Recently, the headlines have been focusing on the dangers of acid reflux medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which have been linked to cancers and other health concerns. However, if you suffer from heartburn, then you know how miserable the condition can become if left untreated. You are probably wondering if there are any natural ways to treat acid reflux.
PPIs are available over-the-counter and by prescription. They go by a variety of names, such as omeprazole. However, with the recent reports showing that they could increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, or kidney failure, many people have stopped using them. Also, some medical experts have even said that taking PPIs increases a person’s risk of contracting COVID-19.
At this point, trying to control your acid reflux naturally seems like your best option to avoid long-term use of PPIs. If you are currently taking PPIs, especially prescription versions, you should first speak with your healthcare professional before discontinuing use. You should never stop taking your medication without first talking with your doctor.
In this article, we will explore natural, non-PPI ways to treat heartburn and acid reflux. Everyone is unique, so what works for one person might not work well for another. You’ll have to explore the various options to determine which best fits your body’s unique needs.
13. Lose Weight
Excessive abdominal weight puts pressure on your stomach, which can cause a backflow of acid. If you lose weight, you can naturally control may cases of acid reflux without turning to medications.
12. Loosen Your Clothing
If you regularly wear tight clothes, they can put pressure on your stomach, which pushes the acid back up into your esophagus and causes heartburn. Wear loose clothing and avoid tight belts.
11. Don’t Snack Before Bed
A full stomach pushes up when you lay down and can easily lead to acid reflux. Avoid snacking before bed so heartburn doesn’t wake you up in the middle of the night. Ideally, you should avoid eating anything two hours before bed.
10. Drink Baking Soda and Water
If you start to feel heartburn, mix a little baking soda in warm water and sip the beverage. The solution will help reduce the acid and soothe your throat and esophagus. The alkaline pH of the baking soda will quickly neutralize the acid in your stomach, which is what causes the unpleasant burning sensation.
9. Drink Ginger or Peppermint Tea
Ginger tea is very soothing to the stomach. In fact, pregnant women regularly turn to ginger ale to ease their upset stomach during the first trimester. Ginger also appears to reduce acid buildup. If you opt to enjoy a cup of ginger tea, add honey as a natural sweetener. Peppermint tea is another option that works like ginger tea but with a strong mint flavor.Related: Here’s The Difference Between Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD Symptoms
8. Chew Gum
A recent study showed that chewing gum can reduce acid reflux. The gum spurs saliva production, which reduces the acid buildup. You can purchase bicarbonate gum, which is ideal for battling heartburn.
7. Sleep with Your Head Elevated
Sleeping flat on your back seems to make acid reflux worse. However, if you place a few pillows under your head to elevate your body, you might have great success at keeping the acid down so it doesn’t make its way up to your esophagus into your throat.
If elevating your head helps, then you might want to invest in an adjustable bed to control the health condition long term, so you don’t have to turn to medication.
6. Take Probiotic Supplements
If you choose a probiotic supplement to control acid reflux, then pick one with Lactobacillus acidophilus. The friendly bacteria create a balance in your digestive tract between good and bad bacteria.
5. Take Aloe Vera
Take two to three tablespoons of aloe vera juice or syrup to help reduce heartburn. Aloe vera is safe and widely available at health food stores. Many people swear that it dramatically reduces their symptoms of GERD.
4. Avoid Alcohol
Drinking alcohol can worsen acid reflux and GERD. Alcohol seems to significantly relax the lower esophageal sphincter so that the stomach contents start to back up into the esophagus, which causes heartburn. Also, alcohol increases your stomach’s production of acid. In addition, alcohol causes inflammation. Ideally, you should eliminate all alcohol from your diet to control your acid reflux.
3. Drink Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice appears to inhibit the growth of H. pylori within the stomach. H. pylori is a bacterium that often causes heartburn and can even lead to peptic ulcers. Many suggest adding cranberry juice to your daily diet to help reduce the likelihood of heartburn and act as a potent preventative against ulcers.
2. Sip Apple Cider Vinegar
When heartburn first strikes, many proclaim great success by sipping a little bit of apple cider vinegar. In fact, some feel that a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar will not only relieve heartburn but also prevent it. If the flavor is unpleasant, you can always mix it with water.
1. Avoid Cigarette Smoke
Cigarette smoke, even secondhand exposure, appears to worsen heartburn. Avoiding the habit is ideal if you want to stop heartburn. If you are exposed to excessive smoke, try to seek an outdoor area where you can refresh and rejuvenate.Related: 10 Foods to Eat When You Have Acid Reflux