Acid reflux is the father-of-all-heartburns! Why? Because in severe cases, acids from the stomach may damage the inner lining of the food pipe permanently, adding to the misery of your daily existence. It reportedly affects one in every ten adults in the US on a daily basis! Let’s see what this condition is, how it happens and what are its natural cures.
What is acid reflux?
In medical parlance acid reflux disease is called gastro esophageal reflux disease or GERD in short. Though it’s termed a disease, this affliction doesn’t generally involve any viruses or bacteria. It occurs when strong stomach acids back up into the food pipe, causing acute inflammation of its inner lining. If this persists, it can cause permanent damage. However, it’s not the stomach acid alone, but pepsin and bile too that may injure the food pipe.
The bad news is acid reflux is not a temporary phase, but a chronic condition. Once it begins, you can get saddled with it for a lifetime. So much so that if you happen to discontinue the medicines for healing this chronic condition, it would recur within a few months!
Acid reflux causes and symptoms
The cause of acid reflux depends much on your lifestyle. If you suffer from this condition carry out some lifestyle changes. If you smoke, give up smoking; if you’re obese, shed weight; keep alcohol away; eat small meals; wear loose-fitting clothes and don’t lie down for at least three hours after a meal. Pregnancy may also cause this affliction. Foods that cause this condition include citrus fruits, chocolate, caffeine, garlic, onions, mint flavorings, fatty, spicy and fried foods. Also tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, chili and pizza can cause it.
Its symptoms may be hoarseness; needing to clear the throat repeatedly; getting bitter stomach fluid into the mouth; difficulty in swallowing food or liquid; and wheezing or coughing at night. The symptoms worsen after eating or when bending over or lying down.
Preventing acid reflux
Before looking for natural or home remedies for acid reflux, let’s see what can be done to prevent this condition:
a. Sleep with your head at least eight inches higher than your stomach to prevent stomach acids from entering the food pipe.
b. Eat six small meals instead of three large ones. Avoid constipation at all costs, as pushing to relieve will also push the stomach acids upwards.
c. Don’t bend over or do exercises immediately after eating.
d. Lie on your left side to keep the stomach below the food pipe to prevent stomach acids from entering.
e. Avoid stress and anger.
Natural remedies for acid reflux
From antacids to injections, there’re plenty of treatments available to cure this problem, but all have some side effects or the other. However, natural remedy to cure acid reflux is the safest and the most effective method. Let us see what all it includes:
a. Natural Apple Cider Vinegar:
Mix one tablespoon of this in a glass of water. Take small sips during meals.
Its beneficial digestive bacteria help counter the formation of excessive acids in stomach.
c. Certain fruits:
Dried figs, fresh pineapple and dried or fresh papaya are loaded with digestive enzymes that help digestion and prevent acidity.
d. Wormwood herb:
Many people find relief in the wormwood herb (Artemisia Asiatica).
e. Orange Peel Extract:
Orange peel extract, made from fresh orange peels, helps to move the food through the food pipe to the stomach effectively and efficiently, preventing excess acid formation.
So, if you are one of the millions reaching out for over-the-counter drugs for acid reflux, relax. Natural cures may soothe your inflamed food pipe quite effectively.