Acid Reflux is a health condition that is accompanied by a burning pain, which many people refer to as heartburn, and is usually felt around the lower chest. The pain is encountered when acid from the stomach flows back into the esophagus. Although acid reflux medications are available (visit Dr Felix for more information), there are home remedies that might make the symptoms go away too.
We have discussed a few of the natural ways to relieve acid reflux symptoms below.
1. Raising The Head of the Bed
If you have heartburn, lying down on a flat surface might make the problem even worse. Therefore, when it is time to sleep, or you need to take a nap, it is vital to consider raising the head of the bed. If the upper part of your body is raised, it makes it more difficult for the acid from your stomach to rise into the esophagus.
Experts suggest that you should not only raise your head using extra pillows. It is important that you raise the upper part of your body, starting from the waist.
Suppose your bed is adjustable, make sure it is set to a suitable angle so that you get adequate pain relief. However, if you don’t have an adjustable bed, it is okay to change the angle of the sleeping surface using a wedge pillow.
2. Avoid Overeating
There is a ring-like muscle in the area where the esophagus opens into the stomach. This muscle is referred to as the esophageal sphincter and serves as a valve and should ensure that acidic content from the stomach doesn’t go up the esophagus.
If you have acid reflux, it means either the muscle has been weakened or is dysfunctional. In some cases, the problem occurs when the stomach walls are subjected to too much pressure.
Due to the pressure, the acid content will move up the esophagus. This explains why most acid reflux takes place after a meal. To stay safe and avoid the symptoms, make sure that you do not overeat.
3. Don’t Sleep on The Right Side
Many studies have pointed out that you might worsen the symptoms of acid reflux if you sleep on your right side. Though the reason might not be very clear, there is an explanation.
The esophagus enters your stomach through the right side. Therefore, the sphincters are situated right above the level of stomach acid when you sleep on the left side.
However, when you choose to sleep on your right side, the lower esophageal sphincters are covered by stomach acid. When that happens, there is a good chance that your stomach acid will leak up and cause acid reflux.
Clearly, this idea might not be entirely practical since humans change positions when they sleep. However, it is worth trying because you will feel more comfortable resting on your left side as you begin to sleep.
4. Chewing Gum
Some experts suggest that people can chew gum to reduce the acidity of the stomach. It is also recommended that patients choose gums containing bicarbonate since they seem to be more effective.
According to a study published in 2005, when you chew gum, there will be an increase in the rate of saliva production. This will eventually help clear the acid in the esophagus. It should be understood that this technique might not help reduce the acid reflux itself.
5. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol increases stomach acid production, which is what causes acid reflux in the first place. Alcohol might also relax the lower esophageal sphincter and negatively affect the esophagus’ ability to get rid of the acid.
Studies indicate that even moderate consumption of alcohol might cause acid reflux among healthy individuals. Also, those who drink plain water are less likely to experience acid reflux than those who take beer or wine.
6. Avoid Carbonated Beverages
Those with GERD have always been advised to lower or stop the intake of carbonated beverages. According to a scientific study, carbonated soft drinks are highly likely to worsen acid influx symptoms among individuals.
One controlled study found that drinking carbonated water, or cola, temporarily weakens the esophageal sphincter compared to when someone consumes plain water.
What happens is that carbonated beverages contain carbon dioxide, so when you take them, you will tend to belch regularly. This will then increase the chances and amount of acid the escapes into your stomach.
7. Avoid Eating Raw Onions
Some experts suggest that those with acid reflux should not eat meals containing raw onions. Raw onions increase belching, so as more acid escapes into the esophagus, the symptoms will get even worse.
Frequent belching is a sure indication that more gas is being produced because of high levels of fermentable fiber found in onions. When eaten raw, onions might also irritate the linings of the esophagus, thereby making the heartburn even worse.
As you have seen, acid reflux treatment can be done at home. Therefore, if you feel that your condition is causing you discomfort, try to follow the steps suggested above. While the tips should work, if you think that the condition is only getting worse, it is essential that you contact your local healthcare provider. Remember, the ideas shared are natural, so it is okay to use all of them at the same time.