7 Surprising Remedies for Acid Reflux
What is Acid Reflux?
If you happen to suffer from acid reflux, you’re not alone. Over 20% of Americans suffer from mild to severe acid reflux symptoms. In simple terms, reflux is caused when hydrochloric acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus. While your stomach lining is adapted to protect it from this acid, your esophagus is not. This can cause a number of frustrating symptoms like a burning sensation in the chest and throat, dry cough, or pain in the chest and back. In some cases, it can also lead to vomiting and difficulty swallowing. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you may want to try one of the following remedies for acid reflux.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
There are a few different things that can cause acid reflux. One of the most common is eating spicy or fatty foods. These types of foods can cause the valve at the bottom of your esophagus to relax and allow acid to back up into the esophagus. As this esophageal valve becomes burnt by stomach acid it loses some of its ability to function optimally. Often this is the root cause of chronic acid reflux. Another common cause of acid reflux is pregnancy. When you’re pregnant, hormonal changes, slower digestion, and pressure on the stomach from the growing baby can all trigger acid reflux. As well, reflux can also be caused by certain medications, such as antacids, beta-blockers, and calcium channel blockers. If you are taking any of these medications, you may want to talk to your doctor about alternative options.
The following are 7 surprising remedies for acid reflux:
1. Supplementation: Unfortunately, taking antacids doesn’t address the root of the problem, leaving you with only temporary relief. Conversely, taking a supplement that supports the health and strength of the esophagus while aiding in better digestion can help with lasting change. While this isn’t a quick fix like the rest of the list, it is your best bet for LONG TERM care. Try Hiatal Health by Dr. Barry's Eclectic Remedies.
2. Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar is high in acetic acid and malic acids which are credited with many benefits. Those acids contribute to better digestion by speeding up the breakdown of foods. This helps food pass into the small intestine before it has a chance to trigger reflux. It’s also thought that too little stomach acid may be a cause of reflux, if this is the case, then apple cider vinegar provides the acidic boost you may need. A tablespoon in a glass of water after a meal is a great way to try this remedy.
3. Chewing gum: Studies show that chewing sugar-free gum for thirty minutes after eating can reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Chewing gum can help to reduce the amount of acid in your esophagus by stimulating saliva production. The extra saliva works to flush acid out of your mouth and esophagus and into your stomach.
4. Banana: This low-acid fruit can help reduce reflux by coating the esophagus and protecting it from stomach acid. Bananas are naturally alkaline and a great source of fiber which aids in digestion. Other alkaline foods like melons, cauliflower, and almonds are great options.
5. Ginger: Ginger is a natural stomach soother. Its alkaline and anti-inflammatory properties both contribute to reducing the impact of reflux. It’s also widely used to treat nausea. Enjoy a cup of ginger tea or grate fresh ginger root into your favorite dish.
6. Light exercise: A ten minute walk after a meal helps food digest quicker and more efficiently. Getting food moving through your digestive tract can take pressure off your stomach, making it less likely to reflux stomach acid.
7. Sit up straight: Poor posture or slouching can slow digestion and compress the stomach and esophagus, which leads to acid reflux. Concentrate on keeping your shoulders back and head up, particularly while eating. Bonus tip- tight clothes can also compress the stomach and trigger reflux. Good posture and loose clothing can go a long way to help lessen reflux symptoms.
If you are experiencing symptoms of acid reflux, you may want to try one of these natural remedies. However, if your symptoms persist or worsen, you should see a doctor for evaluation and treatment.