Have you ever experienced heartburn? Well, the chances you did are 50% if you live in America because statistics say half the population here is affected by this health problem.
As a matter of fact, heartburn is just a symptom of acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) – the medical terms of heartburn.
Before giving you several natural options to reduce your acid reflux symptoms, here are few facts you should know about GERD.
What Is GERD?
When your stomach receives food that doesn’t go well with it, it makes sure you know this by giving you heartburn. But, when the stomach acid, or sometimes even pancreatic fluids, go back up into your food pipe or esophagus making you feel discomfort and causing you harm, it’s the GERD.
The acid content in your food pipe can cause irritation, inflammation, and scarring. All this can lead to narrowing of the esophagus.
Some of the symptoms include burning sensation in the throat, hoarseness, coughing, nausea, irritation, asthma-like symptoms, wheezing, eroded tooth enamel, and food getting stuck in the throat.
What’s more, GERD increases the risk of esophageal cancer, but nothing drastic. If there’s acid reflux in the lower intestines for a longer time, the risk of Barrett’s Esophagus also increase.
This disorder is characterized by gland cells replacing the squamous cells in the stomach. Gradually, this can cause dysplasia and eventually cancer.
Many people use different store-bought products to treat or suppress their acid reflux. Sometimes they just prolong the inevitable when having spicy meals.
What Triggers GERD?
It’s crucial you discover what’s causing your acid reflux or GERD. The abdominal fat in obese or older people can affect the function of the esophagus. Moreover, the aging process can also weaken the esophageal sphincter.
Here are the most foods and beverages that can aggravate the GERD symptoms:
- Spicy, greasy, and/or fatty foods
Here are ten natural ways that can relieve your GERD symptoms as efficient as antacids.
10 Natural Ways to Relieve Acid Reflux
1. Lose Weight
Since obese and overweight people are more likely to experience problems with the esophageal function, it’s recommended you lose about 8 to 10 pounds. There’ are even studies which confirm that losing this much weight can relieve the GERD symptoms.
2. Change Your Diet
The gastroenterologist in Chesapeake, VA, Patricia Raymond, explains that changing the diet has proven to be effective only in about 30% of people who suffer from acid reflux. This is mostly because not many are willing to quit the foods mentioned above which trigger and worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.
But, if you’re not one of them and want to try to improve your diet to reduce your GERD symptoms, here’s what you should do. Stop consuming processed, fast, and junk food, as well as the listed food items that aggravate the GERD symptoms.
3. Warm Water and Lemon
The holistic nutritionist Rebekah Fedrowitz recommends drinking warm water with lemon, 15-20 minutes before breakfast. As she says, this will balance out the acid levels in your body.
Don’t forget to use warm instead of cold water, since the latter can stress your intestines and stomach. Your stomach, esophagus and entire body will accept the warm water a lot better than the cold one.
4. Baking Soda
This might not sound tasty, but it could give you the acid reflux relief you want so badly. Just mix half a cup of water with a tablespoon of baking soda and drink immediately.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
Are you one of the many who thinks overproduction of acid causes indigestion and acid reflux? Well, latest study proves this to be wrong. In fact, it’s totally the opposite. The naturopathic doctor and holistic nutritionist in Trevorton, PA, Christina K.
Major, explains you need to eat highly acidic foods to stimulate the production of acid. Why? Well, it turns out we need more acid to digest the food properly. So, consuming foods and beverages such as apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut, and pickles will help you achieve that.
6. Saccharomyces Boulardii
The author of “The 21 Day Digestive Health Detox” Stella Metsovas recommends the probiotic Saccharomyces boulardii to relieve your acid reflux symptoms. This supplement will improve the absorption of vitamins vital for the digestion in the small intestine.
7. Slippery Elm
You can find this herbal supplement in the form of powder, capsule, or lozenge. It’s good for soothing the irritation of the digestive tract.
Some of the best teas for acid reflux and upset stomach are fenugreek, chamomile, and peppermint tea. Drink one whenever you feel the symptoms or pain.
9. A Gum
That’s right. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva which reduces the amount of acid in your esophagus. So, the next time you notice heartburn symptoms, grab a stick of gum.
10. Sleep on the Left Side
This is actually a really good advice for relieving your heartburn. Sleeping on your right side or your stomach worsens the acid reflux. On the other hand, sleeping on the left side can relieve your GERD symptoms. Sleeping on the wrong side puts pressure on your intestines and relaxes the esophageal sphincter.
One More Tip
Next time you eat pizza, tacos, or any other foods or beverages that trigger the acid reflux, just eat a red apple as a dessert. Then, grab a stick of gum and don’t forget to sleep on your left side.