Do you experience acid reflux? Between 25 and 40 percent of Americans suffer from a chronic condition called GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), brought on by many factors including a loosening of the valve between the esophagus and stomach. But if you’re aware of the numerous natural remedies for acid reflux, you do not have to be one of those sufferers.
Acid reflux is not only uncomfortable, it is often indicative of an unhealthy habit or lifestyle. Targeting and remedying the causes of it is crucial to achieving overall health. Rather than relying on expensive (and potentially harmful) medication to cure your acid reflux (known as PPIs), try these simple tips.
1. Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux – Eat Smaller Meals
Rather than gulping down three big meals a day, try having five smaller but well-defined combinations of meals and snacks. Eating great quantities in short spans of time overwhelm the esophageal sphincter and burden the stomach, which can worsen acid reflux.
2. Spice up Your Life
Herbs like licorice root, slippery elm, and—one of our favorites for its cancer-beating properties—turmeric are excellent additions to a great number of recipes Researchers believe that ingesting herbs help coat the lining of the esophagus and shield it from acid. Deglycyrrhizinated licorice in particular has shown great promise as a reliever of gastrointestinal ulcers in clinical trials, and is also commonly regarded as a treatment for the pain associated with acid reflux.
3. Improve Your Posture
Lesser known among the natural remedies for acid reflux, improving your posture can actually help more than you think.The post-dinner coma sets in so easily that we tend to recline after eating; this can actually contribute to acid reflux. Keeping your back straight after a meal keeps the food and acid in the stomach where it belongs. (Better yet, try eating smaller meals as mentioned above so that you’re comfortably full, not bursting and ready for a nap.)
4. Stop Smoking
Everyone knows smoking isn’t exactly good for you, but the true cost of smoking floors us. One of the less serious effects is acid reflux, since nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. But if this is what it takes to get someone to stop, that’s good enough.
5. Lose a Little Weight
Finally, one way to treat acid reflux is to lose weight. Admittedly, this is one of the most difficult solutions, but it’s also one of the most rewarding ones. Obesity or even being a few pounds overweight raises the risk of acid reflux. Back in 2007, researchers found a positive correlation with body mass index (BMI) and GERD.
Of course in addition to helping acid reflux, losing weight can have a lot of worthwhile benefits. This is because excess weight lowers levels of C-reactive protein—an indicator of inflammation, which according to many researchers is the root cause in most chronic diseases including diabetes and cancer.
Weight loss doesn’t have to be all drudgery and no fun. There are slower, more natural ways to lose weight than popping pills and running yourself to death. Read here and here for tips to lose weight naturally.
For more natural remedies for acid reflux, check out our other information on how to treat acid reflux naturally.