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.
Eat Smaller Meals Slower And More Often
If youre eating three square meals a day and have heartburn, you might want to mix things up. Too much food at too few sittings may be contributing to your discomfort. Instead, eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day, chewing slowly and thoroughly to maximize digestion. When the stomach is too full or the food is too fatty, the esophageal valve opens and food and acid move from the stomach back up toward your throat, leading to heartburn, says Scott Gabbard, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the Cleveland Clinic. Meals that are more than 500 calories cause more reflux than lower-calorie meals, says Dr. Gabbard, and foods that contain more than 10 to 15 grams of fat tend to increase the amount of heartburn.
Prep Your Sleeping Space
If youre more frequently experiencing GERD symptoms at night, you may consider elevating the head of your bed. This can help with the backflow of stomach acid. Consider not sleeping on your right side. Some evidence shows that due to your anatomy and where the stomach acid is created and stored, sleeping on your left side may be more comfortable. All of the suggestions above should be easy to implement in your daily life, considering theyre simple lifestyle changes that dont require a visit to the doctor or any medication.
However, if you have been experiencing discomfort due to acid reflux, you should book an appointment with Carolina Digestive Health Associates so we can determine if there is an underlying cause of your discomfort and give you tips to manage it. Along with the non-medicinal solutions, we can also recommend medication based on your individual circumstances, health, and needs.
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Stay Away From Alcohol
Avoid sipping alcohol if you dont want to welcome acid reflux. Alcohol consumption leads to acid build-up and stomach lining deterioration. On a night out with your friends, restrict the amount of alcohol you consume to feel well when you arrive at home. Reduce your use of alcohol and try finding alcohol that will not cause your stomach to produce acid.
Relieve Heartburn The Natural Way
Although there are many over the counter drugs available against heartburn it is advisable to relive heartburn with one of these natural remedies first. Long-term use of antacids are linked to serious health conditions and worsening of heartburn symptoms.
These remedies can be very effective but you have to try out which one works best for you. We are all unique individuals and what works for somebody doesnt have to work for you. Often a combination of these remedies will work.
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Ppis Can Change The Way Other Drugs Work
PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix , according to the US Food and Drug Administration. This can increase the risk of heart attack and even death. If you take Plavix, talk to your doctor about whether you should take a PPI.
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 Most Common Digestive Disorder In America
Almost everyone experiences occasional acid reflux when stomach acid manages to make its way up into the esophagus. However, if this happens frequently and causes uncomfortable symptoms or complications, you could receive a GERD diagnosis. Symptoms of GERD can include:
- Dental erosions
As the most common digestive disorder in the United States, GERD affects an astonishingly large portion of Americans. Up to 40 percent experience symptoms once a month and 20 percent experience them once a week. That growing problem has been a boon for pharmaceutical companies, as Americans spend over $13 billion on acid-stopping medications each year. In 2010, sales of esomeprazole, a PPI prescribed to manage GERD, among other conditions, alone exceeded $5 billion in sales.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease causes uncomfortable, painful symptomsbut the health risks of the drugs used to treat it can be even more distressing. Check out this article for tips on how to cure GERD without PPIs, H2 blockers, and other medication.
Aside from an uncomfortable and frequent burning sensation, GERD also carries some long-term complications. Unlike the stomach, the esophagus doesnt have a protective layer to prevent acid damage. As a result, GERD can lead to:
- Cancer of the esophagus
In addition, research demonstrates a strong link between GERD and irritable bowel syndrome , which is now the second-leading cause of missed work in the nation.
Maintain Upright Body Posture After Eating
People with this condition should not lie down after eating a great deal of food. Your digestive system has issues, and the acid moves when you decide to lie down after eating. Maintaining an upright position will help you ease problems that come with acid reflux. These problems can result from undigested food that doesnt move appropriately down through the digestive system. You should walk around slowly or sit upright and relax to allow digestion to occur properly.
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Licorice For Acid Reflux
Licorice root may be able to alleviate the painful symptoms of acid reflux. Heartburn is the result of regurgitated stomach acid irritating the lining of the esophagus. The strong anti-inflammatory properties of licorice root may help soothe an irritated esophagus. But be careful to check with your doctor before you take licorice root and be sure not to take it for prolonged periods of time as it can cause pseudoaldosteronism and contribute to elevated blood pressure and electrolyte imbalance. Many find that the deglycyrrhizinated licorice is a better and safer choice that does not offer these potential side effects.
Opt For Losing Weight
Studies have shown that obese patients have gotten relief from heartburn symptoms after they lost weight. This is because the extra weight on your body puts a lot of strain on your stomach, which is not able to keep the acid down. This is why the acid starts to head up towards your esophagus. By getting into shape and losing some weight, you will not only get rid of heartburn without medications, but you will also start feeling healthier also.
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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.
Avoid Stress At All Costs
Stress is a risk factor for acidity and must be relieved. Try to eliminate stress caused by work, college, school, or relationship issues. Stress can lead to drinking, overeating, or smoking. Heartburn and inflammation can be started or exacerbated by stress. Reduce the triggers to solve the problem at its root.
When Should You Consider A Ppi
Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms such as trouble swallowing, weight loss, or chest pain. Call the doctor if you dont get better in about two weeks. The doctor will look for signs of problems such as GERD .
If you have GERD, you probably need a PPI. Talk to your doctor if:
- You have heartburn at least twice a week for several weeks.
- Food or acid often come back up into your throat.
- You take antacid or H2 blockers, and you make changes like the ones described on this page, but your heartburn does not go away.
If your doctor thinks you need a PPI:
- Ask to start with a low dose of generic prescription lansoprazole or omeprazole. You can also get these medicines over the counter.
- If the heartburn gets better after a few weeks, talk to your doctor about gradually lowering your dose.
This report is for you to use when talking with your healthcare provider. It is not a substitute for medical advice and treatment. Use of this report is at your own risk.
Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Fried food
- Carbonated beverages
“Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods,” says Gupta. “But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so they’re not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. It’s also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.”
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Discover How To Stop Acid Reflux Without Medications
My clients are often surprised that changing their eating habits alone can relieve the acid reflux symptoms. The key strategy is to do it right and to be consistent.
Many people around the globe and some of my clients struggle with the symptoms of acid reflux but not many know that acid reflux is not necessarily caused by having too much gastric acid but rather the acid is in the wrong place. Its a common misconception about acid reflux to think that we have too much of gastric acid. On the contrary, the plentiful of people suffering from acid reflux have rather hypochlorhydria than hyperchlorhydria .
Avoid Eating Close To Bedtime Or Overeating
Always sneaking in those slices of pizza just before bedtime? Yeah, try not to do that. Late-night eating is never a good idea if you suffer from acid reflux. Lying in your bed right after your meal forces the contents of your stomach closer toward the gastroesophageal sphincter once again, increasing the chances of this valve failing to perform its function . In addition to avoiding eating anywhere between 2 to 4 hours before turning in for the night, you should also steer clear of overeating during mealtimes. There are 2 reasons for this.
The first is that overeating causes your stomach to expand beyond its normal size. And that translates into unwanted stress on your gastroesophageal sphincter. The second reason? Its that the amount of hydrochloric acid your stomach produces depends on the amount of food it needs to work through: the more you eat, the more hydrochloric acid you can expect . But of course, sometimes, there are situations where you cant help but overeat . In cases like this, you can fall back on Dr. Danielles Digestive Enzymes. These enzymes help lessen your body’s ‘digestive work’ potentially decreasing the amount of hydrochloric acid your stomach produces and, thus, the likelihood of the acid flowing back up into your digestive tract .
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What Is Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a common gastrointestinal complain with symptomology of heartburn, a burning pain in the lower chest. Its driven by stomach acid flowing back up to the esophagus . It can happen for example when increased intra-abdominal pressure overpowers the lower esophageal sphincter , as seen in people with hiatal hernia or obesity. The esophageal sphincter acts as a valve preventing stomach acid, stomach content from backing up into esophagus. When this system fails, we may experience the symptoms of acid reflux. Noteworthy, reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus is normal physiology. However, when reflux leads to symptoms, esophageal mucosal injury or both, we talk about gastroesophageal reflux disease .
Drinking Aloe Syrup To Prevent Heartburn
Aloe vera is typically thought of for after-sun relief, but it can also help relieve heartburn. The same anti-inflammatory properties that soothe a sunburn can soothe an irritated esophagus and alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux. One study found that daily supplementation with aloe syrup reduced the frequency of heartburn in those diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Beware that aloe can also be used as a laxative.
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Natural Remedies To Soothe Heartburn
It is always useful to know the natural substitutes to medicines to relieve this painful binding.
Aloe vera : This plant with a thousand virtues is also well known for its action on the skin as well as digestive disorders. With its digestive properties, mucilage, the gel of the plant, helps to lubricate the intestinal protrusions, eradicate the inflammation and heal the digestive tract.
Attention: only the mucilage is edible. Bark and sap have many contraindications. Cider vinegar: Hypertension, intestinal or circulatory disorders, skin problems, joint or muscular pains, sunburns and insect bites Cider vinegar shows the extent of its spectrum of action. Among the many properties attributed to it, the soft bactericide which remineralizes and regulates the intestinal flora and transit. Get into the habit of drinking, before meals and in small sips, a mixture of cider vinegar diluted in a glass of water.
Baking soda: You can also use sodium bicarbonate, which neutralizes the hydrochloric acid with its alkaline pH and transforms it into sodium chloride.
The trick: Dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a large glass of water. Be careful, however, to consume it sparingly, at the risk of damaging the acid-base metabolism of the stomach and increase the blood pressure.
Calcium and magnesium as well as group B vitamins counteract excess acid.
There are also a number of recommendations to prevent your stomach from igniting:
Use A Little Bit Of Apple Cider Vinegar
Adding acid to an acidic stomach might sound counterintuitive to most people, but hear us out first. Theres a chance that acid reflux might be caused by not having enough acid in the stomach. Acid is responsible for telling the lower esophageal sphincter to close up- if theres not enough acid, this muscular valve might loosen up a little.
How to use: Stir in a tablespoon of raw apple cidder vinegar into five to eight ounces of water. Drink twice or thrice a day. You can also drink this solution before bedtimes.
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The Hidden Health Dangers Of Acid Reflux
Over time, chronic acid reflux also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease can cause damage to the esophagus, including precancerous changes, or lead to respiratory issues like laryngitis, asthma, and even pneumonia ! This explains why millions around the world are taking a medley of ‘acid reflux drugs’, including antacids, acid blockers, and proton pump inhibitors , to manage their symptoms doesnt it? Note: many of these drugs do indeed bring about short-term relief to acid reflux symptoms.
But research shows that theres a dark side to many of these drugs. Just how dark, though? Take, for instance, this recent 2019 study published in The BMJ . Researchers pored through all medical records available from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs between mid-2002 and mid-2004. Their findings? They came away with the conclusion that long-term PPI use is associated with a 17% higher death risk. Thats scary. So. Now that acid reflux drugs are off the table, what can you do to safely yet effectively manage this nasty condition?
What Is The Quickest Heartburn Remedy
Over-the-counter antacids, like Tums, Mylanta, or Rolaids, which work by neutralizing stomach acid, are a good option for fast, short-term relief of mild heartburn. However, antacids, along with other over-the-counter medications like H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors , are not meant to be used for long-term support.
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