13 Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

Health and Nutrition
9.01.2020

Acid reflux also called heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest caused by gastric contents travelling up towards the throat. If this happens over a period of time it is called gastro-oesophagal reflux disease (GERD) (1). It is a very common digestive disorder which many people face at one time or the other.

The lower oesophagal sphincter does not work properly and fails to keep acid and other fluids in the stomach (2). It allows the stomach contents to come up into the oesophagus and irritate it (3). There may be a burning feeling in the middle of the chest or throat.

Treatment of GERD may include lifestyle modifications, medical treatment and surgical treatment (4). Consult a doctor who will help you with choosing which way to go. A doctor after taking the history of the person can diagnose if it is GERD or if there is any other underlying serious problem.

 

Symptoms of acid reflux (1, 4, 5)

  • A burning feeling in the middle of the chest
  • When acid travels up the throat it leaves a bad sour taste in the mouth
  • Acid regurgitation

Some of these symptoms may be seen

  • A hoarse voice
  • Cough
  • Globus sensation that is feeling of fullness at the back of the throat
  • Nausea and vomiting

If acid reflux is not treated it can lead to other complications such as esophagitis and Barrett’s oesophagus.

 

Causes of acid reflux (1, 5)

These are some of the causes or risk factors which may be the reasons for developing acid reflux

Some foods such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, oily food, spicy food have the tendency to cause heart burn

  • Being overweight and obese
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Certain medications also may give rise to acid reflux

Natural remedies for acid reflux (2, 5, 6)

  1. Do not go to bed immediately after eating, eat at least 2 hours before going to bed
  2. Eat small meals, do not eat till your stomach is full
  3. Cut down on spicy and oily food
  4. Cut down on acidic foods like tomatoes, citrus fruits and juices
  5. Do not wear tight fitting clothes especially around the abdomen
  6. Avoid carbonated drinks
  7. Do not take mints
  8. Avoid caffeine containing foods like chocolate and beverages such as caffeine
  9. Avoid alcohol
  10. Avoid smoking
  11. Avoid night time snacks
  12. Raise the bed on the side where your head is so that your head is at an elevated level. This keeps the acid from coming up.
  13. If overweight or obese, try and achieve ideal weight

 

Final word

Acid reflux is a very common problem and it is faced by many people. Some of the non-medical remedies given above can help but if acid reflux prolongs it can cause serious complications. Acid reflux diagnosis can be made by the doctor and rule out any serious underlying disorder which needs specialized treatment.

Lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, limiting alcohol and quitting smoking may help. But if acid reflux is still troubling consult your doctor and follow the course of treatment suggested.

 

References

  1. National Health Services (2017). Heartburn and acid reflux.
    https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/heartburn-and-acid-reflux/
  2. Velanovich, V. (2015) Nonmedical Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, Gastroenterology & hepatology. Vol. 11(5).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962685/
  3. Medline Plus (2019). GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).
    https://medlineplus.gov/gerd.html
  4. Badillo, R. and Francis, D. (2014) Diagnosis and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, World journal of gastrointestinal pharmacology and therapeutics. Vol. 5(3).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4133436/
  1. Clarrett, D. M. and Hachem, C. (2018) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Missouri medicine. Vol. 115(3).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6140167/
  1. Jarosz, M. and Taraszewska, A. (2014) Risk factors for gastroesophageal reflux disease: the role of diet, Przeglad gastroenterologiczny. Vol. 9(5).
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4223119/

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