Natural Treatments for Acid Reflux
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Consequences of Heartburn
Because many of the causes are lifestyle-related, the condition can be controlled through changes to diet and other behavior. Aside from discomfort, there are important reasons to prevent the condition, including an association with an higher risk of esophageal cancer. Unfortunately, though, rates of GERD are on the rise: One recent Norwegian study found that there are now 1.5 times as many acid reflux sufferers as there were in 2001.
Acid Reflux Natural Remedies And Treatments
While there are medications to treat acid reflux — and symptom managing medicine, like antacids, as well — many people who suffer from acid reflux can treat their conditions exclusively with non-medical therapies. Here are some treatments with a proven track-record:
Sleep On Your Side
Research shows that sleeping on your stomach can worsen acid reflux and, according to one team at Stanford, Sleeping on your left side is more helpful than sleeping on your right.
Eat Smaller Meals
Large meals that overwhelm the esophageal sphincter and fill the stomach can amplify an acid reflux problem. Try reducing the size of your meals, even if you consume the same number of calories over the course of the day.
Sugarless gum can help alleviate heartburn by increasing the production of saliva which, with its alkaline properties, helps neutralize acid. That can reduce the feeling of burn, though it doesn’t prevent the acid from entering the esophagus in the first place.
Add Herb Supplements
Several herbs, including licorice root, slippery elm and tumeric, have been shown to help by creating a coating along the lining of the esophagus, essentially protecting it from acid.
Wear Loose Clothes
Tight clothes and belts may actually contribute to acid reflux, so wearing something comfortable and loose is one way to ensure that pressure on your abdomen isn’t contributing to your GERD.
Stand Up Straight
Something as simple as improving your posture and not reclining after meals can help encourage food and acid to remain in the stomach instead of spilling into the esophagus.
For so many reasons — reasons we shouldn’t have to tell you anymore — you should quit smoking, but here’s another one: nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Cigarettes also promote acid production in the stomach, so there’s more to pass through the sphincter in the first place.
Drop A Few Pounds
Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for acid reflux and GERD. And what’s more, in one study, researchers observed that the higher one’s BMI was, the more severe their GERD was.
Take A Melatonin Supplement
Clinical research among GERD sufferers found that a melatonin supplement was helpful in relieving the pain caused by heartburn. But though it was an effective treatment on its own, it was far more effective when used in concert with the pharmaceutical omaprezole.