Do you feel a burning pain in your abdomen often? If yes, then chances are that you have acid reflux. Acid reflux is a very commonly very common digestive disease, more often than not, it is referred to as heartburn. It happens when acid from the stomach escapes into the esophagus, the after effect is felt as heartburns, pain, and inflammation.
Acid reflux can be mild, moderate, or severe. Many people living with mild acid reflux tend to just live with the condition without actually getting a drug. However, when the symptoms become severe, there is usually discomfort which can make life difficult. If not treated over a long period of time, acid reflux can lead to precancerous changes in the esophagus.
9 Tips to Relieve Acid Reflux Effectively
There are currently over a hundred different medications used for this medical condition. There are also lifestyle changes that help relieve acid reflux. The tips comprise medications and lifestyle hacks that can be used to effectively relieve acid reflux.
- Get a List of Your Problem Foods and Avoid Them
Acid reflux like many medical conditions has its triggers. For people with acid reflux, certain foods cause changes to your esophagus that allow stomach acid to regurgitate into your esophagus.
These problem foods include but is not limited to coffee, tea, tomatoes, citrus, and chocolate, citrus, mint, garlic, onions. These foods vary from individual to individual. While it may comprise most of your favorite food, for the purpose of relief, try to temporarily eliminate them, especially at dinnertime.
- Watch Your Eating Habit
Your eating habits is another factor that can reduce or worsen your acid reflux. An example is staying up after eating. Lying down immediately after a meal is are to start or worsen reflux. When you stand or sit, gravity helps to keeps acid in the stomach, where it belongs. Finish eating three hours before you go to bed. This means no naps after lunch, and no late suppers or midnight snacks.
Eating smaller meal portions is also another way of controlling acid reflux. When you overstuff your stomach, you give acid in the stomach no space – looking for where to stay, they move into the esophagus. If you cannot manage the small meals three times a day, you can eat up to four or five times a day. Just don’t overstuff your stomach
- Take Antacids
Antacids are common medications that neutralize stomach acid. These drugs contain ingredients such as aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or sodium bicarbonate which act as bases (alkalis) to counteract stomach acid and make its pH more neutral. Antacids are usually available as a liquid, chewable gummy or tablet, or tablet that you dissolve in water to drink.
Antacids are the quickest medications to get relieved from acid reflux, however, they won’t last very long. These drugs, however, only relieve symptoms, and cannot heal inflamed esophagus caused by stomach acid. Alka-Seltzer, Milk of Magnesia, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums, are the common antacids you will find over the counter.
- Use Proton Pump Inhibitors
Proton pump inhibitors are another group of drugs used to treat acid reflux. Omeprazole is one of the most popular of these drugs. Omeprazole works by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach produces and so helps to reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux. Omeprazole is an effective and established medicine for the treatment of acid reflux.
- Follow a Low Carbohydrate Diet
New reports from scientists suspect that undigested carbohydrates may be causing acid reflux. Undigested carbohydrate causes bacterial overgrowth and elevated pressure inside the abdomen. Some even speculate this may be one of the most common causes of acid reflux.
In one clinical study, researchers gave individuals with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) prebiotic fiber supplements that promoted the growth of gas-producing bacteria. The participants’ reflux symptoms worsened as a result (20).
While it has not yet been patented, every indication points to the fact that acid reflux might be caused by poor carb digestion and bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Low-carb diets appear to be an effective treatment, but further studies are needed.
- Stay Clear of Alcohol and Cigarette
These are two major causes of acid reflux. Nicotine, the major constituent of Cigarettes will weaken the esophageal sphincter – the muscle saddled with the responsibility of controlling the opening between your esophagus and your stomach.
Alcohol, on the other hand, increases the production of stomach acid and also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing stomach contents to reflux back up into the esophagus. These may not be the case in everyone, but as a general rule, alcohol and cigarettes worsen acid reflux.
- Drinking Aloe Vera Gel or Juice
For most people, the most common use of Aloe Vera is to prevent sunburn and maybe skincare. The same soothing feeling Aloe Vera gives to the skin also applies to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines when injected.
Aloe Vera is an anti-inflammatory product. When ingested, it soothes an inflamed esophagus and stomach lining. For the mixture, just mix two to three ounces with eight ounces of coconut water or fruit juice, and have that 15 to 20 minutes before eating. There are now decolorized and purified Aloe Vera juices and gels made for drinking.
- Drink Water, But at the Right Time
The importance of water cannot be overemphasized. Some published studies now claim that heartburn is a sign of an internal water shortage, especially dehydration in the upper part of the GI tract. This means that drinking water can relieve symptoms of heartburn, only at the right time.
Drinking too much water especially during meals can further dilute your stomach acid, further contributing to insufficient protein breakdown. Go easy on liquid during meals. But drinking water especially in the morning when you wake up, before a bath, and before sleeping will help.
- Chew Gum
In more than one way, chewing gum can relieve acid reflux. Some gums contain bicarbonate which appears to be especially effective in neutralizing stomach acid. Chewing gum increases the formation of saliva and helps clear the esophagus of stomach acid.