Top 10 Acid Reflux Remedies
Acid reflux disease (GERD) can include everything from heartburn, dyspepsia and regurgitation and is as common as it is unpleasant. If there is any upside to the vast amount of individuals afflicted with severe acid reflux is that the amount of people affected warrants having a steady amount of research and treatment options.
Treating acid reflux can be either very simple, or much more difficult and require medication. Below are the top 10 acid reflux remedies, and some of them might surprise you.
1. Diet: If you have ever said “I shouldn’t have eaten that,” remember for next time. Those chicken wings are going to make you feel that way every time if you have acid reflux, better to go for the salad instead. Changing your diet is often the easiest of the acid reflux remedies, and will likely be recommended even if you are on medication. Avoiding foods that cause heartburn might sound like a large lifestyle change but is a great alternative to a constant need for medication if your body will allow.
2. Lifestyle changes: Eat like a grizzly and then want a nap. Stop it. Go for a calm walk or read a book upright. Staying uprigt for 2 hours after eating can help reduce symptoms of acid reflux. Other tips include keeping your head elevated, losing weight if heavy, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol intake.
3. Build bones – stop hurting: While there is debate over the most effective type, it is widely agreed that drinking milk can soothe acid reflux symptoms. Drinking water also helps by diluting whatever it was that you just ate.
4. Antacids: Antacids can work fast and neutralize the acid in the stomach. They are great to have around for those moments when you didn’t follow the rule above. They are one of the most common acid reflux remedies available.
5. Histamine Receptor Antagonists: These guys are the middle ground between docile antacids and prescription medication. Available over the counter, they provide relief by reducing the amount of acid made in the stomach. This is one of the more common acid reflux remedies.
6. Prescription Medication: Last on the list of pills to pop are proton pump inhibitors. No, this is not a piece of the Starship Enterprise, it is a medication that shuts down the acid producing pumps in your belly. These medications, while popular on the list of acid reflux remedies, can also be used in treatment of ulcers.
7. Promowhatty? If you have slow gastric emptying, one of the lesser known causes of acid reflux, your doctor may talk to you about taking promotility agents which are medicines that speed digestion.
8. Surgery: If your acid reflux disease isn’t easily managed by diet and lifestyle changes, and medication, your doctor may talk to you about having surgery to reduce your symptoms. This laparoscopic surgery is called “fundoplication” but don’t let the name fool you, surgery is rarely fun. During this procedure, a new valve is created that connects the esophagus and stomach. (See? Doesn’t sound fun at all.)
9. Tea Please: Chamomile, fennel, ginger and more. Many teas have been associated with reducing acid reflux symptoms. Note that it is recommended that the tea be sipped and not chugged. While there is little supporting evidence to suggest tea is a treatment for acid reflux, the calming effects may be what makes it relieve symptoms. Ginger either chewed or in tea can be beneficial if ingested at the onset of symptoms however the benefits of ginger tea and candied ginger have yet to be proven.
10. Chew gum: Is it going to cure a medical condition? Nope. Might it help if you pop a piece after a bad decision dinner? Maybe. A piece of sugarless gum when chewed for awhile after dinner boosts saliva production and aids in digestion.
Acid reflux is painful, uncomfortable and downright miserable sometimes. Seeing your doctor is imperative in determining the best course of treatment for you. Speak to your doctor about any and all medications you are currently taking, and any home remedies you are planning on attempting before doing so to ensure that none of them will interfere with their treatment plan for you.