Acid reflux is otherwise known as gastro-oseophageal reflux (GERD). It is a condition where the acid from the stomach backs up into the oesophagus (reflux) particularly at the lower esophageal sphincter that connects the oesophagus to the stomach. The reflux of acid in the stomach is often associated with persistent heartburn which is basically its most common symptom. Factors that cause gastro-oseophageal reflux (GERD) include overeating, going to bed after meals, drinking too much carbonated drinks or alcohol, bending down after eating, or having a weak esophageal muscle caused by hiatal hernia--a protrusion of the upper part of the stomach into the chest cavity through the diaphragm opening called esophageal hiatus.
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Make some changes in your diet. To improve your condition, you should learn to cut off foods and drinks that can trigger the occurrence of your acid reflux. If you find it difficult to make direct diet changes, you can do it gradually by setting up limitations. Some of the stuffs that you need to cut off in order to reduce episodes of acid reflux are carbonated and caffeinated drinks, alcoholic beverages, spicy foods and foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and fats.
Drink healthy liquids. Water is one of the best natural treatments for GERD. Drinking lots of water will dilute acid contents and help balance the pH of your stomach--which will then reduce the onset of your acid reflux. Drinking a glass of whole milk, skimmed milk or butter milk is another effective remedy for acid reflux that neutralises stomach acids and provides immediate relief.
Do not gorge and eat smaller meals instead. Take your time when you eat and do not swallow too much food. Taking in smaller amount of food at a time will help reduce the pressure on your digestive tract and will prevent the acid from your stomach to back up into your lower esophageal sphincter.
Manage your weight. Being overweight is one of the main causes of constantly experiencing acid reflux. The excess fats on the area of your abdomen can push up to your stomach and will cause some of its acid contents to back up into your lower esophageal sphincter. So change your slow lifestyle into an active one. Exercise daily along with proper diet to not only get rid of your acid reflux but to also keep your whole system healthy.
Avoid inappropriate body positions or applying any pressure around your abdominal area after meals. After eating, refrain from doing stuffs that can trigger acid reflux including lying down, bending and stooping. You should also loosen your belt to avoid pressure on you abdomen after eating. If your belt is tightly fastened around your waist when you're full, there will be a huge tendency for it to build pressure around your abdominal area which can cause stomach acids to flow back into the lower esophageal sphincter.
Go for herbal teas and aloe vera juice. Herbal tea is known for its soothing effect when it comes to GERD. Some known teas that provide good relief for acid reflux are chamomile tea, fennel tea, and the bitter chicory root tea. You can boil any of these teas for a few minutes, let it stand until it is moderately warm enough to drink. It is best to sip these teas and not gulp it to avoid pressuring your esophageal muscles. Aloe vera juice is another natural remedy for gastro-oseophageal reflux. Take ¼ cup of this juice 20 minutes before meals--it may not have a pleasant taste but it sure does help in alleviating symptoms.
Use cinnamon to treat your acid reflux. Cinnamons are not only known for its antiseptic effects to treat colds and flu, but it is also a potent agent that neutralises acidity. You can use cinnamon by adding it as a topping on your bread. Toast a raisin bread, butter it up, and sprinkle cinnamon on top of it. When eating the bread, try to chew it well before swallowing to allow your stomach to digest it effectively.
Alleviate your acid reflux with grapefruit skin. If you go for this treatment, make sure that you are using the skin of an organic grapefruit. Finely scrape the skin of an organic grapefruit with a grater, spread them evenly on a spacious flat dish, and leave them there to dry. The skins will appear wrinkly when they are completely dry and by then you can store them in a properly sealed container. When your acid reflux sets in, you can chew and eat these dried grapefruit skins to help relieve your stomach. Eat a few of these skins at a time until you feel relieved.
Try chewing garlic or almonds. Both of these agents are effective natural remedies for acid reflux. If you opt for using garlic as treatment, you should use those that are fresh. Just chew a clove of garlic when your acid reflux occurs or you can also crush the clove with a spoon before chewing and swallowing it. For almonds, chew and eat some in the morning or after every meal.
Tips and warnings
- Make sure to check with your physician first before trying any of the natural remedies mentioned here. They may all be effective but remember that not all acid reflux conditions are the same. It is possible that some of the natural treatments may be effective on the case of others but not on yours.
- You can have gastro-oseophageal reflux (GERD) without heartburn. But you may experience other symptoms such as constant clearing of your throat, swallowing problems, chest pains and burning sensations in your mouth.