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The backward flow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus is called acid reflux. It can cause a feeling of discomfort in your chest, soreness of the throat and hoarseness. If you’ve ever had a steak at 9pm and fell asleep shortly afterwards, you are probably familiar with this feeling.
When acid reflux becomes chronic it is called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disorder. If you’ve seen a pepto bismol commercial on TV you have probably heard of GERD. This condition can be uncomfortable and annoying. Luckily we have found nine natural ways to help relieve acid reflux, so you can continue enjoying your favorite meals!
- Eat Slowly: Time helps the body to pass the food efficiency down the esophagus into the stomach. If you eat too fast, your esophagus will resemble the 401 at 4:30pm on a weekday, with acid backing up into the esophagus from the stomach.
- Avoid Certain Foods: Foods such as fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes and onions can trigger acid reflux. If you can’t eliminate such foods try to eat them more sparingly.
- No Carbonated Beverages: Carbonated beverages causes burping which can cause acid to flow from the stomach into the esophagus. Drink flat water instead of carbonated water.
- Stay Awake After Eating: This allows the food to pass down into the stomach and allows the food to digest properly. Standing or walking will help keep the acid in the stomach, allowing for better digestion.
- Avoid Vigorous Exercise After Eating: The vigorous movement can cause stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Also digestion is energy intensive; it is best to wait 1-2 hours before performing vigorous exercise.
- Sleep On An Incline: This can help keep the stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.
- Lose Weight: Excess weight can cause the esophageal sphincter to weaken, which can cause acid reflux.
- Quit Smoking: Nicotine can cause relaxing of the esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acid to creep into the esophagus.
- Check your medications: Some medications can cause acid reflux as a side-effect, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers, postmenapausal estrogen and tricyclic antidepressants. If you have acid reflux and are taking medication, be sure to talk to your medical doctor about the possible side-effects.