17 Safe & Natural Ways to Get Relief
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
Is acid reflux causing you discomfort? Natural remedies can offer relief without the negative side effects of proton pump inhibitors.
Acid reflux (also known as GERD) is when stomach acid or bile escapes from your stomach and irritates the lining of your esophagus. Cases can range from mild irritation to severe pain. If left untreated, stomach acid can have long-term negative effects, including cancer.
This extremely common disease affects 60% of the population at varying degrees, according to Social & Scientific Systems.
Acid reflux is traditionally treated with proton pump inhibitors. While these synthetic inhibitors are very effective at reducing heartburn, they have also been linked to bone loss and vitamin B12 deficiency when taken consistently.
10 Common Acid Reflux Symptoms
There are a variety of common symptoms of GERD, which we’ve listed below. But it’s also worth noting that GERD symptoms can lead to a variety of additional health issues if unaddressed.
- Heartburn (burning pain or discomfort that can be located anywhere from your stomach and abdomen, all the way to your chest and throat)
- Regurgitation (sour or bitter-tasting acid rising into your throat and/or mouth)
- Bloating (puffy joints, belly, and extremities)
- Bloody or Black Stools
- Vomiting (may or may not contain blood)
- Persistent Hiccups
- Weight Loss
- Difficulty Breathing (may include wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat)
What Causes Acid Reflux
While the precise causes of acid reflux have not been identified, researchers have determined certain risk factors that make an individual more prone to suffer from GERD. According to the article ‘Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)’ published in The Journal of the Missouri State Medical Association in May of 2018, these factors include:
- Older Age
- Excessive Body Mass Index (BMI)
- Anxiety and Depression
- Low Levels of Physical Activity
- Size and Timing of Meals
- Activity Post Meal
17 Safe & Natural Ways to Treat Acid Reflux
1. Ginger Tea
Ginger is marvelous for all kinds of health related issues. It can help relieve motion sickness and improve blood circulation. It helps ward off heart disease, improves your immune system, and helps you fight bacterial infections. Plus, it can help you ward off acid reflux. Place a few thin slices of ginger root tea in a mug and steep in hot water for 10 – 20 minutes. Then drink. It can help calm an upset tummy or stop it from even occurring.
2. Baking Soda
With its high pH level, baking soda helps neutralize acid in your stomach. If acid is rising from your stomach into your esophagus, the baking soda will help stop the acid from burning the lining. Simply swallow a teaspoon of it when you’re experiencing pain.
Increased saliva production can help dilute and clear the acid from unwanted areas within your digestive tract. By chewing gum you can stimulate the production of saliva — significantly reduce your symptoms and provide relief.
4. Sleep on an Incline
Imagine a big bottle filled half way with water. When set on its bottom the water remains at the bottom. However, when you lay the bottle on its side, the water sloshes around and extends all the way to the mouth of the bottle!
The same thing happens to your stomach. While you’re standing, your stomach acid remains in the bottom of your stomach. However, when you lay down for the night, that acid sloshes around and extends from one end of your stomach to the other. This can increase the chance of acid escaping. Sleeping on an incline helps reduce these instances.
5. Wear Loose Fitting Clothes
Tight clothes that cinch your waist can press on your stomach and cause acid to rise. This is especially true of tight jeans, belts, and corsets. Try instead to wear loose fitting clothes that won’t press on your stomach, even when you sit down.
6. Fermented Foods
Fermented foods, like kimchi, can be incredibly helpful for your digestive system. Known as an alkaline food, the fermentation process involves breaking down a raw vegetable into amino acids and peptides. This raises the pH level of the food and typically produces a strong ammoniacal smell. These fermented foods have been shown to relieve inflammation in your stomach and actually heal your stomach’s lining.
Mustard is another alkaline food. It’s loaded with minerals and has trace amounts of acid from vinegar. Consuming a spoonful of it during the onset of acid reflux symptoms can help soothe your heartburn by balancing your pH levels.
8. Don’t Smoke
Nicotine causes your body to relax. In particular, smoking makes the valve separating your stomach from your esophagus relax. This can allow stomach acid to escape and the onset of symptoms to occur.
9. Avoid Alcohol
Like cigarettes, alcohol weakens the valve between your stomach and esophagus. Additionally, alcohol causes your stomach to produce an excess of stomach acid. This can cause severe stomach pain, vomiting, and diarrhea.
While no study has concretely confirmed why almonds help relieve acid reflux, many patients have seen significant benefits from snacking on these tasty nuts. It’s best if the almonds you are consuming are raw, organic and salt-free. This helps you avoid also consuming any harmful chemicals.
11. Watch Your Weight
When a patient is overweight, more pressure is put on all of their internal organs. This includes your stomach. Overtime, this can loosen the valve between your stomach and esophagus, allowing acid to escape. By losing weight, you can reduce this pressure, often helping to ease the symptoms of acid reflux.
12. Stay Away From Spicy Food
Think of the way your tongue burns when it comes into contact with an extremely hot pepper. The same thing occurs in your stomach. This burning sensation triggered by spicy foods can trigger acid reflux symptoms, causing pain and discomfort. Some of the spicy foods to avoid if you commonly experience acid reflux include:
- Hot peppers
- Hot sauce
- Wasabi paste
- Red chili pepper flakes
- Chili Powder
13. Aloe Juice
Aloe is typically associated with soothing burns, especially sunburns. But, it can also help soothe the inside of your body. By drinking a glass of aloe vera juice, you can calm your esophagus, avoid irritation, and limit inflammation.
14. Track & Avoid Your Triggers
Everyone’s body is unique. Not all foods will be triggers for all patients. One of the best ways to ward of acid reflux symptoms is to pay attention to your own body. When you identify a trigger, stay away from it.
15. Eat a Banana or Apple
An apple a day won’t keep the doctor away. But it could keep your acid reflux at bay. Both bananas and apples contain natural antacids that can help relieve or prevent an onset of acid reflux.
16. Consume More Acid like Apple Cider Vinegar
While it may seem counterintuitive, acid reflux is often caused when a patient doesn’t have enough acid in their stomach. A great way to introduce more acid into your stomach is with raw apple cider vinegar. Quite tasty, it can be used in dressing and marinades, bringing a bright touch to your meals.
17. Chamomile Tea
Chamomile tea is another way to help balance your stomach’s acid levels. Plus, if you drink it before bed, it provides soothing relief that can help you sleep through the night.
Get Professional Help
While these natural home remedies can be extremely effective, sometimes they aren’t enough. At Premier Integrative we help patients discover and treat the unique cause of their acid reflux so they can get rid of it naturally.