It is common to feel heartburn due to Acid Reflux once in a while. When the Acid Reflux becomes more frequent or chronic then it is considered Gastroesophageal Acid Reflux Disease (GERD). If not treated well then it can cause more complications including esophageal cancer.
No need to panic. Antacids and lifestyle changes can deal with GERD, but severe cases may require proper medication. While you will have to take whatever medication required for GERD, use of home remedies will reduce acid reflux and symptoms like heartburn, chest pain and nausea.
Causes and Symptoms of Acid Reflux / GERD
Hiatal Hernia is one of the most common causes of Acid Reflux. It is a condition in which the upper portion of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity. The upper part of the stomach LESS moves above the diaphragm. Diaphragm is the organ that stops stomach acids to move up. In the hiatal hernia the diaphragm is breached pushing stomach acids to move up into esophagus. This causes Acid Reflux and heartburn. The following factor will promote acid reflux even more.
Obesity, overeating, lying down after food, eating certain acidic foods and beverages, being pregnant and smoking are some of the factors that act as catalysts to cause acid reflux.
Typical symptoms of Acid Reflux include
- Chronic Sore throat
- Dry cough
- Bloody stools
Lifestyle Changes for Acid Reflux and GERD
These lifestyle changes will go a long way in reducing bouts of acid reflux. GERD is generally an age related issue whereas anyone can get acid reflux. That is why these changes will be very helpful.
1. Reduce your weight - your risk of Acid Reflux increases due to excess weight around the abdominal area which puts pressure on the stomach to push food up causing heartburn. Lower your weight if you are obese or overweight.
2. Don't Lie Down after Food - When your stomach and esophageal come at the same level and happen in lying down position you may get heartburn and Acid Reflux immediately after. Food. Avoid lying down within 2-3 hours of eating.
3. Avoid Certain Foods - Foods such as citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, garlic, onions, mint, caffeine, alcohol, sodas and fried foods generally cause heartburn and acid reflux. Avoid them.
4. Eat Less - Eat less food. If required it more frequently. This will reduce stomach pushing food up to esophageal.
5. Avoid Tight Clothing - If you wear tight trousers or your belt is too tight after food then it can move the food up due to pressure on the stomach. Loosen up your clothes to avoid acid reflux and heartburn.
6. Quit Smoking - smoking damages lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When these muscles are weakened due to smoking the Acid Reflux boutes can be more frequent. Quit smoking to avoid heartburn.
7. Reduce Stress - Practice deep breathing several times during the day to reduce stress. A Relaxed mind and body will deal more effectively with GERD and reduce heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms.
7. Home Remedies for Acid Reflux and GERD
Certain foods can give you immediate relief from heartburn and Acid Reflux. Following foods will help.
1. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a natural antacid that helps to reduce heartburn and Acid Reflux. And half teaspoon baking soda to a glass of water, mix it well and drink.
2. Yellow Mustard
Eat a teaspoon of soaked yellow mustard. It balances the pH and neutralizing stomach acids to give you relief from heartburn and Acid Reflux.
3. Fennel Seeds
It is an excellent home remedy for Acid Reflux. A compound called anethole in fennel helps to reduce muscle spasms in the Gastrointestinal tract. Chew one teaspoon of fennel seeds after food.
4. Aloe Vera Juice
Aloe vera has anti-inflammatory capabilities that helps to smooth information in the stomach and avoid Acid Reflux. If you are a GERD patient then this is your preventive remedy. Drink 34 tablespoons of aloe vera juice 20-30 minutes before food.
5. Apple Cider Vinegar
This remedy solves many health problems including heartburn and Acid Reflux. Mix one teaspoon Apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink after food. It balances pH in the stomach.
6. Licorice Root
Licorice root is another useful remedy to stop heartburn. It soothes mucous membrane in the guts to reduce possibilities of Acid Reflux. Boil half teaspoon licorice powder in a glass of water. Drink it as warm tea before food. This is a preventive remedy for GERD patients.
7. Chewing Gum
Eating sugar free chewing gum after 12 minutes of food is one of the best home remedies for GERD. It stimulates production of saliva that ultimately helps in stopping Acid Reflux.
Precautions and Other Tips
If you take care of avoiding the catalyst that triggers and promotes acid reflux then most of your problems will be resolved. Before making Lifestyle changes is absolutely must if you have GERD.
Heartburn is a nasty feeling and chronic heartburn can be very stressful. Why live with the stresses when you can do a lot about getting rid of your Acid Reflux?
If you find your frequencies of Acid Reflux are increasing over time then it's high time to go and check for hiatus hernia and GERD. Untreated GERD can produce many complications. Surgeries may be required. In some cases the chronic acid reflux can turn into esophageal cancer.
So take your acid reflux seriously particularly if it is becoming chronic. Occasional heartburn Acid Reflux is common therefore no need to panic.