Chemical medications are not the only way to get immediate relief from acid reflux. A bit of self care and some quick natural remedies can also do the trick.
Approximately 50 percent of people in the United States are affected by acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which is a condition when food or stomach acids go back up into your esophagus. This acid may even rise up to your throat, making the tissue irritated and giving you an uneasy feeling. The most commonly-experienced symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, while other symptoms include a burning sensation in the throat, bloating, coughing, hiccups, irregular burping, irritation, eroded tooth enamel, nausea, and wheezing. The causes of GERD can range from diet, lifestyle, effects of medication, weight gain, pregnancy, and some medical conditions. If you are experiencing the symptoms of acid reflux once in a while, it can be treated with over-the-counter medications as the prognosis for most cases is mild to moderate. However, if it is troubling you frequently and is a chronic case of GERD, your doctor may prescribe additional tests and medications for further treatment.
If you know that you are suffering from moderate acid reflux, chances are that you are already seeing a doctor and avoiding foods that aggravate this condition. But even then, you might experience the symptoms, distressing you further. After all, there are only so many antacids that you can chew in a day! If you are fed up of expensive medications and constant doctor visits, here are some quick home remedies that can help you to handle your acid reflux problem. To help you out some more, we list some easy-to-do tips and lifestyle changes that can go a long way in helping you deal with this pesky condition.
Baking Soda: Simple chemistry proves that a base is the best way to neutralize an acid, and that is precisely what baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) does with your stomach acid. This makes an effective and quick remedy for emergencies due to acid reflux. The alkaline baking soda helps calm your stomach acid and reduce the pain of reflux, making for a useful home remedy to combat the symptoms of acid reflux. You can mix half to one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it for immediate relief. However, this is not a long-term fix if you suffer from frequent acid reflux, as the high salt content can cause nausea or swelling.
Apple Cider Vinegar (Raw, unfiltered): Usually, people tend to believe that acid reflux is caused due to an overproduction of stomach acid. However, the truth is that it is just the opposite—you suffer from acid reflux because there is too little acid produced in your stomach to properly digest the food that you have eaten. You can improve this by taking raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar. You can mix 1-2 tablespoons of the vinegar in a large glass of water, mix it with honey, or stir it into your tea instead of lemon and drink it daily to help stimulate your stomach acid naturally.
Aloe vera juice: The aloe plant is well-known for its healing and calming properties, and it can also help you handle your acid reflux symptoms for quick and natural relief. The juice of this plant is a cooling element that reduces inflammation, and it can soothe the irritation you feel and heal damage that may have happened to your esophagus as a result of acid reflux. You can drink half a cup of aloe vera juice before meals to deal with acid reflux and heal any tissues that were hurt during previous bouts of heartburn. However, remember that this juice also works as a natural laxative, so look for a brand that has removed the laxative compounds from the juice.
Slippery elm: Another herbal supplement that you can use for relief from acid reflux, slippery elm is a species of elm tree that is used to combat a number of health issues, including sore throat, constipation, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). This ingredient can also help in reducing the symptoms of acid reflux by soothing the irritated tissues in your digestive tract. Slippery elm contains antioxidants and also improves mucus secretion, which is helpful for dealing with stomach and intestinal problems. You can try slippery elm in the form of a powder, capsule, or lozenge.
Ginger: The health benefits of ginger root are well known, and it can be a natural and effective remedy for acid reflux problems as well. It has traditionally been used to bring people relief from gastric disturbances, as ingesting ginger promotes a healthy flow of stomach acid and bile. This helps regulate and normalize your digestion, while its anti-inflammatory properties are useful in soothing the irritation that is caused by heartburn. You can steep 2-3 slices of fresh ginger root in hot water for few minutes, and drink it around 20 minutes before meals or at bedtime.
Chamomile, fenugreek, or mint tea: Chamomile is one of the most popular teas for a reason— it is a soothing tea that not only helps you relax and improves your sleep, but also reduces inflammation in the stomach and balances the digestive acid levels. In addition, chamomile contains a gooey substance known as mucilage, which helps soothe and heal the lining of the esophagus if it has been damaged by stomach acid rising up. Mint and fenugreek teas can also help you deal with the symptoms of acid reflux, so you can drink a cup of your favorite tea half an hour before going to bed to avoid waking up with acid reflux during the night.
Water and lemon juice: To balance out the acid levels in your body, start the day with drinking some fresh lemon juice mixed with warm or room temperature water. This is a safe and holistic method of dealing with acid reflux, and also acts as a great digestive aid. Drink this on an empty stomach every morning, and do not eat anything else for 12-20 minutes.
Chewing gum: Who knew that chewing gum could do more than just freshen your breath? One of the most immediate and effective ways to get relief from acid reflux is to chew a stick of gum. Chewing gum increases the production of saliva, which decreases the acid levels in your esophagus and helps control heartburn. Chew some sugarless gum after meals to prevent heartburn and fight acid reflux.
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