Acid reflux is a common condition in which stomach acid flows into the tube that connects the stomach to the throat, called the esophagus. The acid enters the esophagus due to a weakened muscle ring in the upper part of the stomach (called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES)). Usually, when we consume any food or drink, that ring of muscle contracts and closes the upper part of the stomach so that nothing flows out of the stomach, up the tube. With the exception of belching or vomiting, that small door must remain closed. However, when it can not be closed properly because it has been weakened for some reason, and the gastric juices flow back through the tube, this alters the proper digestion and often causes many unpleasant symptoms. If left untreated, acid reflux can progress to a condition known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Here are some natural remedies:
Alter your diet
Avoid trigger foods and include foods that are anti-inflammatory, calm your bowel, and are easy to digest. These can include green leafy vegetables, cucumber, ochro (okra), almonds, oatmeal, white fish, white meat, brown rice, coconut, avocado, soups and salads (without raw onion).
Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Do: Take the time to chew your food properly and eat more slowly.
Drink less alcohol
Do not do it
Eat processed foods (for example, sausages, canned meats and foods high in artificial ingredients), condiments (for example, ketchup, mustard, barbecue sauce, garlic sauce or salad dressing) or fast foods.
Drink while you eat. A sip of water for moisture is fine, but not a glass of juice. This dilutes stomach acid and causes a longer time for digestion, which leads, of course, to fermentation, gas, bloating and acid reflux.
Skip the meals. This can lead to overeating each time you eat.
Do not eat and lie down. It is best to wait at least an hour after eating before bedtime.
Change your sleeping position
Acid reflux often strikes at night. Be sure to sleep in an elevated position by stacking your pillows at least six inches higher than normal. If you sleep on your side, be sure to sleep on the left side, as this position prevents acid from rising up the esophagus.
Reduce your stress levels
Stress is like a ball of energy that starts in the mind and is stored in the body. It must be released or, otherwise, the body will implode, figuratively, of course. Find a way to release this energy, whether through moderate exercise, outdoor activity, meditation, prayer or any other healthy medium you choose, and restore the balance of energy in your body.
Try natural supplements
Epsom salt / magnesium: relaxes smooth muscle tissue and reduces spasm of the esophageal sphincter, preventing the escape of acid from the stomach.
Ginger and turmeric: anti-inflammatory and help digestion when taken in moderation.
Paw paw: contains the enzyme pepsin that helps the effective breakdown of food in the stomach.
Unfiltered apple cider vinegar: contains useful probiotics and restores the acid pH of the stomach for effective digestion.
Activated carbon: reduces gas and bloating, and removes harmful toxins from the intestine caused by excessive growth of yeast or bacteria due to certain medications.
Protect your intestinal lining
Help your bowel to heal by restoring the lining of the mucosa. Licorice root (not for patients with high blood pressure), slippery elm, aloe vera and ochro / okra can help with this, all in moderate amounts.
Probiotics such as yogurt, kombucha, fermented vegetables or probiotic supplements help to repopulate the gut with "good" bacteria, which helps in proper digestion.
Leah Lewis, MPH.
CEO / Principal Consultant
Leah Lewis is an expert in health and wellness programs and is the founder and principal consultant of To'ren Healthcare Consultancy. Through her company, she helps leaders around the world create and manage winning health programs and policies, while inspiring others to live healthy lifestyles.