Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

Do you suffer from acid reflux? In that case, pay attention to the following natural remedies that can be used to reduce symptoms.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
Saúl Sánchez

Written and verified by el nutricionista Saúl Sánchez.

Last update: 16 December, 2022

There are a number of natural remedies that you can apply to treat acid reflux. With this, you’ll experience a reduction in symptoms, as well as a decrease in discomfort. However, many of the solutions that we’re going to present don’t address the root of the problem.

Keep in mind that acid reflux can be caused by a number of different factors. Therefore, it’s best to identify the triggering element in order to start an efficient treatment. Sometimes you even need to resort to pharmacology.

Trigger foods should be avoided

Some foods are capable of triggering acid reflux symptoms. Therefore, you need to identify your individual tolerance and, as much as possible, avoid those foods that cause you the most discomfort.

The products that most commonly cause acidity or reflux problems are coffee and tea, chocolate, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, soft drinks or carbonated drinks, fried and battered foods, precooked and ultra-processed foods, tomatoes, and their derivatives. Even citrus fruits and juices can cause symptoms. A study published in Current Medicinal Chemistry provides evidence of this.

So, it’s best to eliminate foods that are capable of increasing the amount of acid your stomach produces or those that slow down or complicate digestion from your diet. At the same time, you should also stick to small-volume intakes to promote rapid gastric emptying and reduce your discomfort.

Don’t forget that fats have the ability to delay gastric emptying. In addition, the trans varieties promote inflammatory states in the body. Therefore, it’s essential to prioritize the consumption of quality lipids and in moderate quantities.

Likewise, diets low in carbohydrates, but with significant amounts of protein, could be useful in managing reflux, especially when it’s associated with a Helicobacter pylori infection. In these cases, it’s essential that you reduce the energy substrate of the bacteria, that is, sugars.

Helicobacter pylori.
H. pylori is a bacterium that is associated with gastritis. A diet that restricts your substrates will be beneficial.

Improve the state of your body composition

According to research published in the journal Gastroenterology, obesity and being overweight are risk factors for developing acid reflux. This is because excess abdominal and visceral fat can press on the tissues, making it difficult for the sphincters to function and promoting the appearance of hiatal hernia.

Achieving an adequate body composition state should be one of your priorities when it comes to improving the management of acid reflux. To do this, you can opt to reduce the carbohydrates in your diet, follow intermittent fasting protocols, and increase the practice of physical exercise.

It’s key that you establish healthy lifestyle habits to achieve remission in the medium term. When a patient experiences a significant weight loss, they usually feel better, reducing the number of attacks and occasions when reflux is a real nuisance.

Pay attention to eating habits

It’s not just enough to eliminate from your diet those foods that have been shown to cause acid reflux or heavy digestions. You also have to be careful with your eating habits. For example, eating too fast causes the stomach to do more work, which delays emptying.

Therefore, it’s essential that you chew each bite well to ensure that the part of the digestion carried out in the mouth is carried out correctly. This usually requires eliminating distractions during mealtimes. Watching television or talking on the phone while you’re eating is unfavorable.

At the same time, do your best to avoid large meals. It’s better to plan a schedule of various smaller meals throughout the day that have a reduced volume and are easy to digest. Keep in mind that these must contain high quality proteins, a portion of cis-type fats, and abundant vegetables.

It’s not a good idea to go to bed right after dinner

One of the key recommendations for treating reflux has to do with avoiding going to bed right after dinner. The horizontal position of the body favors the rise of stomach contents through the esophagus when the sphincter isn’t competent. For this reason, it’s better to wait 2 or 3 hours before going to bed after dinner.

It may also be helpful to sleep slightly upright, with your head slightly elevated. This reduces the risk of acid reflux developing at night. In addition, it’s possible to increase the gastric emptying speed, which translates into fewer problems. This is evidenced by an investigation published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology .

The best thing to do in these cases is to use wedge pillows, although there are also devices known as bed lifts that fulfill the same function. Of course, you have to be careful if you’re a person who suffers from neck or back problems.

Avoid wearing tight clothing

Clothing can also influence your risk of developing acid reflux. Pants or items that generate pressure at the abdominal level, such as belts, could make it difficult to lower the bolus through the digestive tract.

In this case, the incidence of acid reflux increases. Therefore, make sure that your pants are always loose-fitting.

Reducing stress is key

People with high levels of stress are more likely to suffer from acid reflux. According to a study published in the Annals of Medicine and Surgery, those who are nervous or who tend to suffer from anxiety also have a higher risk of experiencing reflux.

For this reason, it’s essential that you implement strategies that promote relaxation. Meditation can be one of them. This practice has gained quite a few followers in recent years and allows you to control your anxiety.

The practice of physical exercise on a daily basis is another of the essential tools for stress control. It’ll help to promote better rest and to achieve an optimal state of body composition. Therefore, there are many benefits you can enjoy by making exercise part of your routine.

There are even certain dietary supplements with the potential for relaxation. One of them is melatonin, which has been shown to improve the quality of sleep and reduce the risk of developing depression or anxiety. You can take it daily before going to sleep and has no side effects.

Be sure to quit tobacco

Nicotine is one of the substances capable of weakening the esophageal sphincter, allowing the contents of the stomach pouch to rise up the tube again. It’s considered one of the main risk factors for the development of acid reflux, as evidenced by research published in the journal Best Practice & Research.

In general, toxic habits are linked to an increased risk of developing this problem. Alcohol also produces an increase in the production of stomach acid, damages the mucous membranes, and causes negative changes in the microbiota.

Quitting to improve acid reflux.
Smoking cessation is urgently indicated in patients with acid reflux.

Other effective natural remedies

In addition to the aforementioned suggestions, there are other natural remedies that help you better manage your acid reflux, reducing its frequency and intensity. These include ginger, aloe vera juice, turmeric, licorice, and honey. However, not all of them have solid evidence.

Now, one practice that has gained the support of experts in recent years is the consumption of probiotic supplements. These bacteria manage to colonize areas of the digestive tract, altering the pH of the environment and promoting proper digestion. Certain strains could be useful in order to achieve a decrease in the symptoms of the pathology.

However, choosing the right probiotic isn’t always easy. The best thing to do in this case is to consult a professional. Choose one that contains a strain that’s been shown to be effective for the problem you’re experiencing. At the same time, you need to make sure that the number of colony-forming units is greater than an established minimum.

There are many natural remedies for treating acid reflux

As you’ve seen, you can put a series of natural remedies into practice that make it easier to manage acid reflux. This reduces symptoms and increases the quality of life of patients, which is also key to achieving good nutritional status.

Keep in mind that the most decisive thing you can do is avoid stress, toxic habits, and being overweight. By following these 3 instructions, the progression of the pathology will be significantly reduced. In addition, you’ll need to modify your diet to avoid the consumption of foods that produce greater acid secretion.

Finally, don’t forget to practice physical exercise on a daily basis. Being active helps you to relax, sleep better at night, and maintain an optimal body composition state.

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