Relieve acid reflux naturally
Acid reflux has become a widespread health issue. The treatments often used to relieve acid reflux include commercialized medications like Esomeprazole. Yet, improving your lifestyle might be effective too. Just changing your dietary practice or your sleeping style can notably decrease symptoms of acid reflux, giving you a more comfortable life.
However, here we show some scientific research-backed natural ways to reduce acid reflux.
#1 Stop overeating: There is a ring-shaped muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter in the connecting point of the digestive tube and the stomach. It works as a valve that is responsible for preventing the acidic items at the stomach from returning to the esophagus. It always needs to stay closed except when you vomit or eat. If you have acid reflux, this muscle is weakened or malfunctioned. If this muscle is too much pressured, acid reflux can also occur as acid squeezes through the opening.
Usually, many reflux symptoms occur after having a meal. Larger meals seem to worsen those issues. So if you avoid overeating it may minimize acid reflux well.
#2 Decrease your weight
We, the human have a muscle called diaphragm above our stomach. Naturally, it strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter if you have a healthy body. As we mentioned above, this muscle prevents excessive acid from leaking to the esophagus.
If you have excessive belly fat, the high pressure in your abdomen pushes the lower
esophageal sphincter upward so that this muscle goes outside the range of the support of the diaphragm. That’s why fat people and pregnant women are at a high risk of acid reflux. It’s shown by many observational studies that extra abdominal weight increases the risk of acid reflux. So you must give priority to losing weight if you have symptoms of acid reflux.
#3 Try avoiding a high-carb diet
There are many pieces of evidence suggesting that a high-carb diet might be responsible for acid reflux symptoms. If you have undigested carbs in your stomach, it may cause bacterial overgrowth and elevated pressure in your abdomen. Some scientists suspect that poor carb digestion in the small intestine may be one of the most common causes of acid reflux. If your abdomen contains too many undigested carbs, it may make you belch more often. Supporting this idea, some studies show that a low-carb diet can reduce acid reflux symptoms.
In one study, the researchers provided the participants with GERD prebiotic fiber supplements to promote the growth of gas-producing bacteria. As a result, their acid reflux symptoms worsened. Though it seems to be an effective remedy, still it needs some more researches.
#4 Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol increases the intensity of acid reflux by increasing the amount of acid in the stomach, relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter and harming the ability of the esophagus to get rid of acid in it. It is found from research that alcohol intake can cause reflux even in a healthy body.
Controlled studies also prove that drinking wine or beer increases reflux symptoms in
comparison to drinking plain water. So limiting your alcohol intake can help you to reduce your pain.
#5 Drink less coffee
Studies prove that coffee increases the risk of acid reflux by temporarily impairing the lower esophageal sphincter. Some researches suspect caffeine as a possible culprit. Caffeine harms the lower esophageal sphincter like coffee.Also, drinking decaffeinated coffee is proved to decrease the reflux symptoms in comparison with drinking regular coffee.
By the way, in research, no effect of caffeine was detected when it was given in water even
though coffee itself worsened the situation. These results indicate that elements other than caffeine may be responsible for coffee’s effect on acid reflux. The processing and preparation of coffee may also play a role.
Although many experiments suggest that coffee can worsen acid reflux symptoms, questions can arise over the pieces of evidence. Another study found no negative effect when patients drank coffee just after taking meals. But the duration of reflux periods between meals was increased due to coffee.
When a small camera investigated the symptoms of acid reflux, coffee consumptions were
found to have linkage with greater acid damages in the esophagus. Coffee’s effects on acid reflux may depend on the individuals. If coffee worsens your acid reflux, just decrease the amount of coffee you drink.
#6 Consider chewing gums
Some studies show that chewing gums decreases acidity in the esophagus. Gums containing bicarbonates seem to be especially effective. These findings point out that chewing gum and the growth in saliva formation due to it may help you clear your esophagus of acid.
By the way, it possibly doesn’t reduce the acid reflux itself.
#7 Stay away from eating raw onion
A study on people with acid reflux and belching showed that food with raw onion remarkably increased acid reflux compared to the identical meal without onion.
If you belch more often, it may show more gas production in your abdomen due to a high
amount of fermentable fibers in onion. Raw onion can worsen heartburn by irritating the lining of the esophagus. In conclusion, you should avoid eating raw onion if you feel that it worsens your acid reflux symptoms.
#8 Limit your intake of soft drinks
People with acid reflux sometimes receive advice to limit their intake of soft drinks.
An observational study found that carbonated beverages were involved in increasing acid reflux symptoms. Again, controlled studies show that taking carbonated beverages can temporarily weaken the lower esophageal sphincter in comparison with drinking plain water.
The most important reason is Carbon Dioxide gas used in soft drinks that which makes people belch more frequently. This is an effect that might increase the amount of acid leaking into the esophagus from the stomach.
So, carbonated beverages or soft drinks can worsen your symptoms of acid reflux.
#9 Avoid drinking citrus juices too much
In a study with 400 GRED patients, 72% of the participants reported that grapefruit or orange juice worsened their acid reflux symptoms. The acidity of citrus fruits doesn’t seem to be the only reason for this. Orange Juice with a neutral pH also seems to irritate the symptoms.
As citrus juice doesn’t harm the lower esophageal sphincter, it seems that some of its other
ingredients may irritate the lining of the esophagus.
Though citrus juice doesn’t make acid reflux occur, it may make your heartburn worse sometimes.
So if you feel that drinking citrus juices worsen your acid reflux symptoms, avoid drinking too much of them.
#10 Try to eat fewer chocolates
Patients having acid reflux are often advised to limit eating chocolates or avoid it. But, the
evidence behind this advice is not strong enough. A small uncontrolled survey showed that drinking 4 ounces or 120 ml of chocolate syrup impaired the lower esophageal sphincter.
Another controlled survey showed that drinking a chocolate beverage could increase the
amount of acid in the esophagus in comparison to a placebo.
After all, further researches are needed to make a strong conclusion on the effects of
chocolates on acid reflux.
#11 keep mint away if needs be
Herbs like peppermint and spearmint are commonly used to flavor foods, candy, mouthwash, and toothpaste. They are famous elements of herbal teas, too.
A controlled survey over the patients having acid reflux found no effect of spearmint on the
lower esophageal sphincter.
Still, the study showed that a high amount of spearmint may make reflux symptoms worse by irritating the inside of the esophagus.
#12 raise the head of the bed
Some people feel reflux symptoms at night. It often disrupts their quality of sleep and makes sleeping harder for them. An experiment showed that people who elevated their head of the bed had remarkably fewer reflux periods and symptoms in comparison to those who slept without elevating their head of the bed.
Also, an analysis of some controlled experiments concluded that raising the head of the bed is a practical technique to decrease acid reflux and symptoms and heartburn at night.
#13 Don’t go to bed within three hours after dinner
People who have acid reflux are often advised to stay away from bed for the first three hours after dinner.
Though this advice makes sense, it is backed up by only a limited number of evidence.
One study with patients having GERD showed that there was no effect of having a late evening meal on acid reflux. On the other hand, it was found from an observational study that eating close bedtime would create notably greater reflux symptoms when people were about to fall asleep.
More studies are needed before we can make a solid conclusion on this matter. It may be even dependent on individuals.
#14 Sleep on your left side
Many surveys show that sleeping on your right side may increase acid reflux symptoms at night. The reason is not yet entirely clear. The esophagus enters the right side of the abdomen. The lower esophageal sphincter gets covered by acid when you sleep on your right side. So acid can leak through it and cause reflux when you are sleeping.
But it’s not a practical solution as you can change your side when you are sleeping.
In fine, some simple improvements in your dietary practice and lifestyle can relieve you of acid reflux without medications naturally