17 Natural Cures for Your Unnatural Acid Reflux Symptoms
Acid reflux can happen to anyone. In fact, it is normal to experience it once in a while. When this happens, medical professionals would say that you are merely experiencing a gastroesophageal reflux episode, or GER. For some people though, it is start of something more serious as GER turns into GERD.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD is acid reflux that is said to be unnatural because it persists in a patient more often than twice a week. Every time someone experiences acid reflux, the acid content from the stomach goes back up to the esophagus. This is the muscular tube that transports food and liquids from the mouth to the stomach and the acid content can possibly destroy the lining along the esophagus.
What is Your LES and Why Should You Care?
Normally, the food you eat will pass from your throat to your stomach from the esophagus. As this happens, there are muscle fibers in your body, which are tasked to keep the food down. These are known as the lower esophageal sphincter or LES.
The LES is a ring of muscles that is supposed to close all the way to prevent stomach contents from leaking back into the esophagus. When it fails to do this however, the person experiences a reflux.
Regurgitated liquid making its way back up the throat through your esophagus is harmful for your body as it contains both pepsin and stomach acid. Pepsin is an enzyme that is tasked with breaking down proteins in the stomach. On the other hand, stomach acid or gastric acid is produced by the body to help break down minerals such as iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D in order to help the body absorb them better. These are strong substances that can damage the esophageal lining.
When stomach acid gets regurgitated back up to the esophagus, patients report experiencing a burning pan that may move up toward the throat and neck. In addition, some patients also say that they suddenly experience a bitter or sour taste in the throat when the stomach fluid makes its way there.
This burning pain that patients experience is also known as a heartburn. It is the most common symptom felt when someone is dealing with either a simple or unnatural acid reflux. It can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. At the same time, it tends to get worse after the person has had some food.
Causes and Symptoms: Understanding Your GERD
The cause of an acid reflux is sometimes related to your daily diet. Foods that contribute to GER or GERD include:
- Caffeinated Drinks
- Citrus Fruits
- Black Pepper
- Raw Onions
- Spicy Foods
Meanwhile, lifestyle choices may also affect your susceptibility to GER or GERD. For instance, overeating or lying down right after having a meal can make digestion difficult for the body, thereby triggering an acid reflux.
Aside from heartburn, patients who are suffering from unnatural acid reflux may also experience other common symptoms such as:
- Dry Cough
- Asthma and Wheezing
- Recurrent Pneumonia
- Throat Hoarseness
- Sore Throat
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Upper Abdominal Pain
- Chest Pain
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Bad Breath and Dental Erosion
Unnatural acid reflux or GERD comes in various forms and stages.
GERD in Babies: What Parents Need to Know
While it is normal for an infant to spit up liquid made up of saliva and stomach acids several times a day from birth up to three months; however, the baby’s condition may progress into a GERD if the said symptoms continue to occur frequently beyond the said age.
According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, unnatural acid reflux among infants may also manifests in the form of other symptoms including dehydration, breathing problems, vomiting, gagging, colic, dehydration and irritability, especially after feedings. It is advisable for babies aged 12 to 14 months who are experiencing these symptoms to be checked by a pediatrician for GERD.
On the other hand, younger children below the age of 12 may also suffer from GERD. Like infants, the John Hopkin’s Children’s Center says that while children at this age typically don’t experience heartburn, they may show symptoms of GERD in the form of dry cough, asthma symptoms or trouble swallowing. At the same time, they may also experience other GERD symptoms that are common with infants.
Aside from the said symptoms, Dr. Steven Schwarz says that young children and even infants may also experience other symptoms and signs of GERD that are not as common. These include sore throat, stridor, laryngitis, abdominal pain, recurrent pneumonitis, apnea, bradycardia, chronic cough, Sandifer syndrome and water brash.
Adult GERD: Understanding Each Stage
When it comes to adult patients, GERD may come in a number of stages. The easiest to deal with is mild GERD stage. Dr. Elias Darido of the Houston Heartburn & Reflux Centersays that patients are diagnosed to be suffering from this stage when they would only experience mild symptoms of GERD about once or twice a month.
At this stage, patients often report experiencing heartburn. This often comes as a burning feeling of discomfort often behind the breastbone that then makes its way to the throat and neck.
In contrast, a patient suffering from moderate GERD experiences greater discomfort. Aside from heartburn, other symptoms may be frequently experienced. These include chronic cough, wheezing, asthma, recurrent pneumonia, nausea, vomiting, hoarseness, laryngitis, swollen or irritated voice box, sore throat, chest pain, upper abdominal pain, dental erosion and bad breath.
On the other hand, it’s also common for GERD patients to experience symptoms of the disease at night while they’re already in bed. In fact, a study published in the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Journal revealed that as much as 70 to 75 percent of patients suffer GERD symptoms at night at least once a week.
Night time GERD is often characterized by patients waking up coughing or choking. Regurgitation also occurs around the same time so that they would experience a sour taste in the mouth. Because of this unbearable discomfort, night time GERD sufferers often tend to be deprived of sleep. Unfortunately, sleep deprivation can contribute to increased esophageal hypersensitivity and more advanced forms of GERD.
When a patient suffers from a severe stage of GERD, medication is often not enough to manage the discomfort and pain they are feeling from the disease’s symptoms. When this is left untreated, it also develops into a more serious form or unnatural acid reflux known as Barrett’s Esophagus.
Barrett’s Esophagusis a far advanced stage of GERD that is characterized by a patient’s esophagus lining already transforming to look like an intestine. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, this form of GERD typically affects patients who are already in their 60’s. Moreover, there seems to be more males diagnosed with Barrett’s Esophagus than females.
While this stage is not cancerous, it does increase one’s risk to develop a cancerous form of GERD. This is known as esophageal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, this kind of cancer often gets diagnosed during the advanced stage as it does not typically manifests any early symptoms or signs. Moreover, the risk for esophageal cancer greater for those who drink or smoke heavily.
Unnatural acid reflux is a disease that affects far more people than you think. According to Healthline, as much as seven million people living in the United States are experiencing some symptoms of GERD. Meanwhile, back in 2004, approximately 20 percent of the U.S. population have reported experiencing GERD symptoms at least once a week.
Find Relief Today: Natural Cures for Your Acid Reflux
It’s possible that our modern lifestyle and food choices are causing more and more people to develop unnatural acid reflux at some point in their lives. The good news is while it may be uncomfortable and even painful, GERD can be managed and even cured.
No, you don’t need to go to your nearest drug stores and put your body through a rigorous medication regimen just to get rid of your unnatural acid reflux. In fact, there may already be remedies for this disease right in your home. Here are some of the easiest ones you can possibly try:
1. Try Some Baking Soda
Baking soda is more than just for baking goodies or disinfecting your home. It also makes for an easy and instant cure for unnatural acid reflux. This is because baking soda is a natural antacid. In fact, it is high in sodium bicarbonate, a substance that our pancreas naturally produces in order to help neutralize stomach acid.
It is believed that sodium bicarbonate in baking soda works the same way as the one produced by our own pancreas. In addition, since it helps prevent stomach acid from regurgitating back up the esophagus, baking soda also helps prevent long-term esophageal damage.
To treat your unnatural acid reflux or GERD with baking soda, you can simply dissolve the said powder in a glass of water. The Mayo Clinic recommends one half teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in water that is taken every two hours for adults. Meanwhile, it is recommended for parents to consult with a pediatrician if they want to try this remedy on their children.
Meanwhile, according to Healthline, baking soda can possibly interact badly with other medications and supplements you might be taking. When this happens, you might experience some side effects including nausea, increased thirst, abdominal cramps, headache and gas.
In addition, other more serious side effects include breathing difficulties, swollen limbs, swollen feet, loss of appetite, unexplained weight loss, frequent urination, bloody stool, urine with blood and vomit resembling coffee grounds. Should you experience any of these symptoms, see a doctor immediately. Moreover, this kind of acid reflux remedy is not recommended for pregnant women as well as children under the age of six.
2. Drink Some Refreshing Aloe Juice
Aloe is a plant that has natural soothing properties. This is why it is readily recommended to treat sunburns,. However, the aloe plant is capable of treating much more than that. In fact, since it readily reduces inflammation, the aloe may be just the remedy you need to help heal your inflamed esophagus.
To treat your unnatural acid reflux with aloe vera, simply drink 1/2 cup of aloe juice before meals. You can enjoy it cold or at room temperature. You can readily buy aloe juice at your local grocers or health store.
3. Enjoy a Soothing Cup of Chamomile Tea
Here’s another good reason to enjoy afternoon tea. It might just be the perfect remedy for your unnatural acid reflux. This is because chamomile does wonders for the stomach, balancing out its acidity levels while also actively reducing inflammation. At the same time, chamomile can help calm you down. When there is less stress, there is also less likelihood that you will suffer an acid reflux.
To treat your unnatural acid reflux with chamomile, simply make yourself a cup of chamomile tea and enjoy it as night time treat. Drink it around 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go ahead. This calming tea is soothing, fragrant and definitely delightful.
4. Prepare a Cup of Gingerroot Tea
If you tend to suffer from heartburn or other symptoms of unnatural acid reflux after meals, then perhaps what you need is a buffer that would help calm your stomach down so you can happily savor your meal without any anguish. This is where the gingerroot tea comes in.
Gingerroot has restorative properties that can easily calm an upset stomach. At the same time, it also acts as an acid buffer so that your body won’t feel the need to regurgitate it back up your throat.
To make yourself some healing gingerroot tea, simply slice three quarter sized pieces of gingerroot and leave them to simmer gently in two cups of water. Afterwards, remove the gingerroot pieces and pout the liquid into a glass. Drink the tea 20 minutes before you sit down to a meal.
5. Have a Banana
Bananas are said to be alkaline fruits that help neutralize acid in the stomach. This is perhaps because this fruit is high in potassium. This is an alkalizing mineral, which helps reduce acidity in one’s body. At the same time, bananas also help strengthen one’s esophageal sphincter to prevent the occurrence of a reflux.
To treat your unnatural acid reflux with bananas, it is recommended to have a banana before or after your meal. At the same time, you can also add some banana slices to your morning cereal, yogurt or smoothies.
6. Have Oatmeal for Breakfast
Yes, there’s another good reason to have a bowl of oatmeal every single day. Oatmeal and other whole grain foods can effectively help control one’s acid reflux. This is because they readily neutralize one’s acidity in the stomach. In addition, eating oatmeal also helps reduce pain and discomfort felt while having a reflux.
To help with your unnatural acid reflux, enjoy a bowl of unsweetened oatmeal, which you have cooked in some low fat milk or water. To make it tastier, fold in some banana slices or add some raisins or ginger slices.
7. Flavor Your Food With Ginger
According to the Natural Society, ginger is a more powerful and less harmful treatment for unnatural acid reflux than any medical prescription. Not only that, ginger is also rich in antibacterial, antiparasitic and antiviral properties. In addition, ginger has also been found to be effective in killing cancer cells than a number of cancer drugs.
To add more ginger into your daily diet, add some peeled slices to your usual stir fry. At the same time, you can also enjoy ginger by turning it into ginger tea. Just slice some up and allow to gently simmer in water. Let the mixture cool down and enjoy.
8. Salads Are Not Just Figure Friendly
Leafy greens help make you feel full without having to indulge in fatty, fried food that can trigger your body to suffer any GERD symptom. If you find yourself suffering from unnatural acid reflux frequently, go ahead and make salads your friend.
Just a little caution though, be sure to avoid high fat dressings, as well as fried croutons, as they may just make your GERD much worse. Opt for lighter and flavorful dressings such as yogurt dressings, plain oil and vinegar or a vinaigrette. At the same time, skip the bacon and cheese. Instead, top your leafy greens with black olives, beans, carrots, broccoli, cucumbers, fruits and nuts. Your stomach will thank you for it.
9. Enjoy Some Melons
With a pH level of 6.1, melons are some of the best fruits to have if you regularly suffer from acid reflux. It is also rich in magnesium, which is a mineral that is typically included in a number of reflux medications. Go ahead and indulge in some melons, cantaloupe and honeydew everyday. Just a caution though, there has been a small percentage of GERD patients who reported experiencing worsening symptoms after eating melons.
10. Eat More Fennel
Fennel is an herb that is reported to have healing properties for a number of digestive problems, including intestinal gas, bloating, colic in infants, loss of appetites and heartburn. To make fennel a part of your daily meals, simply add some thin shavings onto your salads or add to your other dishes.
You can also make some fennel tea by slicing them thin and letting them steep in some boiling water. Strain the fennel after five minutes and sip your tea.
11. Make Chicken or Turkey a Part of Your Daily Meals
Lean proteins like chicken and turkey are perfect for patients suffering from unnatural acid reflux. Just avoid frying them or cooking them with too much fat or oil. Instead, you should try to bake, boil, broil or grill them.
12. Spread on some mustard
Here’s another good reason why you should add mustard to your sandwiches. Mustard is an effective alkalizing food that is also packed with various minerals. Because of this, it can help neutralize stomach acid before it decides to regurgitate back up your throat.
To add more mustard to your daily diet, try making your very own mustard salad dressing. At the same time, you can also make a reflux friendly dip with mustard.
13. Snack on Some Almonds
Almonds are not just perfect low calorie snacks. They are equally good for treating unnatural acid reflux. In fact, they have been known to readily neutralize juices in your stomach, thereby preventing a heartburn from happening. Go ahead and munch three to four pieces of almonds after every meal or snack.
Just don’t eat almonds excessively. Some patients have reported experiencing worsening symptoms of their reflux as a result.
14. Consume Some Probiotics Daily
According to Dr. David Williams, probiotics have been shown to readily help treat acid reflux problems. This is because they are full of live micro-organisms that help neutralize toxic compounds in the body.
To take a daily dose of probiotics, have some yogurt and fermented soy products everyday. At the same time, there are also some naturally fermented, unpasteurized beers that you and your friends can enjoy. They’re rich in probiotics and they don’t make you feel like you’re on a strict diet regimen at all.
15. Don’t ignore the celery
Eating raw stalks of celery is said to effectively heal any symptom of unnatural acid reflux, especially heart burn. Go ahead and indulge in some celery sticks every day. Skip the blue cheese dressing though. Instead, opt for a lighter yogurt dressing that is just as flavorful and addictive.
16. Sprinkle more parsley on your dishes
Parsley is an herb that has been used for years to help calm the stomach and promote good digestion. To add some parsley into your daily diet, go ahead and sprinkle some chopped or curly parsley onto your salads, stews, pasta dishes and soups.
17. Enjoy some licorice everyday
Licorice is one of the best home remedies for heartburn, gastritis and ulcers. It is also known to bring relief to patients who are suffering from pain and discomfort due to unnatural acid reflux.
As a treatment, people suffering from reflux may take some deglycyrrhizinated licorice root (DGL) tablets. Dr. David Williams says the suggested does is two DGL tablets chewed 20 minutes right before a meal. This can be taken three times a day. At the same time, patients suffering from night time GERD can also take it before going to bed.
When it happens more often than what is considered normal, acid reflux can be painful and even dangerous to your health. You may want to try these natural remedies to help lessen your frequency of acid reflux and heartburn.
Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to see a physician when you’re dealing with a condition like this, especially if the severity or occurrence of it increases. It is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your health.