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How Long Will It Take to Heal Acid Reflux? | Stop Acid Reflux Now

How Long Will It Take to Heal Acid Reflux?

It is important to treat your acid reflux before it causes any serious complications. However, the type of treatment and how long will it take to heal acid reflux varies from person to person. Meaning you need to find the right treatment option that will work for you.

Everyone responds differently to treatment based on how severe their GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) condition is, and how their body reacts to treatment. So, what works for one individual may not for another. Likewise, how long will it take to heal acid reflux depends on how well a person responds to treatment and the severity of GERD. Therefore, for many acid reflux sufferers, discovering the treatment best suited to their specific needs is often a process of elimination, and may result in a combination of treatments.

There are many different types of treatment options. The following is a breakdown of the most common methods:

Lifestyle change – This is the most recommended treatment when it comes to healing acid reflux because it is simply a matter of changing habits to prevent acid reflux such as avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux, improving eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise, reducing stress, avoid eating before bed, etc.

Traditional medicine – There are three main medication types used to treat and prevent acid reflux and they include:

1. Antacids (I.E. Tums, Gaviscon, etc.) – they work by neutralizing stomach acid and can be beneficial for those who suffer from occasional eartburn.

2. H2–receptor antagonists (I.E. Zantac, Pepcid, etc.) – neutralize acid by preventing stomach cells from producing acid and is stronger than an antacid. Tends to benefit GERD sufferers who do not suffer from additional complications such as ulcers and Barrett’s esophagus.

3. Proton Pump Inhibitors (I.E. Prilosec, Nexium, etc.) – Highly effective at stopping the production of stomach acid, and also helps to heal an inflamed esophagus. They are ideal for short term use in GERD sufferers who have complications.

It’s difficult to determine how long will it take to heal acid reflux when it comes to traditional medicine, because many of these medications are not meant to be taken for long-term treatment.

Alternative medicine – There are various alternative medicines, but three commonly used to treat GERD are:

1. Traditional Chinese Medicine. This primarily includes the ancient practices of acupressure and acupuncture. Both techniques involve manipulating specific acupoints in the body as prescribed by ancient Chinese medicine. By applying pressure or inserting needles in to the specific acupoints that are connected to the symptoms one is experiencing, it is believed that the meridian system that exists within the body known as Yin, Yang and Qi can be brought into alignment and allow the body to heal itself. The techniques are virtually the same, except that acupuncture uses thin needles, while fingers, knuckles and elbows are used to apply pressure to acupoints in acupressure.

2. Homeopathy. This alternative therapy works to treat an individual based on their mental, physical, and personal characteristics. A GERD sufferer will be treated based on their specific symptoms, not their condition. Therefore, no two GERD sufferers will be prescribed the same course of treatment. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural plant, animal and mineral substances.

3. Herbal remedies. This is an alternative treatment that uses various plant and plant parts for medicinal purposes. Popular herbal remedies for GERD include, but are not limited to:
- Chamomile
- Ginger root
- Licorice
- Turmeric

Herbs are commonly ingested in the form of tea but can be sold fresh, dried, or in powder, tablet, and pill form. They can usually be found in health food stores or sold from an herbalist.

When pursuing alternative treatment it is imperative that you find a qualified and experienced professional for the specific treatment you are seeking. Furthermore, if you are wondering how long will it take to heal acid reflux with an alternative remedy, it depends on the specific symptoms you are experiencing.

Remember, you must be patient when healing acid reflux, as it can take time to see improvement. Furthermore, healing is all about preventing the recurrence of acid reflux. There is no treatment that cures GERD indefinitely; acid reflux can continue to occur if you do not maintain your methods of prevention.

Finally, regardless of the treatment method you use, you should first consult your doctor to receive professional advice and so he/she can monitor your progress or provide you with new treatment ideas if you have trouble finding treatment that works.

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7 Responses

  1. Tim
    February 14th, 2008 | 7:14 pm

    I suffer from “silent” reflux in that I do not suffer from heartburn. The onset of symptoms was quite sudden at the end of October 2007 and involved a sore throat, sinus problems, a sore palate and blocked ears, all predominantely on the left side. A camera up my nose also revealed nodules on my vocal chords.
    I am taking 10mg of Omeprazole (A PPI.) This was originally once a day but has been upped to twice a day as I found research indicating that this was a more effective regime.
    It is reassuring to see that the symptoms can take a while to settle. I have lived the life of a monk the last 3 months. I have given up alcohol, lost weight (more to lose,) taken all the diet tips on board and started exercising but still have some symptoms, albeit not quite so severe. I am left with a sore throat and a sore palate which tends to get worse as the day goes on.
    Knowing what I know now through this and other sites I was reflux waiting to happen with my eating and drinking habits as well as being overweight. This has been a wake up call to me to reassess my lifestyle.
    Thank you for the information you provide. Some more on the LPR that I seem to have would be useful to me.

  2. gordon salvitti
    February 14th, 2008 | 8:33 pm

    I have been diagnosed with gerd. Small ulceration and inflamation stomach lining. I am taking 40mg of Nexium daily. I am also taking licorice before meals and a probiotic. I have started taking some digestive enzymes with meals. Is any of this contraindicative?
    thank you

  3. Miriam
    February 18th, 2008 | 8:37 am

    I appreciated Tim’s comments as I hadn’t seen much reference so far to SLR (silent laryngopharyngeal reflux). My ENT doc put me on the standard low-acid diet and other common recommendations and 20 mg. of omeprazole twice a day. My main symptom had been a sensation of a lump in my throat intermittently through the day and especially after lying down at night.
    I followed the diet and the meds for several months and have seen minor improvements.
    I am really not sure if the medication is necessary or if the diet is even making much difference. Right now I am on vacation and am mostly taking the medication only once a day (my insurance company wouldn’t approve the twice a day regime without special authorization which I didn’t have time to get before leaving) and not being as strict about the diet. Seems not to make much difference and my symptoms are now quite mild.
    I would just like to hear more from folks with SLR and/or from Kathryn about this condition.

  4. Lizbeth
    March 9th, 2008 | 10:58 am

    I would like to tell Miriam that I had the “lump in the throat” sensation to the point of extreme nausea, for several months when I was only 37 years old, and it was finally discovered that I was going into early menopause and needed estrogen therapy.
    Hope this helps.

  5. Lyn Weller
    March 15th, 2008 | 2:49 am

    I have found that the lifestyle changes are very important. I am currently taking rabeprazole, but if I break the guidelines by eating a meal that is a bit bigger, or even slightly fatty, I suffer. I suspect that it is the combination of medication and lifestyle which does the trick for me, but I am going to stop medication soon and see how I get on.
    Kathryn, I appreciate your research and newsletter So Very Much! I am also so glad I found out about the link with asthma. Since I have the acid reflux under control, my asthma is very much better. Thankyou again!

  6. March 17th, 2008 | 10:34 pm

    I have changed my diet but I find that my acid reflux comes back.
    I am on ZEGRID.I am eating smaller meals.chewing my food slowly.
    I guess I have to be patient. When I was first diagonesed with acid reflux it was not as painful as now.
    I need some advice.
    Thank you.

  7. March 21st, 2008 | 7:30 am

    Lyn - thanks for your positive feedback. Great to know that the information here and in the newsletter is helpful to you. However, before you stop taking your medication please speak to your doctor first. It’s important to keep them informed of your health choices.

    Collin - sorry to hear that your reflux is causing your problems despite some dietary changes. I would suggest that as your reflux is worse now than before you started your meds that you revisit your doctor to discuss the option of another medication.
    In the meantime along with avoiding any acid reflux trigger foods, eating smaller meals and chewing slowly try not eating 3 hours before bed and raiseyour head and shoulders in bed if you suffer from nightime reflux.
    There are plenty of natural remedies that you can try too - have a browse through the other post on this blog for more information. However remember to advise your doctor before trying any.

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