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Acid Reflux Remedies

Acid reflux disease can cause severe discomfort and unrest. Some of its symptoms include chest pain, nausea, heartburn and difficulty swallowing food. Read on to find out some effective acid reflux remedies, which will not only help to ease the symptoms, but also help to cure the disease completely.
Acid reflux disease is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which the gastric acid flows back into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation and pain in the chest. Esophageal sphincter is a muscle which surrounds the lower end of esophagus. It is responsible for preventing regurgitation of acid or food particles from stomach to esophagus. When the esophagus sphincter is not able to function properly, it leads to acid reflux. The back flow of acids into the stomach, not only causes chest pain, heartburn and nausea, but also damages the mucous lining of the esophagus.

Patients of hiatal hernia, asthma, scleroderma and recurrent vomiting and obese people are more susceptible to acid reflux disease. During last few months of pregnancy, the baby presses onto the mothers stomach which leads to acid reflux in pregnant women. Excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, stress and overeating can also be the causes of acid reflux. Anyone can suffer with acid reflux due to overeating, once in a while, but if the condition persists one should consult a doctor. So what are the acid reflux remedies available, let's find out.

Remedies for Acid Reflux

There are many acid reflux remedies one can avail depending on the severity of the disease. Controlling the acid from getting back up into the stomach throat and mouth is the first preference when suffering from acid reflux. So some important dietary or lifestyle changes will do better than blindly swallowing some pills.

Some Important Lifestyle Changes
Usually before taking medications, you must first make the following lifestyle changes, which will not only help to ease the symptoms of acid reflux disease, but also help in reducing the occurrence of acid reflux.
  • Controlling your urge for food will save you from discomforts caused by acid reflux, so avoid overeating. Restrict smoking and intake of alcohol completely.
  • Exclude chocolates, coffee, aerated drinks, spicy foods, fried foods, and foods high in fat content from your diet.
  • Obese people should concentrate on weight reduction, which helps to release pressure on stomach that causes the acid to reflux.
  • Eat smaller meals and have dinner three hours before bedtime. Maintain upright position after meals. This is among the effective acid reflux remedies for babies.
  • Tilted sleeping position in which the upper half of the body remains elevated can help to relieve discomfort caused by acid reflux.
  • Stress can affect digestion, so practice yoga and meditation everyday. It will help in leading a stress free life.
  • Sleep about eight hours everyday, as it aids digestion and proper relaxation of the body.
Medication
If the above lifestyle changes are not fruitful and you are frequently suffering from problems like nausea heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, regurgitation, etc., then you must consult a doctor immediately, because ignoring the symptoms can lead to further health complications. Based on the symptoms and analysis of the endoscopy and chest X- ray results, doctor will determine the line of treatment. The doctors usually prescribe antacids medicines for acid reflux but if the results of the tests reveals that acid reflux is causing damage to the esophagus, doctors prescribe medications like H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors. Taking the medicines regularly over a long period of time. This can cure the problem to a large extent. One must take these medicines under strict supervision of a doctor.

Surgery
Surgery is usually the last line of treatment. Most preferred procedure for acid reflux surgery is laparoscopy. Laparoscopy strengthens the sphincter and helps restore the normal functioning of the same, thus avoiding the back flow of the acid. Radio frequency treatment is also available. It causes tissue constriction and also improves thickness of muscle wall in the area of sphincter by sending radio frequency energy to create heat lesions in sphincter and upper part of abdomen.

Natural Acid Reflux Remedies
Availing the above acid reflux remedies during pregnancy can have some side effects, so it is better to depend on the natural remedies for acid reflux. Apart from the lifestyle changes listed above, some natural home remedies for acid reflux given below can prove effective.
  • Fennel seeds are very beneficial for digestion and they can also reduce heartburns. Consume it with warm water or make fennel tea.
  • Drinking aloe vera juice before meals can be helpful to relax the inflamed esophagus and aid digestion.
  • Include plenty of yogurt and buttermilk in your diet, as they are rich in probiotic bacteria, which are beneficial for digestive tract functions.
  • Apple cider vinegar can neutralize stomach acids, so add one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to one glass of water and have it during meals.
  • Ginger root can absorb stomach acids, thereby maintaining proper digestion, so include ginger in your recipes or drink ginger tea everyday.
  • Some foods good for acid reflux are green leafy vegetables, grains and fruits like banana, apple, grapefruit peels and papaya.
I hope the above acid reflux remedies will not only help you to cure this condition, but also prevent it. Acid reflux disease can be easily controlled by making proper changes to your diet and lifestyle. So practice proper food habits and exercise regularly to keep acid reflux disease at bay.
By Gaurav Shimpi
Last Updated: 9/29/2011
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