If you're part of this group and are desperate for relief from your symptoms, keep reading. Listed below are five natural remedies that can treat your symptoms and reduce the inflammation that many doctors believe causes GERD and other digestive disorders.
1. Drink a Baking Soda Solution
Baking soda is a base substance that helps to neutralize stomach acid. It's great for reducing the burning sensation that occurs when you experience acid reflux.
To make a baking soda solution, add one teaspoon of baking soda to eight ounces of water. Drink the whole thing, and repeat as needed (but don't drink more than seven doses in one day).
You should also avoid drinking this solution more than once a week. Baking soda is high in salt and can cause swelling and nausea in high doses.
2. Chew Gum
Some research shows that sugar-free gum can help relieve GERD symptoms. This is because chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which, in turn, washes away the acid.
People who struggle with acid reflux after eating can try chewing a piece of gum for thirty minutes following their meal.
The extra saliva produced by chewing gum will also help wash away remnants of food from your teeth, which decreases your risk of cavities and enamel damage.
3. Don't Lie Down After Eating
Resist the urge to lie down after eating a meal. This puts pressure on the esophageal sphincter and makes it easier for the contents of your stomach to be pushed back up. As a result, you're more likely to experience acid reflux and heartburn.
Sit or stand upright after eating to help keep your food down.
If you're in the habit of going to bed right after eating, try pushing your dinner back a few hours before bedtime to give your food time to digest.
If this isn't an option, you may want to invest in an acid reflux pillow to help you stay slightly elevated as you sleep. This will make it harder for food to come back up while you sleep.
4. Drink Ginger or Chamomile Tea
Drink ginger tea before a meal to help prevent nausea, heartburn, and acid reflux.
Chamomile is best drunk about 30-60 minutes before bedtime. It helps balance out the acidity in the stomach so you won't be kept awake by your symptoms. Chamomile also reduces stress levels, so it will help you fall asleep faster.
5. Drink Apple Cider Vinegar
Many people swear by the effectiveness of apple cider vinegar for treating heartburn and acid reflux. The belief is that apple cider vinegar balances out stomach acid to minimize burning.
The most frequently recommended method for consuming apple cider vinegar is to mix one teaspoon with eight ounces of water and drink the solution either before meals or as soon as heartburn hits.
It's best to start small with apple cider vinegar and avoid drinking it plain. It can damage tooth enamel and damage the esophagus and stomach lining if it's not diluted.
Preventing GERD Symptoms
In addition to treating your GERD symptoms, it's also best to make lifestyle changes to prevent them from showing up in the first place. Some changes you may want to consider making include:
Eliminating inflammatory foods like dairy, gluten, processed foods, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, citrus fruits, and refined grains
Eater smaller meals throughout the day
Eating and drinking more slowly
Drinking more water
Reducing stress and getting plenty of sleep (stress and fatigue can make GERD symptoms worse)
Exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy weight (there are links between obesity and GERD)
Stopping medications like NSAIDs (these can wear down the stomach lining and increase the risk of developing GERD)
When left unchecked, GERD symptoms are frustrating at best and debilitating at worst. Give these natural remedies a try today to eliminate your symptoms and improve your quality of life.