Many patients share that acid reflux is frustrating and painful.
Moreover, not being able to digest food is quite unbearable. A relative of mine who has acid reflux relates that he has to forgo many of his favorite dishes, such as fried chicken because he would throw them up.
What is this condition, and how does it affect people who have it? Here’s more about this ailment and how to treat it naturally.
What is Acid Reflux?
What is this uncomfortable malady? As you may guess, some people are more prone to it than others.
A valve lies at your stomach’s entrance. It is a ring of muscles known as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES).
This valve will close as food moves through it. If it doesn’t, the acid that your stomach produces may travel up your esophagus and cause a range of painful symptoms.
My relative recounted experiencing painful chest pains or heartburn. Doctors diagnosed him as having Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), a more intense form of Acid Reflux because he experienced them more than twice a week.
Causes of Acid Reflux
A stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia is often responsible for Acid Reflux. It happens when the upper part of the stomach and the LES shift above the diaphragm. It separates your muscles from your chest. Hiatal Hernia can cause acid to travel up your esophagus and trigger acid reflux symptoms. Of course, there are other causes for the condition.
1. First of all, overeating or lying down right after a meal can cause acid to travel up your esophagus and therefore, a bout of nausea.
2. Also, those who experience weight issues are more prone to the condition than those who don’t.
3. If snacks are your greatest temptation, put them away. Nibbling on tidbits close to your bedtime can cause a bout of acid reflux.
4. Some foods, such as tomatoes, chocolates, garlic, onions, mint, spice or fried, fatty dishes trigger acid reflux.
5. Smoking can irritate the esophagus and stir up acid.
6. Pregnancy may cause the stomach valve to open and therefore, a rush of acid.
10 Symptoms of Acid Reflux
The symptoms of Acid Reflux aren’t extraordinary. The condition, therefore, isn’t easy to identify. If you experience the whole range of them, however, a doctor may diagnose the condition.
1. Chest pains
First of all are chest pains, which come about because stomach acid travels into the esophagus. The aches, however, tend to last for longer than necessary. Don’t ignore them, especially if they worsen after exercise or rest. Get your doctor to diagnose if you’re having heartburn or heart attack, as it’s difficult to tell the difference between the two conditions.
2. Pain after Meals
Also, you might have acid reflux if your chest pains come straight after a big meal. The load on your stomach forces the acid upwards. Consequently, experts suggest eating often but in small amounts.
3. Bitter taste
The acid that escapes from your stomach might travel to the back of your throat. It will leave a bitter taste in your mouth. Too much of it may choke you. If this happens, see a doctor, who might recommend pump inhibitors, H2 blockers, and antacids.
Furthermore, your vocal chords may become irritated because of the acid that rushes up your throat. If you start to sound husky and a little too sexy, do see a doctor.
5. Sore throat
Also, you might have sore throats often. It’s a classic flu symptom, but digestive issues might cause it as well.
The key is to notice when your throat starts to ache. If it does so after meals, it’s probably because of acid reflux.
Moreover, you can attribute respiratory symptoms such as a chronic cough to acid reflux. If it occurs after eating, get a pH test. Performed during a 24 hour period, it can gauge if you have acid reflux.
Stomach acid may cause the nerves in your chest to constrict your breathing tubes. The body reacts to prevent the acid from entering. If you experience this, get a pH test.
You’d associate nausea with many conditions, so it’s hard to jump to acid reflux as a cause. Again, if it comes right after you eat, it’s likely because of the condition.
9. Extra saliva
Moreover, observe if your mouth starts to generate excess saliva. If it does, it’s probably a water brash, which suggests acid reflux. The body is busy trying to wash out the irritating acid in your esophagus.
10. Difficulty swallowing
Finally, the constant rush of acid up your throat might cause damage and scarring. That might make it difficult for you to down drinks or food.
How to Treat Acid Reflux Naturally
If you hate taking medication, don’t fret. There are natural ways to keep acid from rushing up your throat.
1. Baking Soda
First of all is baking soda. A teaspoon of this, mixed with a cup of water, can end the burning sensation in your stomach. Baking soda eases acid reflux because it’s a base substance. Because it has a pH level higher than 7, it helps to neutralize stomach acid.
2. Aloe Vera Juice
You might think of using Aloe Vera juice to soothe sun burns, but it helps GERD as well. It makes an excellent remedy for heartburn because it relieves inflammation.
3. Chew gum
The Journal of Dental Research found that people had fewer symptoms of heartburn when they chewed gum. It cleared out the acid faster than saliva. Furthermore, who doesn’t like a sweet treat?
4. Apple Cider Vinegar
Ironically, acid reflux might come about because your body doesn’t produce enough of it. It’s the acid that tells the LES valve to close. You might want to take Apple Cider Vinegar to see if it prevents the reflux.
5. Bananas and apples
Because banana contains natural antacids, they act as buffers against acid reflux. An apple a day also stops your discomfort.
6. Gingerroot Tea
Also, sip ginger root tea before a meal. It’s an effective acid buffer.
Like acid, mustard might taste sour. But it is an alkali that’s full of minerals. The idea of swallowing it without a hearty sausage will turn you off initially. But it will make you smile in the end. It neutralizes the acid that rushes up your throat. You’ll find it useful during a big meal because you can swallow it without your dinner guests noticing you cringe.
According to Reader’s Digest, organic almonds may purge the acid from your belly. Consequently, they relieve and prevent heartburn.
Acid reflux is uncomfortable but you can keep it at Bay. These natural remedies are simple but reliable ways to ease the condition.
By Michelle L.
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