Reflux and heartburn are not uncommon among adults. Many people suffer from these symptoms a few times a week or even daily. If you are experiencing heartburn or reflux, you may want to address it naturally or you may need to get it treated medically. Over time, leaving it alone can cause the acid to eat away at the lining of your esophagus and lead to real problems.
Here are a few things you need to know about heartburn and how to help your body deal with it naturally.
The first thing to do in naturally addressing heartburn and reflux is to determine if there are any underlying causes. Some of these underlying causes can include:
If you have a gluten allergy, you are very likely to experience heartburn or reflux when you eat bread and pasta. Eliminating gluten and other grains can often clear up the consistent heartburn you experience.
Many people don’t realize that this bad habit can cause them to deal with reflux or heartburn. It can also lead to GERD.
Often times, heartburn is the only symptom of a hiatal hernia which is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the upper part of your stomach move above the diaphragm. When this happens, it can cause you to have a hiatal hernia.
Your indigestion could be due to the way you eat and the bad habits you’ve formed. It’s best to practice good eating habits such as:
If you’re prone to laying down while you snack, or if you overeat or gobble down your food too quickly, it can make it difficult for your stomach to digest the food. In this case, it will come back up your throat and cause pain in your chest. One of the key steps to take is to chew your food thoroughly and swallow it completely before taking the next bite or placing it on your fork. This chewing action mixes your saliva with your food so that when it enters your stomach, the saliva stimulates the natural digestive enzymes your body produces to improve the digestive process.
As you gain weight, especially in your mid-section, it can cause you to experience more heartburn. The pressure from excess fat can push on your stomach, making it harder for your digestion. In fact, individuals that are obese are more likely to develop a hiatal hernia. Losing weight will help your stomach fat diminish and relieve the pressure.
Limit the amount of alcohol you drink and increase the amount of water you are taking in. Too much alcohol can cause an increase in stomach acid. Additionally, it can cause the LES (lower esophageal sphincter – the valve at the bottom of the esophagus that normally closes after food passes into the stomach) to become relaxed and not close completely. When this happens, stomach acid can back into the esophagus making it hard to clear itself.
Coffee is highly acidic and can increase the amount of acid in your stomach. There are also some studies that have shown coffee can also weaken the LES temporarily. Consider limiting your cups to no more than 1-2 per day.
Raw onion has a tendency to increase heartburn and acid reflux in some people. It’s best to always consume cooked onions to reduce the chances of irritating the lining of your esophagus.
If you are struggling with GERD and reflux, it’s important to reduce the number of foods that increase acid in your stomach. This includes:
These are just a few of the foods you can aim to reduce or eliminate in your diet to keep acid at bay.
If you are dealing with GERD, acid reflux, poor digestion, or heartburn, get in touch with The Gut Authority today. Dr. Mashner will be happy to meet with you, review your individual case and conduct the necessary tests to help determine any underlying causes. Then, he will work with you to make the lifestyle changes that can help your body heal and recover naturally.