Occasional heartburn (acid reflux) can happen to anyone. If you experience acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this case, heartburn is just one of many symptoms along with coughing and chest pain.
GERD is first treated with over-the-counter methods, such as antacids and dietary changes. Prescription medications may be needed in more severe cases to prevent damage to the esophagus. While conventional medicine is the most common form of GERD treatment, there are some home remedies you can try to reduce instances of acid reflux. Talk to your gastroenterologist about the following options.
Healthy Weight And Acid Reflux-
While heartburn can happen to anyone, GERD seems to be most prevalent in adults who are overweight or obese. Excess weight — especially in the abdominal area — puts more pressure on the stomach. As a result, you’re at an increased risk of stomach acids working back into the esophagus and causing heartburn.
If you’re overweight, the Mayo Clinic suggests a steady weight loss plan of 1 or 2 pounds per week. On the flip side, if you are already considered to be at a healthy weight, then make sure you maintain it with a healthy diet and regular exercise.
Eat Foods That Help Relieve Acid Reflux-
There is no one magic food that can treat acid reflux. Still, aside from avoiding trigger foods, a few other dietary changes can help. First, the American Academy of Family Physicians recommends low-fat, high-protein meals. Reducing dietary fat intake can subsequently decrease your symptoms, while getting enough protein and fiber will keep you full and prevent overeating. Try incorporating some of these foods into your diet to help your acid reflux. After each meal, you may even consider chewing non-mint gum. This can help increase saliva in your mouth and keep acid out of the esophagus.
Herbal Remedies For Acid Reflux-
The following herbs have been used for GERD: chamomile, licorice, marshmallow and slippery elm.
These are available in supplement and tincture form, as well as teas. The downside to these herbs is that there aren’t enough studies to prove that they can actually treat GERD, despite what testimonials might report. Furthermore, they might interfere with medications you may take — check with a doctor before use. The FDA does not monitor herbs and supplements in the United States. Herbs can be a natural and effective way to reduce the symptoms of GERD. Be sure to purchase herbs from a reputable source.