Acid reflux is a physical condition that can be quite bothersome if left untreated. This common issue, known medically as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), can be either acute and short-term or it can be a regular occurrence.
The esophagus is the passage through which food travels from the mouth down to the stomach. At the bottom end of the esophagus is the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a one-way “doorway” through which food passes into the stomach. Acid reflux occurs when the LES doesn’t function properly, thus allowing stomach acid to flow in the opposite direction, according to emedihealth.com.
The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, often accompanied by an acidic sensation in your throat. Other symptoms can include bloating, a chronic cough, difficulty when swallowing, and hoarseness of the voice. Per emedihealth.com, in addition to several natural causes affecting the functioning of the LES, there are a variety of controllable lifestyle factors that can also contribute to acid reflux.
Natural Remedies to Treat Acid Reflux
Here are some remedies, supplements, and actions you can use to overcome your acid reflux:
- Baking soda may be useful in combating acid reflux, per organicfacts.net. Baking soda is thought to help because it is basic, the opposite of acidic, and might help raise the Ph level of the fluids in your esophagus. This is something that should be done only if your acid reflux is mild or acute, as baking soda will not likely solve the root causes of your acid reflux.
- Yogurt might also be helpful in treating acid reflux because of its basic property. If you experience acid reflux, try eating a serving of yogurt when your symptoms arise; it might help quell the burning and acidic sensations caused by acid reflux.
- Herbal teas, such as chamomile tea and ginger tea, can also be helpful, per organicfacts.net. These teas can help reduce inflammation in the mucous membranes of your digestive tract, an occurrence that commonly contributes to acid reflux.
Supplements to Alleviate Acid Reflux
- Vitamin B12 is recommended by Don Daniels of theacidrefluxguy.com. B12 provides a variety of benefits to the body, including support of your energy metabolism, your nervous system, and your body’s process of converting food to energy.
- Melatonin: Per drhoffman.com, your gastrointestinal (GI) tract is home to hundreds of times more melatonin than what is secreted by the pineal gland, with research showing that the popular sleep aid can also inhibit excess acid production and protect the GI lining from the destructive effects of free radicals caused by stress, toxic agents, or ulcer-inducing pharmaceuticals.
- Apple cider vinegar is full of healthy enzymes for your gut, and “promotes a healthy Ph in your stomach,” per Daniels of theacidrefluxguy.com. It specifically emphasizes low acidity as a common factor in acid reflux, and advocates taking apple cider vinegar to help make up for the detrimental effects of low acidity.
Lifestyle Factors to Help You Avoid Acid Reflux
Taking care of how you live your life is perhaps the best way to make sure your gut is “hitting on all cylinders” and preventing acid reflux. This means incorporating good habits, while eliminating bad ones, because chronic acid reflux (GERD) can have significant consequences that can necessitate medical drugs (with possible side effects) and even surgery. Following are some lifestyle tips to consider, in addition to a consultation with your personal physician:
- Eliminate smoking and alcohol. This is crucial if you have acid reflux. Per emedihealth.com, both nicotine and alcohol work differently in the exacerbation of acid reflux. Smoking relaxes the muscles around the LES and can prevent it from closing like it should. Alcohol, on the other hand, can make the symptoms of GERD worse. Avoid these substances at all costs in order to treat your acid reflux.
- Maintain a healthy diet. There is a strong link between obesity and acid reflux; Given this, merely avoiding unhealthy and sugary foods, and replacing them with healthier ones, is liable to help prevent and remedy acid reflux. Per emedihealth.com, consider reducing your portion sizes while also spreading your meals out, as large meals increase the chances of reflux occurring.
- Reduce pressure on the stomach. Tight clothes, lying down immediately after meals, and even sleeping in a complete flat position can all contribute to acid reflux. Instead, loosen up your belt a little and consider sleeping with your head propped up a few inches. These simple measures can help lessen the severity and occurrence of your acid reflux.