Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat. This uncomfortable and often painful condition can be caused by a variety of factors, including overeating, pregnancy, and certain medical conditions. If left untreated, acid reflux can lead to more serious health problems like esophagitis and cancer of the esophagus. It is crucial to manage acid reflux symptoms to prevent long-term damage.
10 Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Relief
For those who prefer to use natural remedies over prescription medications, there are several options for relieving acid reflux symptoms:
Aloe vera juice
Drinking aloe vera juice can help soothe an irritated throat and reduce inflammation caused by acid reflux. Drink about 1/4 cup a few times a week.
Avoiding trigger foods
Avoid foods like peppermint, fried or fatty foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, etc that trigger acid reflux or heartburn.
Elevating the head of the bed
Sleeping with your head raised can help reduce acid reflux symptoms. Try elevating the head of your bed by 6-8 inches.
Slipping into comfortable clothes
Wearing loose-fitting clothes can help prevent stomach pressure and reduce the risk of acid reflux. Tight clothes can put pressure on the stomach and increase the likelihood of reflux.
Chew on some licorice root, which is known to help reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and soothe irritated tissue.
Apple cider vinegar
Sip 1 tablespoon of unfiltered apple cider vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water before a meal.
Slices of fresh or candied ginger can help soothe acid reflux symptoms due to their anti-inflammatory properties. You can also drink ginger tea a few times a day.
When acidity gets high, a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a glass of water can help to neutralize the stomach acid.
The herb chamomile has been used as a natural remedy for digestive issues for centuries. Drinking chamomile tea a few times a day can help soothe the throat and reduce inflammation.
Loose Fitting Clothing
Wearing tight clothes applies pressure on the stomach which can lead to build-up and cause acid reflux. Wearing loose clothes helps to reduce the risk of acid reflux.
A Beginner’s Guide to Treating Acid Reflux with Diet and Lifestyle Changes
In addition to natural remedies, there are several dietary and lifestyle changes that can help prevent or reduce acid reflux symptoms:
Common dietary triggers
Knowing the common triggers of acid reflux can help you avoid them. Common triggers include caffeine, acidic foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and chocolate.
Foods to avoid
Avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux or heartburn. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
Lifestyle changes (avoiding smoking)
Quitting smoking can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux by improving lung function and reducing inflammation in the esophagus. Being physically active can also help reduce symptoms.
Introduction to over-the-counter medications
If natural remedies and lifestyle changes don’t provide relief, over-the-counter medications like antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors can provide relief.
Healthy eating patterns
To reduce the symptoms of acid reflux, follow healthy eating patterns, like eating smaller meals throughout the day instead of 3 large meals, not lying down after eating, and not eating before bedtime. Eating more protein-rich and fiber-rich foods may also help reduce symptoms.
How to Manage Acid Reflux Without Medications
If you don’t want to rely on medications, there are several alternative approaches to managing acid reflux symptoms:
Dietary changes (avoiding food with Fats and avoiding late meals)
One of the most important dietary changes to make is to avoid fatty, fried, or rich foods, particularly before bedtime. These foods take longer to digest and can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
Stress reduction techniques
Stress can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms, so taking steps to reduce stress can help. Try yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Natural remedies (Ginger and licorice root)
In addition to natural remedies like aloe vera juice, ginger, and chamomile tea, licorice root can help coat the throat and protect it from harmful stomach acid. Drinking a cup of licorice root tea before bed can help soothe acid reflux symptoms and promote sleep.
Top 5 Acid Reflux Symptoms and How to Banish Them
Acid reflux can cause a range of symptoms, including:
This is the most common symptom of acid reflux- when you have burning in your chest that worsens after eating.
Sometimes, acid reflux can cause stomach contents to regurgitate into the throat or mouth, leading to a sour taste or sensation of food or liquid “coming back up”.
Severe acid reflux can cause narrowing of the esophagus or throat, which can lead to difficulty swallowing.
Acid reflux can also cause excessive belching or gas.
Chronic acid reflux can also result in a chronic cough.
Acid Reflux SOS: What to Do When Symptoms Strike
When acid reflux symptoms strike, it’s important to have a plan in place for immediate relief and prevention. Here are some tips:
Immediate relief techniques
Drink a glass of water, chew on some gum, or take an antacid like Tums to help neutralize stomach acid and soothe your throat.
Proactive management techniques, such as practicing healthy eating habits, avoiding trigger foods and drinks, wearing loose clothing, and reducing stress can help prevent acid reflux symptoms from occurring.
Acid reflux can be a challenging condition to manage, but it is possible. With natural remedies, dietary and lifestyle changes, and over-the-counter medications, relief from acid reflux symptoms is within reach. Remember to consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new regimen and to take proactive steps to seek relief when symptoms occur.