The advantage of modern medicine is that its breadth and scope allow it to provide solutions for thousands of different problems. Advancements in research and science have allowed us to create medicines that relieve symptoms, cure disease, and improve quality of life.
But taking the Western medicine route isn’t the only way to keep healthy. In fact, there are quite a few natural remedies that work just as well.
I wrote about one of these solutions in my article Turmeric for Weight Loss, which talks about the benefits of turmeric supplements.
Today, we’ll talk about other natural remedies – this time they are natural remedies for acid reflux.
What is Acid Reflux?
Mayo Clinic states that acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is what happens when your esophageal sphincter relaxes at the wrong time. This unfortunately allows stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus, creating a burning sensation that many call acid reflux.
Approximately 20% of Americans suffer from GERD, according to researchers. You’re more likely to have GERD if you’re overweight, are pregnant, are taking medicines like calcium channel blockers or certain asthma medicines, or are a smoker. Acid reflux can happen once or twice in a lifetime, or can be a more serious, regular problem that requires intervention.
What are the Best Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a fairly common problem for many people, but it can be managed with a few lifestyle changes.
A major solution involves making adjustments to your diet.
Harvard Health Publishing suggests avoiding trigger foods like spicy food, tomatoes, garlic, tea, onions, chocolate, and alcohol. They also recommend that you try eating slowly and avoiding carbonated beverages, which make you burp.
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If you suffer from regular bouts of acid reflux, you can try asking your doctor about a specialized GERD diet.
Hopkins Medicine says this can involve high-fiber foods like whole grains and vegetables, alkaline foods like bananas and nuts, and watery foods like celery and watermelon to dilute stomach acid.
Another natural remedy is ginger tea, which is alkaline and can soothe irritations in the digestive tract.
When is Acid Reflux Serious?
With the proper lifestyle changes, it’s entirely possible to reduce the symptoms of GERD and live normally. However, for more serious cases, medical and sometimes surgical intervention is required. There are several over-the-counter and prescription medicines available for treating serious acid reflux.
A common OTC solution is antacids, which work instantly but unfortunately don’t help your esophagus heal from the damage of repeated acid reflux.
Your doctor may recommend that you take H2 blockers, which are slower than antacids but last longer. H2 blockers prevent your stomach from making too much acid and are available OTC or via prescription.
If medication still isn’t enough, you may need to look at surgical solutions like endoscopic treatments.
It’s important to note that lifestyle changes can often make a big difference, and with proper work and management you may be able to live acid reflux-free.
Be sure to check in with your dietician and doctor before taking drastic steps to cure your GERD symptoms.
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