There are a variety of different ways that you can treat acid reflux naturally. For many people who suffer from frequent acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), natural and non-drug remedies are the preferred method for not only treating their symptoms, but also preventing them from recurring.
The following are examples of common natural remedies for acid reflux. However, keep in mind that not all natural treatments will benefit everyone who suffers from reflux, because every condition is specific to the individual. In other words, what works for one person, will not always work for another.
Lifestyle change is usually the first step to treating acid reflux naturally, because this form of treatment is designed to stop an acid reflux sufferer from subjecting their body to the many factors that can trigger symptoms by weakening the LES. Lifestyle changes will vary depending on the individual but generally involve:
• Eliminating foods and beverages that trigger reflux (I.E. spicy and fatty foods, citrus and tomato products, caffeinated beverages, alcohol, etc.)
• Eating smaller meals more frequently and not gulping food. Chew food thoroughly to start the digestion process.
• Not eating 2-3 hours prior to bed and sleeping with head and shoulders elevated about 3-6 inches
• Losing excess pounds if you are overweight or obese
• Stop smoking and avoid smoky environments where you can breathe in a lot of second hand smoke
• Wear non-constricting clothing (I.E. avoid corsets, belts, tight pants, etc.)
• Reduce stress levels as this can lead to behavior that encourages acid reflux.
Believe it or not, but water is actually one of the simplest ways to treat and prevent acid reflux naturally. Drinking plenty of water a day (I.E. eight, 8 oz. glasses of water per day), helps to improve digestion and flushes residue acid out of the esophagus.
Herbal and food remedies
There are many different herbs, fruits, and other foods that are recommended for soothing and preventing heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms including:
• Dandelion root
• Slippery Elm
• Lemon balm
• Active Manuka honey
• Apple cider vinegar
• Ripe papaya fruit
Natural food remedies are typically ingested raw before, during or after meals. Herbs can be eaten in natural form, taken as capsules, or in the form of tea before, during or after meals.
Common alternative treatments used to remedy acid reflux naturally include:
• Acupuncture – A technique based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) that involves inserting very fine needles into specific points of the skin to stimulate the body and encourage it to control symptoms, reduce pain, and heal.
• Acupressure – Follows the same principles as acupuncture accept that fingers, thumbs or knuckles are used instead of needles to apply pressure to specific points to stimulate healing.
• Homeopathy – An alternative treatment based on the Law of Similars. The belief that natural substances prepared in a specific way, and used in small doses, restores health in the ailing individual, that would otherwise cause a healthy person to become ill.
Regardless of which natural acid reflux treatment you chose, remember that it is imperative you follow all directions and recommended doses carefully, as well as learn if there are any side effects or drug interactions you should be aware of.
You need to understand that while natural non-drug remedies may be very beneficial in treating your acid reflux/GERD symptoms, not every natural remedy will benefit all acid reflux sufferers. The main reason is because not everyone with acid reflux experiences this digestive problem for the same reasons. For instance, while digestive enzymes such as ripe papaya fruit may help treat acid reflux symptoms that result from too little acid production; it may make symptoms worse in a person who produces too much acid.
For people prone to acid reflux/GERD because of a peptic ulcer, hiatal hernia, Barrett’s esophagus, gastroparesis (delayed stomach emptying), or another condition, such as diabetes, or asthma, natural treatment may not be enough, and is often combined with other methods of treatment such as medication and possible surgery.
Discovering what natural remedies will work for you will likely be a process of elimination, so don’t become discouraged. Furthermore, you will find it is easier to discover what remedies are best for treating your acid reflux naturally, by learning what the specific root cause is that triggers your acid reflux symptoms. Therefore, you should have your condition properly diagnosed by a health care professional, as well as seek treatment advice from your doctor.
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