Acid reflux, often called heartburn, happens when stomach acid flow up into the esophagus. The esophagus, then becomes irritated and you feel a burning sensation. Symptoms for acid reflux are gas, bloating, flatulence and even apparently unrelated symptoms such as dry coughing.
Acid reflux usually hapens due to the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) not contracting after swallowing food, therefore allowing acid to come up into the esophagus.
This sphincter failure can be caused by many different things, including obesity, lying down after meals, eating just before bedtime, eating fried foods, and eating too much food for your stomach to handle. Excess caffeine or alcohol can weaken the LES and induce occasional or reoccurring acid reflux.
Over the counter medications can lead to other problems, so here are a few natural remedies.
1. Lifestyle Changes
Change your diet. Remove processed foods and sugars, alcohol and caffeine. Eat more raw foods. Cooking foods destroys the live enzymes in the food, considered by many to be more vital than vitamins and minerals because it takes enzymes to metabolize them. Don't eat too late at night and go to bed with a full stomach!
Add organic unfiltered apple cider vinegar, a tablespoon in a little bit of water, to eliminate heartburn. This may seems counterintuitive but there are many testimonials claiming it works. Also adding Betaine HydroChloride supplements your stomach acid and assists in the breakdown of foods.
3. Supplement with Digestive Enzymes
As we age, especially in our senior years our bodies tend to produce less stomach acid and also digestive enymes. By adding extra enzymes you can support your digestive system's ability to break down and assimilate food.
4. Baking Soda
For short term immediate relief, use baking soda (bicarbonate of soda, not baking powder), which is very alkaline. A teaspoon in a half cup of water can give immediate relief from heartburn. Baking soda, can help your reflux and in turn help your heartburn because it is a base substance. It has a pH higher than 7.0, and therefore neutralizes stomach acid. Neutralizing the stomach acid means that if/when your LES decides to be lazy and acid comes up your throat, you don’t get “burned".
5. Aloe Vera juice
Aloe is a plant usually used to relieve burns, but it can do more than that. It can help with heartburn too because it reduces inflammation. This means when your esophagus starts getting irritated and inflamed, 1-2 ounces of aloe vera juice may be just the thing to help calm it down.
6 DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice)
Recommended by many Naturopathic Doctors, DGL is a form of liquorice extract, which doesn't affect blood pressure, availabe in chewable tablets and if chewed 20-30 minutes before a meal can eliminate indigestion and significantly reduce heartburn. We have recommended this inexpensive and side-effect free supplement to many customers over the years and find it to be very effective.
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