Treat Your Bacterial Overgrowth
The next step in understanding how to cure GERD without drugs is addressing bacterial overgrowth. Low stomach acid allows bacteria to thrive in the stomach, compete for nutrients, and generate excess gas. Treating the problem can involve several steps, depending on your individual underlying issues.
What Causes Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
GERD results when the lower esophageal sphincter , the valve at the top of the stomach, stops functioning effectively and allows the acidic contents of the stomach to flow up into the esophagus. While the stomach is designed to withstand the acid needed to digest food, the lining of the esophagus is not. As a result, the backflow of stomach contents up into the esophagus can cause the uncomfortable symptoms were all too familiar with. Unfortunately, its a vicious cycle: the more you reflux, the weaker the LES becomes, and the weaker the LES, the more likely reflux is to occur. So, if you have GERD, your first line of defense should be making changes to your diet and lifestyle that aim to stop reflux from happening in the first place.
Can Gerd Cause Asthma
We dont know the exact relationship between GERD and asthma. More than 75% of people with asthma have GERD. They are twice as likely to have GERD as people without asthma. GERD may make asthma symptoms worse, and asthma drugs may make GERD worse. But treating GERD often helps to relieve asthma symptoms.
The symptoms of GERD can injure the lining of the throat, airways and lungs, making breathing difficult and causing a persistent cough, which may suggest a link. Doctors mostly look at GERD as a cause of asthma if:
- Asthma begins in adulthood.
- Asthma symptoms get worse after a meal, exercise, at night and after lying down.
- Asthma doesnt get better with standard asthma treatments.
If you have asthma and GERD, your healthcare provider can help you find the best ways to handles both conditions the right medications and treatments that wont aggravate symptoms of either disease.
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Aloe Vera Syrup Products
Aloe vera juice has been used in traditional medicine to heal irritation of the esophagus. It is unwise to use unprocessed aloe vera sap as it contains laxative compounds, but some products are formulated for internal use. AloeCure contains organic aloe juice and is marketed as an all-natural remedy for digestive disorders, including heartburn. Some trials, including a 2015 study, have found aloe vera syrup to be effective for heartburn symptoms. Note that consuming aloe can lower your blood sugar levels. Discuss the use of aloe with your doctor if you have diabetes, hypoglycemia, thyroid disorders, kidney disease, heart disease, or electrolyte abnormalities.
Disproving The Stomach Acid Theory
When you look at the data, blaming GERD on too much stomach acid doesnt make sense. Stomach acid actually tends to decline, not rise, with age, while GERD risk increases with age. In fact, 40-year-olds, on average, generate about half as much as stomach acid as 20-year-olds do. And, according to one study, over 40 percent of people age 80 and up may be producing almost no stomach acid at all. Whats more, my patients with heartburn and GERD have responded very well to HCl supplementation, which actually increases their stomach acid. Thats the opposite of what we would expect if excess stomach acid were to blame for the problem.
You need adequate stomach acid to kill opportunistic pathogens, help properly digest food, and maintain optimal health. Reduced stomach acid correlates with a wide range of health problems, and PPIs can easily exacerbate the condition.
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C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:
- Avoid alcohol
- If you smoke, stop immediately
- Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
- Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily
For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.
Mix Baking Soda With Water
You might have a heartburn remedy at hand in your kitchen without even knowing it. Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid.
To do this, dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly. In fact, you should drink everything slowly when you have heartburn.
help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.
Consider adding grated or diced ginger root to your favorite stir-fry recipes, soups, and other foods. To make ginger tea, steep raw ginger root, dried ginger root, or ginger tea bags in boiling water.
Its probably best to avoid ginger ale, though. Carbonated beverages are a common heartburn trigger, and most brands of ginger ale are made with artificial flavoring rather than the real thing.
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What Is Acid Reflux And What Are Its Symptoms How Can I Get Relief
GERD is a condition where you experience heartburn, regurgitation, or nausea, typically after eating. It comes as a result of your esophagus and valves not working properly. During normal digestion, food passes through your lower esophageal sphincter , then the LES closes and the food moves to your stomach for digestion. Those who experience reflux often have a LES that doesnt close all the way, leading to the acid from the stomach coming back up, causing burning in your chest and throat. This condition is usually considered GERD if it occurs more than twice per week.
Although GERD can affect anyone, its most often seen in overweight or obese people, pregnant women, smokers, and people who take certain medications to regulate blood pressure. There are many medications, both over the counter and prescription that can help, but here are five acid reflux remedies you can turn to in order to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux on your own.
Increased Risk Of Infection
As I discussed above, stomach acid serves as a first-line defense against pathogens. The ideal pH for the stomach can approach 1 but should be below 3, where most pathogens cannot survive. When the pH rises above 5, several dangerous bacterial species are able to survive.
Acid-blockers can increase the stomachs pH and worsen the risk of a bacterial infection. In one study, Tagamet and Zantac, two H2 blockers, raised the stomach pH from 12 to 5.5 and 6.5, respectively. PPIs can raise the pH even more. In one study, a 20- or 40-mg dose of Prilosec reduced stomach acid levels to almost zeroand increased the pH to almost 7in 10 healthy men.
Without stomach acid, pathogens can thrive. Oral bacteria such as the genus Rothia are over-represented in the gut microbiota of PPI users, indicating that bacteria entering the through mouth are better able to survive in the stomach.
Compared to people on other medications, PPI users have a greater risk of acquiring infectious bacteria like:
- Clostridium difficile
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, or SIBO, is another possible result of PPI usage. SIBO can inhibit nutrient absorption, damage the bowel lining, and cause diarrhea and other GI symptoms. One research study found that 50 percent of PPI users tested positive for SIBO through the hydrogen breath test, compared to only 6 percent of non-users. Meta-analyses have mostly confirmed this association.
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The Low Fermentation Potential Diet
About 15 to 20 percent of the starch we generally consume escapes absorption. Instead, its used as food for our gut bacteria or its excreted. When bacterial overgrowth persistsas it does with GERDexcess fiber can do more harm than good.
How To Cure Acid Reflux Without Medication
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a common chronic disorder caused by the acid in your stomach flowing back up into the esophagus. It is usually caused by a failure of the muscle valve between the esophagus and the stomach to close properly.
There are more than 3 million cases of acid reflux each year in the US alone. Most people can manage the discomfort of GERD with certain lifestyle changes and OTC medications. But others could need stronger medications or even surgery to ease the symptoms. It usually occurs at night when people are laying down.
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Carbonated Drinks To Manage Your Heartburn:
Many readers find that carbonated beverages of one sort or another can help ease heartburn.
One person wrote:
I take a couple of swallows of 7 Up to make me burp.
My grandfather from Italy used Brioschi. I havent seen it recently, but I take 6 oz of water with one or two ounces of vinegar. Then I stir in 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda and watch it foam. I drink it while it is still bubbling, and it works, just like the crystals of Brioschi.
Brioschi is still available. The main ingredient, along with flavoring and sweeteners, is baking soda. Other readers just use plain baking soda, as it is more economical. It is a time-honored indigestion remedy, but it should be used judiciously. Sodium bicarbonate is high in sodium that could raise blood pressure.
We got this comment from a reader who likes the effect but not the flavor of baking soda:
Baking soda in water has worked wonders for me at times, but it tastes so bad its also enough to make you puke! I recall making clay volcanoes for art class in school. We used a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to create a very effective volcanic eruption. Makes you think twice about mixing those in your stomach, huh?
The Surprising Role Stomach Acid Plays In Gerd
If malabsorption of carbs can cause increased abdominal pressurewhich leads to heartburnwhats the reason for the absorption problem in the first place? Interestingly enough, this question brings us right back to healthy stomach acid levels.
Low stomach acid can cause malabsorption of carbs and bacterial overgrowth. In many cases, low stomach acid may be the driving force behind increased IAP and GERD. Lets explore how.
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What Is Heart Burn
Heartburn is a burning pain that can be felt behind your breast bone. It can be so intense that the patient sometimes believes to have a heart attack. It can be accompanied with stomach acid reaching your mouth, especially when you bend over or lie down.Heartburn usually occurs after we eat. Food travels down the esophagus to the stomach. Between the esophagus and the stomach exists a muscular valve that should close after you have eaten. In the case of heartburn this valve closes only partially or not at all, allowing stomach acid to enter the esophagus. This condition is also called GERD . Acid build up results in a burning chest pain called heartburn.Heartburn on a regular basis can lead to serious injuries of the esophagus , bronchitis and asthma and tooth enamel erosion contributing to cavities formation.
Natural Alternatives How To Treat Acid Reflux Naturally
Seeing as everyones body reacts differently, there are many different methods to treating not only acid reflux but every other health ailment as well. One extremely popular natural solution for acid reflux, though, is raw organic apple cider vinegar. This seemingly-magical liquid has been used for ages when it comes to taking care of hundreds of health problems, and is fantastic for maintaining quality overall health. Of course, this is only one of the many benefits of apple cider vinegar.
Although you may find your acid reflux diminished and soon vanished by simply ingesting apple cider vinegar as it says on the directions , there are a number of other liquid amounts that are used by acid reflux sufferers. Increasing the amount of apple cider vinegar used from 1-2 teaspoons to as many as 5 teaspoons may prove to be more beneficial for you. Some have had success by mixing ACV with baking soda at night and V8 juice in the morning, which is infinitely better than resorting to any drug.
Adding another method on how to treat acid reflux naturally, you may also try drinking some aloe vera juice, often mixed with apple or white grape juice.
Of course figuring out what triggers your acid reflux can allow you to not need these remedies as much. Sometimes people experience the symptoms from ingesting spices, greasy foods, bananas, and even apples. Knowing the signals of your body is one of the best things you can do to avoid any health problem, including acid reflux.
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Lifestyle And Home Remedies
There are several steps you can take to reduce or eliminate GERD symptoms without taking medication or undergoing surgery.
Lose weight. When excess abdominal weight presses on the stomach, it can cause acid to rise up into the esophagus.
If you’re overweight, your doctor may recommend that you lose excess pounds through diet and exercise.
Wear loose-fitting clothing. This can reduce pressure on your abdomen.
Avoid foods that can cause heartburn. Problematic foods and ingredients may include alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fatty foods, fried foods, garlic, mint, citrus fruits, onions, tomatoes, and tomato-based sauces.
Change the way you eat. Try eating smaller meals more often, along with eating slowly and chewing your food thoroughly.
Dont lie down right after eating. Wait two to three hours after eating before you lie down. Lying down with a full stomach puts increased pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter the ring of muscle that separates your stomach from your esophagus.
Raise the head of your bed. Try to make it six to nine inches higher than the foot of your bed. You can do this by placing wood or cement blocks underneath the legs of your bed, or by putting a foam wedge under the upper half of your mattress.
Lying at an incline reduces pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter and makes it harder for your stomachs contents to enter your esophagus.
Quit smoking. Smoking makes it harder for your lower esophageal sphincter to function properly.
How To Start Healing
A good place to start understanding how to get rid of heartburn without medicine and begin healing your digestion is to take a high-quality probiotic for at least 3 months and start eliminating processed foods like bread and sugar, deep fried and pre-prepared/packaged foods. You can also try a swig of apple cider vinegar before eating your meals. If your esophagus is particularly raw from long-term heartburn, ACV may be too harsh. You can get it in a pill form or betaine hydrochloride tablets. Healing foods that are often helpful are Rachels Tea, peppermint, aloe vera, bone broth, and beets.
You may need to wean down on your medication as you are doing these interventions rather than stop abruptly because your body is used to having help regulating its internal acid pump. Dropping the dosage for a while, then later using it every other day can help staunch the rebound effect.
If you need help getting rid of heartburn naturally and figuring out the cause of your acid reflux, come into The NHCAA. We can help you reduce heartburn naturally.
Your Holistic Pharmacist,
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Ways To Relieve Acid Reflux Without Medication
A few lifestyle changes are worth trying before resorting to drugs for controlling gastroesophageal reflux.
If you are sounding a little hoarse and have a sore throat, you may be bracing for a cold or a bout of the flu. But if you’ve had these symptoms for a while, they might be caused not by a virus but by a valveyour lower esophageal sphincter. That’s the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach, and when it doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may literally leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburnpain in the upper abdomen and chest that sometimes feel like youre having a heart attack.
Three conditionspoor clearance of food or acid from the esophagus, too much acid in the stomach, and delayed stomach emptyingcontribute to acid reflux, says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach: Taking Control of Your Digestive Health.
If you’ve been having repeated episodes of heartburnor any other symptoms of acid refluxyou might try the following:
Medications To Manage Your Heartburn:
Medicines to treat acid reflux or indigestion are extremely popular. Drugs like esomeprazole , lansoprazole and omeprazole are big sellers. Other acid-suppressing drugs such as cimetidine , famotidine and ranitidine are also highly successful.
Are there other ways to manage your heartburn? Many readers have found simple remedies that help. But what works for one person may be totally ineffective or even harmful for another.
People are different. We share the following approaches with that in mind. You may need to experiment to find something that helps ease your symptoms.
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