Natural Cures for Acid Reflux
If you are anything like me, you are willing to make an effort to find natural cures and make lifestyle changes if it means you can avoid prescription medicine.
Fortunately, I have put together a list of natural cures for acid reflux which does just that – stops reflux naturally. There are two types of items on the list:
- Magic Bullets – Natural acid reflux cures which work immediately. These heartburn remedies can help stop reflux symptoms after you start experiencing them.
- Lifestyle Remedies – Changes you can make in your daily life that will add up over time and help you prevent getting reflux in the first place, which is the ideal solution.
Natural Cures for Acid Reflux – The Magic Bullets
There are two natural acid reflux cures which work extremely well and can help quell even the most serious cases of heartburn: chewing gum and taking a spoonful of vinegar.
Chewing gum is an excellent natural cure for acid reflux for several reasons. The primary thing it does is that chewing gum creates a steady flow of saliva, which is then swallowed. Saliva is a mild base (i.e. neutralizes acids) and also aids digestion.
As you produce more saliva from chewing gum, your esophagus is protected from acid swells, the saliva aids digestion, and the constant chewing promotes digestive motility (movement of food along the digestive tract). The protective saliva coat reduces acid reflux symptoms and the improved digestion reduces reflux from occurring altogether.
Just make sure you avoid mint-flavored gums; peppermint and spearmint are on the list of common foods that cause acid reflux. These mints can stimulate the production of stomach acid in some individuals. Stick to mild fruit flavors.
Vinegar also acts as a natural cure for acid reflux primarily by triggering the release of saliva. Unlike gum, vinegar triggers a brief but intense amount of saliva, often stopping reflux immediately.
The downside to vinegar is that it does not taste all that great and you should only use it when you can brush your teeth afterwards; while the acetic acid in vinegar acts as a natural acid reflux cure, it is not enamel friendly!
Long-Term Natural Acid Reflux Cures
While the magic bullet approaches are great, the fact that you are experiencing reflux in the first place may be the sign of underlying health problems.
Additionally, if you are still experiencing reflux but quelling the symptoms with remedies, your esophagus may still be experiencing damage. The only way to truly protect yourself both from symptoms and health concerns is to prevent reflux from occurring in the first place.
Many doctors try to prevent reflux via medication, but the fact that you are reading this page indicates that you are looking to avoid that route. The truth is that most people can stop reflux from happening in the first place by making some lifestyle changes.
The long-term lifestyle changes below will be enough for the majority of the population to avoid acid reflux altogether. These are the true natural cures for acid reflux:
- Lose weight. Visceral body fat (fat that surrounds the organs) actually compresses the stomach and can lead to acid reflux. Pressure can interfere with the function of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), allowing the stomach’s contents to leak into the esophagus.
- Eat smaller meals. Large meals also put pressure on the LES.
- Avoid eating 2 hours before laying down for bed. Gravity helps keep the stomach’s contents where they belong; laying down takes away this advantage, so it is best to go to bed on as close to an empty of stomach as possible.
- Elevate the head of your bed by placing blocks under bedposts at the end where your head lies. This will place you on a slight incline and allow gravity to act in your favor.
- Avoid trouble foods as well as stomach irritators, such as coffee, alcohol, tobacco products (smoking, dip, and others), as well as other inflammatories like sugar. Avoid these foods especially on an empty stomach.
My Personal Experience
My experience with these natural cures for acid reflux is that you do not need to implement all of these cures. I used to experience reflux on a daily basis, both morning and night.
I lost 10 pounds, removed sugar from my diet entirely, and eat my last meal 2-3 hours before bed. I still drink coffee but am sure to have a little bit of breakfast before drinking it. If I go out to dinner, I chew a piece of gum afterwards.
Note that there is a difference between being healthy and fit and following this plan. I worked out regularly and was a healthy weight but still experienced heartburn. Losing that last bit of weight, removing sugar from my diet, avoiding big late-night meals, and avoiding coffee on an empty stomach made the world of a difference, even though I was an otherwise healthy individual.
Since implementing these changes, I went from experiencing acid reflux after practically every meal to not experiencing it at all. I have been reflux-free for several months now at the time of this writing without the use of any medication.
How to Use These Natural Cures for Acid Reflux
A good way to integrate these cures into your lifestyle is to work on implementing as many of the lifestyle changes as possible. Next, be sure to chew a piece of gum after any large meal or after eating any food you know tends to give you reflux. If you do have a flare-up of reflux, try out a spoonful of vinegar as this may significantly reduce symptoms.
If you still are experiencing reflux two times per week or more even after making lifestyle changes, you will want to see your doctor as this may be a sign of a more serious condition.