Home Remedies for Acid Reflux

Acid reflux, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is an ailment affecting people worldwide. The chances are you, or someone close to you has experienced the burning discomfort that acid reflux brings.

Your experiences with acid reflux can vary. You may encounter it once in a while, say after a particularly hearty meal, or you may have to deal with it every day. It is, however, essential to remember that frequent acid reflux can lead to GERD, a more serious condition.

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, about 15 million Americans experience heartburn – the most common symptom of acid reflux – every day. This statistic tells us one thing: you’re not alone.

So, what can you do to extinguish that fire in your chest? Pharmaceutical Scientist Dr. Mayor Boss, Ph.D., shares home remedies to ease your acid reflux.

How to Alleviate Acid Reflux Naturally

Here are some strategies you can implement at home to manage your acid reflux.

Eat Smaller, Frequent Meals

One effective home remedy for acid reflux is modifying your eating habits.

“Large meals stretch your stomach and increase upward pressure against the esophageal sphincter,” explains Dr. Boss. “This leads to a higher risk of acid reflux. Eating smaller, frequent meals throughout the day can generally help relieve your symptoms.”

Avoid Trigger Foods

Certain foods are known to trigger acid reflux. Steering clear of these foods can help keep your symptoms in check.

“Foods and drinks like coffee, chocolate, alcohol, fatty and fried foods, garlic, onions, mint, tomatoes, and spicy foods can trigger acid reflux,” says Dr. Boss.

Sleep on Your Left Side

The position in which you sleep can influence acid reflux symptoms.

“Studies show that sleeping on your left side can alleviate heartburn and acid reflux,” says Dr. Boss. “This position can help gravity keep gastric acid in the stomach, lessening the chance of it flowing back into the esophagus.”

Try Herbal Remedies

Certain herbs have been used for centuries to alleviate various ailments, including acid reflux.

“Herbs such as slippery elm, chamomile, licorice, and marshmallow have been used to soothe the esophagus,” says Dr. Boss. “However, as with all remedies, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before starting an herbal regimen.”

Stay Upright After Eating

Gravity plays a crucial role in keeping your stomach acid where it belongs.

“Staying upright for at least three hours after a meal can help reduce acid reflux,” suggests Dr. Boss. “If you lie down, acid can more easily flow back into your esophagus.”

Wear Loose Clothes

Tight clothing and belts can put pressure on your stomach, leading to acid reflux.

“Wearing loose, comfortable clothes can help reduce the pressure on your stomach and lower the risk of acid reflux,” advises Dr. Boss.

Don’t Smoke

Cigarette smoking also exacerbates acid reflux.

“Nicotine in cigarettes relaxes the muscles in the lower part of your esophagus, allowing stomach acid to flow back up,” says Dr. Boss. “Quitting smoking can help alleviate acid reflux symptoms.”

Things You Should Avoid

While the above remedies can help manage acid reflux, there are certain things you should avoid.

First, don’t eat close to bedtime.

“Eating close to bedtime can trigger acid reflux,” warns Dr. Boss. “Allow at least three hours between your last meal or snack and bedtime.”

Second, avoid eating large meals.

“Overeating can cause the stomach to produce more acid, which can trigger or worsen acid reflux,” explains Dr. Boss.

Lastly, don’t lie flat in bed.

“Use gravity to your advantage. Elevate your upper body by at least six inches when lying down. This helps prevent acid from backing up into your esophagus,” says Dr. Boss.

When to See Your Doctor

If you’ve made dietary and lifestyle changes, but your acid reflux persists, it might be time to see your doctor.

“If your symptoms persist despite your efforts to alleviate them, it may be time to seek medical attention,” advises Dr. Boss. “Especially if you’re experiencing severe symptoms like difficulty swallowing, persistent nausea, weight loss, or pain in the upper abdomen.”

All in all, acid reflux is a common issue, but it doesn’t have to rule your life. Making conscious changes in your habits and lifestyle can significantly reduce your symptoms. The remedies suggested here can help manage your acid reflux, but it’s always wise to consult a healthcare provider to ensure your symptoms aren’t indicative of a more severe condition.

Further Reading: The 10 Foods That Are Most Likely to Cause Acid Reflux

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