Just about everybody gets acid reflux from time to time, particularly after consuming a very heavy meal. But whenever your symptoms begin occurring more frequently, you could have heartburn or what is also known as GERD or acid reflux. A description of this is when the sphincter muscle in your esophagus — also described as the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus — does not shut completely and allows the stomach acid to squirt upward into the esophagus.
- Acid or food spurting up into the throat and regurgitation
- A burning sensation in the stomach and chest
- Trouble swallowing
- A sensation that you may have food lodged in your throat
- Unproductive coughing
- Stomach upset and bloating
- Pain felt in the chest (sometimes mistaken for a heart disease)
- Having bad breath
- Feeling hoarse
- Feeling nauseous after eating
What are the Possible Causes?
- The stomach not having adequate hydrochloric acid.
- Consuming a heavy meal that fills the stomach and forces acid into the esophagus.
- Eating foods cooked in trans fats, such as chips and fries, and foods that are processed.
- Laying down immediately after a meal.
- Heavy people frequently have acid reflux as fat in the abdomen puts pressure on the stomach.
- People who smoke are more inclined to have acid reflux.
- A weakening of the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Pregnancy puts pressure on the stomach causing relaxation of the muscles in the lower esophageal sphincter.
- Aging can cause the slowing down of esophageal peristalsis.
- Wearing tightly fitting clothes.
- Abnormalities of the esophagus.
- A hiatal hernia may cause the food you have eaten and your stomach acids to back up into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn and chest pain.
- A disorder of the esophagus known as achalasia can impact the ability of food to move down into the stomach.
- Try to stay away from processed foods and fast foods. Instead eat a diet of natural and whole foods.
- Apples can lower acid in the stomach.
- Always eat dinner no less than three hours before bedtime.
- Rather than three large meals, try eating smaller meals and snack between if needed. It requires much lower levels of acid to digest a smaller meal and it is easier on the stomach.
- Don’t lay down for 45 minutes to an hour after you eat.
- Put one to two tablespoons of unpasturized apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink twice a day. This doesn’t always work for everybody but does work for a high percentage.
- Avoid alcohol or only drink a small amount.
- Don’t drink lots of coffee. Try drinking only two or three cups a day.
- Milk isn’t a very good choice as it can actually cause an increase of acid in the stomach.
Barley Grass — This is a great cure for heartburn. People who use barley grass daily find their acid reflux has completely stopped. Barley grass helps make your body more alkaline which reduces acidity and can also help in the healing of peptic ulcers.
Deglycyrrhizinated Licorice or DGL — This is an extract of deglycyrrhizinated licorice and glycine, an amino acid. It is chewable because the saliva in your mouth helps boost absorption. Studies show that DGL stimulates and speeds up the natural protective elements of the digestive system, which aids in relieving stomach discomfort right away.
Mastic Gum — This is a resin made from the pistacia lentiscus tree and is used for a number of digestive problems. It was originally used in the Middle East. It’s useful in treating heartburn, acid reflux and GERD and also ulcers. There is an article below by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. that has some information about mastic gum.
Apple Cider Vinegar or ACV —There are many people in forums and at blogs that are saying apple cider vinegar is working for them. Do not use the tablets or capsules because they are not as beneficial. Make certain you purchase certified organic, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar with the mother. Vinegars that contain the mother also have minerals and enzymes that are not present in other vinegars because of over processing and overheating.
Pickle Juice — Pickle juice gives you immediate relief from your acid reflux. If you are in need of relief and there is nothing else you can do, this is a home remedy that will help you right away in most cases.
Orange Peel Extract — There is an article below by Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. that has some information about orange peel extract. According to the information I found online there have been studies that show nearly 90% of participants claimed their acid reflux symptoms were gone in two weeks from the time they started on orange peel extract. Research shows that it might be a remedy for cancer as well.
Slippery Elm Bark — Is helpful in curing acid reflux because of it’s calming and soothing effect on inflamed mucous membranes.
Probiotics — Taking probiotics can help your acid reflux and intestinal problems by improving digestion.