Acid reflux occurs when the lower espophageal sphincter relaxes too much following a meal, which allows the digestive juices from the stomach to push their way up the esophagus. This creates a painful burning sensation in the chest, which can spread upwards into the throat area.
Everyone will experience reflux symptoms once in a while, and some people will have heartburn more often than others. For instance, pregnant women tend to be frequent sufferers. However, if you get it regularly over a long period of time you may have a disorder such as acid reflux disease which causes heartburn.
Acid reflux is becoming an increasing problem, and it is estimated that at least 50 percent of Americans are sufferers. This rise in acid reflux disorders may be linked with an increase in the average weight of the population, as people who are overweight are at increased risk of it.
This condition should not be dismissed as a mere irritation. Although acid reflux is uncomfortable rather than dangerous in the short term, the symptoms can lead to serious health problems in the long term such as esophageal cancer. It is important to seek treatment.
If you are diagnosed with it then your doctor may advise medication or in very serious cases, surgical intervention. However, in most instances, there are acid reflux remedies you can try at home. These can be highly effective for people who only suffer acid reflux on occasion.
As previously mentioned, one of the leading causes of GERD is being overweight. Therefore the best remedy for most people is a healthier diet and more exercise, which can reduce incidences of the lower esophageal sphincter relaxing unnecessarily. Scientific studies have shown that losing just ten percent of your overall body fat can dramatically improve acid reflux disorders.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Drinking acidic vinegar may seem a bad idea if you suffer from heartburn, but actually there is good evidence that it can greatly improve heartburn symptoms.
Acid reflux is not always caused by an over stimulation of acid production, in fact, it is often caused by the opposite. When there is insufficient digestive acid available in the stomach, it takes the food a long time to digest, and the longer it takes, the more likely it is that acid will spill into the esophagus and cause the symptoms of heartburn.
Add up to a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it with your meal. This will help to stimulate the healthy production of stomach acid and hasten the digestion of food, which lessens the likelihood of experiencing acid reflux. If you do not enjoy the taste of apple cider vinegar, try adding a little honey to the glass.
Although the taste is not very pleasant, many heartburn sufferers swear by drinking a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of baking soda. Baking soda is alkaline, and will neutralize the effect of the stomach acid.
Fenugreek Or Chamomile Tea
Scientists have not conclusively determined which herbs can be used to treat symptoms, but the clinical studies which have been conducted so far have indicated that fenugreek or chamomile tea may be effective for reducing symptoms.
Since the taste tends to be more pleasant than either baking soda or apple cider vinegar, this home remedy is worth a try. However, it is worth noting that fenugreek tea can nausea in some people. Therefore, you should avoid this remedy if you notice any digestive discomfort following use of the tea.
One of the cheapest and most effective ways to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux is chewing gum. The chewing motion will cause you to swallow more frequently, which helps to remove any acid in the esophagus, and the increased saliva production can neutralize the acid. Be sure to choose a sugar free version to protect your teeth.
Sleep On Your Left Side
Sleep studies on GERD and acid reflux sufferers have shown that your sleeping position can improve – or aggravate – your symptoms. Sleeping on your left side can reduce the pressure on your stomach, and alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux.
If you suffer from acid reflux, these remedies may bring you some relief. Be sure to experiment to find what works best for you.