Natural Cures for Acid Reflux
Due to the long list of undesirable side effects associated with prescription medications, an increasing number of people are seeking out natural cures for acid reflux. This also allows them to continue their treatment of the condition over longer periods of time, since the major of prescription medications for GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) are formulated for only short-term use.
Although there are very long lists of different kinds of natural cures for acid reflux, the following gives you an idea of the types of changes that can be made in your life to keep your heartburn under control and reduce your need for relieving on prescription drugs. Talk to your doctor before beginning any remedy on your own.
Herbal remedies – Many herbal remedies can help to keep acid levels in the stomach low, or simply ease digestive discomforts. Herbs often recommended for acid reflux include: chamomile, cancer bush, meadowsweet, catnip, fennel, gentian root, angelica root, ginger root, and slippery elm. Some studies suggest that used properly, aloe can also offer some benefits.
Quitting smoking – Smoking can worsen the symptoms of acid reflux as it can contribute to the actual refluxing of the stomach acids. This is because it dries the mouth, so that less saliva is available in the mouth, throat, and stomach to neutralize stomach acids. It can also cause the muscles of the sphincter to relax. This part of the body usually creates a seal to stop acid from rising up from the stomach and reaching the esophagus. When it relaxes, it does not seal properly.
Reducing alcohol consumption – Lowering the intake of alcohol (or eliminating it altogether) can be very helpful in reducing the symptoms of acid reflux. This is especially true when alcohol is consumed in the evening. Alcohol boosts the amount of acids in the stomach. It also relaxes the muscles and can cause the sphincter to seal less effectively so that kids are allowed to rise from the stomach.
Changing eating habits – Aside from dietary changes to avoid foods that encourage higher levels of stomach acid production, you should also look at the size of your meals and when you're eating them. Eating several fewer meals throughout the day is usually much better for keeping GERD symptoms under control than eating fewer large meals. Also, try not to eat anything within three hours of going to bed. This will allow the stomach acid levels to lower again before you are lying down when it is easier for them to rise (since gravity helps to keep acid down when you are sitting up).
Losing weight – People who are overweight or obese are at much higher risk of experiencing heartburn – especially at night. By losing weight and maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index), heartburn should decrease if not stop altogether. Talk to your doctor about a healthy weight loss program for you.
For more information about natural cures for acid reflux, speak with your physician. You'll find out that there are many very small changes that you can make in your life that will make all the difference to your symptoms.