GERD Home Remedies and Natural Treatments

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acid reflux

GERD is one of the most common health problems affecting the esophagus. It is a shortcut for gastroesophageal reflux disease. Its main symptom is heartburn.

The most common symptoms of GERD are tooth erosion; excessively salivating; belching, a sometimes painful symptom caused by gas trapped in the upper part of the digestive tract; developing a sour taste in the mouth; trouble swallowing or eating normally; wheezing, symptoms of asthma, chronic coughing and difficulty breathing; painful burning sensations in the throat or chest; chest pains.

The symptoms of GERD are either typical or atypical. In some cases, if GERD is left untreated, then it could lead to health problems.

Complications caused by GERD are next ulcers in the esophagus, severe tissue scarring; worsening asthma; an increased risk of esophageal cancer, and Barrett’s esophagus. This condition is caused by frequent acid reflux.

There are some conditions that can increase the risk of GERD, such as delayed stomach emptying; obesity; connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma; pregnancy; bulging of the top of the stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia). You need to talk with your doctor if you suffer from GERD before you start using some of the below-mentioned home remedies for this condition.

20 home remedies for GERD

Chamomile tea good for GERD

It is recommended to drink a cup of chamomile tea thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime to balance the acidity levels in your stomach. This natural cure can reduce stress levels which could lead to heartburn.

You can easily find instant chamomile tea in markets, but you can make your own fresh chamomile tea.

You need to boil water. Then, stir in the chamomile petals and let it simmer for about 45 sec. You should strain them out and pour this tea into a mug. You can add lemon or honey if you want. [1]

acid reflux diet

Mustard

This natural cure is rich in minerals and also it has vinegar which is a weak acid. Also, it has alkaline, which can neutralize the acid which comes up due to GERD. You should try taking one teaspoon of straight mustard when you feel a bout of heartburn coming on or if you are already experiencing symptoms of GERD.

Ginger tea very effective for GERD

This home remedy is very effective for many different stomach ailments, such as chronic acid reflux, nausea, and common stomachache. You should simmer slices of ginger root in water for thirty minutes. You should drink ginger tea before a meal because this can help you to prevent GERD. [2]

Eat fruit

You should eat fruits but not just any fruit. You should eat bananas because they have natural antacid properties, which can counteract acid reflux. You should eat a fully ripened banana on a daily basis because this can help you to reduce the discomfort of acid coming back up. Apple is another good fruit for the treatment of GERD [3].

You should slice up an apple and eat it a few hours before you go to bed because, in this way, you will prevent discomfort at night. Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew are other fruits that can reduce the instances of GERD.

You need to avoid fruits that have high acidic content, such as pineapple, grapefruit, and oranges.

Almonds

You should eat three to four almonds after every time that you ingest something. There is no need to eat more almonds. You should try eating organic almonds if possible. You should not consume them in excess amounts because they can cause you heartburn. Also, they can trigger migraines.

Do not lie down after eating

It is known that when you eat a meal and then lie flat, the stomach contents can more easily be pushed back up because this puts pressure on your esophageal sphincter. When you are upright, then gravity will work in your favor, and this will help to keep the food down. It is recommended to eat 3 – 4 hours before you know that you will be lying down because this will allow your body time to fully digest the food that you have consumed. You can help curb this by lying slightly elevated in your bed with a pillow wedged under you.

Baking soda

It is known that a teaspoon of baking soda can neutralize stomach acid so that even if it comes up, you will not feel the burning sensation [4]. You should mix one teaspoon of baking soda with eight ounces of water, and you should drink all of it. You should repeat this natural treatment as needed, but you should not exceed 7 doses in one day. You should avoid using this home remedy for more than a week because it has high salt content and can cause side effects, such as nausea or swelling.

Get regular exercise and maintain a healthy weight

There are some studies in which are shown that there is a link between GERD and obesity. Those people who live a sedentary lifestyle, especially if they consume a poor diet, then they have inflammation problems that are bigger than in other people. You should make lifestyle changes if you are overweight. You should try to switch your diet to one focused on whole foods. Also, you should try getting more exercise, limiting stress, and balancing hormones in other ways. [5]

Quit smoking

It is a known fact that people who smoke have an increased chance of getting GERD and other inflammatory conditions compared to people who do not smoke. This is a reason why you should quit smoking. [5]

Manage stress and get enough rest

You should try to find out which is the best way to handle stress. You should try to change your routine in order to feel more relaxed. You should do more exercise. Also, you can meditate, or you can get more rest.

You should not wear tight–fitting clothing

It is known that these clothes, which fit tightly around your waist, put pressure on your abdomen and the lower esophageal sphincter, so you need to avoid wearing tight-fitting clothes.

Chew gum

Those people who experience GERD can get relief from this condition when they chew sugar–free gum for thirty minutes after they eat.

Avoid foods and drinks that trigger reflux

The most common triggers for GERD are caffeine, onion, garlic, mint, chocolate, alcohol, tomato sauce, and fatty or fried foods. You need to avoid the mentioned foods because they can trigger GERD. [5]

Eat food slowly and chew thoroughly

You should put down your fork after every bite, and you should pick it up again once you have chewed and swallowed that bite.

Elevated the head of your bed

If you are experiencing heartburn on a regular basis while you are trying to sleep, then you should place cement or wood blocks under the feet of your bed so your head end is raised up to 6 – 9 inches. If you cannot elevate the bed, then you should insert a wedge between your mattress and box spring to elevate your body from the waist up. It is not effective to raise your head with pillows.

Maintain a healthy weight

It is a known fact that the excess pounds are putting pressure on the abdomen, which is pushing up your stomach and causing acid to reflux into your esophagus.

Use aloe Vera juice for GERD

This home remedy is used to soothe burns, and many people think it can be used to treat sunburns, but it can do a lot more. You can drink a glass of Aloe Vera juice because it can help to calm down your esophagus and your stomach. You should drink ½ of Aloe Vera juice at cool or room temperature before you take your meals. This natural cure acts as a laxative, so you should be careful when you consume it. [6]

Drink more water

There are many people who have said that when they drink a lot of water, then it can help them to lower the symptoms of GERD, especially when the water replaces too much alcohol, sugary drinks, or caffeine.

Probiotics

Probiotics have good bacteria that can remove harmful bacteria, such as H pylori, caused by GERD. Also, this natural cure will improve indigestion, treat acid indigestion and reduce infections. You can take probiotic supplements after you have talked with your doctor. Also, you can consume fermented veggies or cultured dairy products (sour cream and yogurt) and fish (mackerel). You should start with a small amount, and you should decide about the amount that you are consuming depending on how your body reacts. [7]

Marshmallow tea

This natural cure will provide a protective barrier for the intestines, and it can soothe the inflammation, which can help to treat acid reflux. You should drink a cup of this tea on a daily basis.

References:

[1] American Chemical Society. Chamomile tea: New evidence supports halth benefits. Science Daily. 2005.

[2] National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). Ginger. Retrieved from nccih.nih.gov/health/ginger

[3] Slavin JL, Lloyd B. Health benefits of fruits and vegetables. Advances in Nutrition. 2012;3(4):506-16.

[4] Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University. Drinking baking soda could be an inexpensive, safe way to combat autoimmune disease. Science Daily. 2018.

[5] Kulkarni GV, Herbella FAM, Fisichella PM. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterology Research and Practice. 2013;2013:760750.

[6] Panahi Y, Khedmat H, Valizadegan G, et al. Efficacy and safety of Aloe vera syrup for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a pilot randomized positive-controlled trial. Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine. 2015;35(6):632-6.

[7] American College of Gastroenterology. New studies examine the evidence on probiotics in IBS. 2005. Retrieved from acgcdn.gi.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/media-releases-05ACG_Probiotics_in_IBS.pdf

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