I tell myself every time that I won’t do it again, but do I listen to me? Nooooooooooooooooo…..sigh……

  54. Rondee Blessing says:

    A shot of pickle juice will do the trick every time which might be easier to stomach then mustard….just sayin’.

  55. Nancy S in Winnipeg says:

    I’m allergic to mustard – and all the vegetables in that plant family.
    I wish I could eat cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, rutabagas, and mustard again. I used to love it.

  56. Heather (mtl) says:

    How convenient! I sat down to yet another episode of that dreaded ‘I’ll be up all night’ burn, just as I started reading your blog. Well, to the mustard I went. That was nearly 30 mins ago and yes, I do feel better. I’m still sitting as I was (I used to have to sit upright or walk and neither work for my sleep patterns).
    The reflux started late last summer and seemed better with pantoprazole. Until a couple of days before Xmas that is, when it backfired and the symptoms worsened. I stopped everything partly out of desperation, partly because I got a rash daily. Go figure. Then the lungs felt like they were closing, as in not enough oxygen was getting in (was given oxygen during a colonoscopy and not only breathed better, but the tingling in the legs went away-yay!). Was told all this reflux & lung issue had to do with a terribly inflamed sinus. After countless nosebleeds (one was 15 hrs long!) I don’t even want to bend down to pet the cat.
    However, my garden is finally producing tomatoes (I’ll roast them for later) and yummy beets (will do the same). With reflux/gas and GERD, one has no appetite, which I think probably makes the situation worse. Drinking a big glass of water seems to aid some…. if I continue to stay upright.
    Thanks for your helpful posts and thanks, too to your oh so helpful readers!
    PS: I know I can talk up a storm, but I don’t think I’ve ever written ‘The Great Novel’ before!

  57. Kim from Milwaukee says:

    Mustard is high in magnesium which keeps leg cramps away, helps you sleep, and is probably what is calming your heartburn.

    If you make a magnesium ‘oil’ with magnesium flakes and water, spray it on your skin before bed, you should be able to get enough to keep the issues from occurring again.

    By the way, any kind of pop is going to deplete your body of essential minerals, like calcium and magnesium. Just saying. And the aspartame is horrible for you as well….

    • Karen says:

      Funny story for you … I don’t believe aspartame is bad for you. Nutritionists and the Internet seem to think it is but doctors and The American Cancer society do not. Also I don’t mind a spoon full of mustard so I’m gonna stick with that, lol. (Magnesium is the one vitamin in the world that I take … for migraines). ~ karen!

  58. Vanessa says:

    I swear by baking soda in water. It even suggests taking it for heartburn right on the box! It has worked for me every time. I have even taken it when I feel overly full to try to get ahead of heartburn and just release pressure. It always works. But there have been times I’ve been out and couldn’t get my hands on baking soda, mustard is easier to come by. I’ll give it a try.

  59. Pam says:

    Okay…. I tried the mustard trick you Mamasan of the North Korean Gastric Gambit! It’s like someone told my dad about wearing a copper bracelet; I can’t say it works, I can’t say it doesn’t work, but it works for me. So far. Last night I screwed up my nose, ignored the imaginary Kosher hotdog on the counter, and gulped a teaspoon of the stuff. Didn’t think it would work, at first, because I was getting that mustardy burn along with the heartburn but that only lasted a short time. Not being sure it wasn’t a fluke, and having another bout of heartburn mid-morning today, I tried it again. I maaaaaay not have gotten a full dose this time (do those plastic picnic spoons really count as a teaspoon?) because it didn’t comPLETEly go away, but it sure did reduce pretty fast. So, guess this will be my new go-to gastric soother (ignoring that imaginary hotdog, Kosher or not, in the mean time).

  60. Pati Gulat says:

    I have terrible heartburn almost every day and THIS MUSTARD THING WORKS !!!!! I am so happy !! I finally have gotten a full night’s sleep without waking up in the middle of the nite to choke down two Tums and a Ranitidine ! Girlfriend, I could hug you til your ribs bleed ! Only I live in Louisiana and its not real feasible. Thanks again for doing all that 2 am research….

    • Karen says:

      “Girlfriend, I could hug you til your ribs bleed !” Well that doesn’t sound like something a good Christian would do. It sounds like something I would do, lol. I’m glad it worked for you Pati! I’ve had a lot of people say they’ve tried it since I wrote this post and so far it’s worked for everyone. It really does sound like the sort of dumb thing you read on the Internet that wouldn’t work at all but … IT WORKS. Sleep well. 😉 ~ karen!

  61. Christina says:

    Wow, I’ll definitely try this next time…beer was the only thing that ever worked for me, but I can’t have gluten anymore. 🙁

    I had the exploding stomach DAILY for years, and then learned I was allergic to leafy (and other) greens. Stupid lettuce.

  62. Aurora Clarke says:

    Gas, Bloating, Heartburn, indigestion are all the result of food allergies or food intolerance. For me it was Wheat and Dairy! Blissful gut now for 3 years 🙂
    Do get tested Karen

  63. Joy says:

    I’m a little late to this conversation, but wanted to add my two cents. I’ve had serious intestinal/etc issues the past year and went to numerous traditional doctors before ending up with a chiropractor who also did “nutrition response testing” (I’ve actually never been to her for chiropractic care, only nutrition). It looks like voo-doo and works like magic. If you can find someone who does nutrition response testing, I’d highly recommend it. After a year of killing my thyroid, going through a miscarriage, mono, pneumonia, laryngitis, bronchitis, and the flu (twice), I’ve finally started to find health. I had my first ‘normal’ blood test results in over a year! I can sleep! I don’t have heartburn anymore! 🙂 I appreciate that this doctor doesn’t just mask or attack symptoms (like heartburn ‘remedies’ that don’t actually fix the core issue), she determines the core cause and treats that (and once that is fixed, the symptoms go away). It’s a fantastic way of approaching medicine and, like I said, I’ve personally seen great results.

  64. Bethany says:

    Hi Karen!

    I just wanted to thank you. You blew my mind! I read this post and tried it out when I got home from work. You see I’m 7 months pregnant and along with being pregnant comes heartburn. Your mustard trick is a life saver. I have posted about it on a bunch of mommy boards and to all my Facebooks friends. I also now carry mustard packet in my purse. Yes I steal them from various places but it’s for a good cause! Thank you so much for sharing this tip!

    P.S. Love the new site!

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