Indigestion and bloating are two of the most commonly suffered disorders among humans. Both children and adults often complain of acute abdominal pain, gas development within the stomach, and discomfort or burning sensation in the throat or chest. These are the common symptoms of acid reflux.
The disorder needs to be controlled to sustain a healthy digestive system and a healthy body. Acid reflux treatment may include medication in severe cases. However, in normal cases, a healthy lifestyle and good eating habits are generally enough to curb the problem to a large extent.
What Is Acid Reflux?
The entrance of the human stomach has a lining of muscles that form a valve. This valve is called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. It closes once the food enters the stomach. But, in case the valve is open for a longer period, the acids developed within the stomach to aid digestion may enter the LES and move up to the esophagus.
It causes discomforts like burning sensation in the throat and chest. Though this is commonly known as heartburn, it is actually acid reflux. If a person suffers from acid reflux for more than two days per week, he or she might be suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and must undergo proper acid reflux treatment.
Patients who have acid reflux complain of uncomfortable burning sensation, frequent burping, bloating or a foul acid taste in their mouth. In severe cases, one may also experience bouts of vomiting, bloody or black stool, nausea, sudden weight loss, hiccups, and wheezing or a sore throat.
Lifestyle Changes As Acid Reflux Treatment
Many doctors prescribe medication like antacids and pills to reduce acid production in extremely critical cases. However, some suggest certain lifestyle changes that can help curb the problem and act as simple yet effective acid reflux treatment. These include:
- Avoid eating larger meals.
- Don’t go to bed immediately after eating a meal.
- Don’t lie on the back after a heavy meal.
- Limit your intake of items like chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, citrus, mint, garlic, and spicy foods.
- Quit smoking.
- Avoid medication like muscle relaxers, ibuprofen, etc.
Adopting a healthy lifestyle change can help overcome the problems faced due to acid reflux. Simple diet changes can allow the body to heal and stop from further damage to the esophagus. There are mainly three things that one must keep in mind to avoid an uncomfortable attack of acid reflux.
- Keep a check on what you eat. Specific food items that trigger heartburn should be kept to the minimum consumption level.
- Keep a watch on how you eat food. Taking small bites and eating slowly is essential to avoiding the inhalation of air while eating meals. Small bites also allow the stomach to digest the food well.
- Keep an eye on the clock after eating. Ensure that you don’t lie down immediately after a meal. It is very important to do so as lying down puts more pressure on the LES, thus allowing the acid to flow back up. Bedtime should be at least 2-3 hours after meals.
Home Remedies For Acid Reflux Treatment
While doctors prescribe over-the-counter drugs to treat acid reflux, one can also try simple home remedies for acid reflux treatment. Some popular ingredients from the home kitchen include:
· Baking Soda
Baking soda has a base substance with a pH level of more than 7.0. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda and drink the solution. It helps neutralize the acids in the stomach thus giving relief from heartburn. However, this should not exceed more than sever-half teaspoon doses per day, and neither should this be followed for more than a week’s time in case of recurrent bouts of acid reflux attacks.
· Aloe Vera Juice
Known to be effective for sunburns, Aloe Vera juice can reduce inflammations in the stomach caused due to acid reflux. One can have a glass of Aloe Vera juice before meals. It provides relief to the person.
· Chewing Gum
Chewing gum for about 30 minutes after a meal helps secrete saliva. It dilutes and washes away any acid that is formed due to acid reflux in the stomach. It is best to choose a sugar-free chewing gum.
· Eat A Banana Or An Apple
Bananas are said to contain natural antacids that ease a maximum number of stomach problems. One can eat a banana every day to help curb the reflux problem. Similarly, one can also try eating an apple a few hours before bedtime. It provides relief from discomfort if any and also prevents acid reflux.
Organic almonds are believed to neutralize the stomach juices thereby reducing acid reflux and providing relief. However, one must stick to just 3-4 almonds after every meal. An excess might trigger other issues.
· Chamomile Or Ginger Root Tea
Having a warm cup of ginger root or chamomile tea one hour before bedtime has been noted to prevent acid reflux. The tea calms the stomach acids thereby providing relief from discomfort. The ginger root or the chamomile must be boiled in a cup of water. One can add a teaspoon of honey or lemon juice if preferred.
Apart from these, one can avoid wearing too tight fitted clothes. Try keeping your head propped on
high pillows to avoid the backflow of stomach acids up to the esophagus, thereby curbing acid reflux.