Gastro esophageal reflux disease or GERD is quite distressful which needs to be addressed in time. Malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) muscle causes a back flow of the acidic food contents from the stomach causing heartburn, wheezing, breathing problem and other difficulties. The exact cause of malfunctioning of LES is yet to be confirmed, but lifestyle and certain health conditions are the leading contributors of this ailment.
Prolonged suffering from GERD may lead to serious complications in the future. Acute GERD can make your life miserable, but certain changes in the lifestyle and food habits can put an end to this suffering permanently. Specific home remedies for GERD are very effective in combating this ailment sparing you from unnecessary medications.
Top 8 Home Remedies For GERD
It is recommended to follow the home remedies for GERD earnestly in order to get a permanent relief from its irritable symptoms.
Drink Enough Water
Water is the best medium to dilute the acidity caused by GERD. Drinking enough water neutralizes the acid in the esophagus providing an instant relief from heartburn.
Avoid drinking in gulps while having your meals as this may worsen the symptoms. Drinking 2 liters of water regularly is considered as one of the best GERD home remedies.
Reduce the Portion of your Intake
Eating food in small portions is another effective home remedy for GERD. According to webmd.com, bigger meal sizes enhance the symptoms of acid reflux. Small meal portions are easily digestible which ultimately reduces the acid production. Large portion sizes exert too much pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter muscle causing its relaxation and back flow of the acidic contents from the stomach. Enjoy eating in small quantities and opt for 4-5 small meals instead of 2-3 large meals.
Find out The Triggers
Detect the triggers of GERD and stay away from them strictly. The triggers vary from person to person. Any acid causing food is bound to trigger the symptoms of GERD which include citrus fruits, tomatoes and garlic. Even onion should be consumed in moderation.
You may also have to give up your favorite hot and spicy dishes. Consuming foods loaded with pepper and chilies can give rise to GERD symptoms. Coffee, tea and chocolate are often the unnoticed triggers of GERD. You need to be watchful about the intake of the above mentioned foods.
Opt for chewing gum
Chewing sugarless chewing gums throughout the day is a quick fix home remedy for GERD. The bicarbonate containing chewing gums (found in toothpaste) produces better results. Chewing gums stimulate the secretion of saliva which dilutes the acid in the esophagus gradually washing down the contents back into the stomach. Carry 1-2 packs of chewing gums to your workplace and chew them continuously.
Treatment with juice from Aloe Vera
Consuming juice from Aloe Vera is often considered as one of the top GERD home remedies. It is the Europeans who have popularized this remedy. You need to drink ¼ cup of specially prepared Aloe Vera juice 20 minutes before meals to avail best results.
However, direct consumption of the raw juice extracted from Aloe Vera plant is not recommended. The raw juice contains aloe latex and other compounds which are strong laxatives and may give rise to secondary problems. Specially prepared Aloe juice is readily available in the stores. Diabetics should consult the health care provider before going for this treatment in order to prevent hypoglycemia.
Treatment with apple cider vinegar (ACV)
Treating GERD with an acid like apple cider vinegar may sound absurd, but this treatment has provided the much desired relief to many. Apple cider vinegar constitutes of acetic acid (much weaker acid than hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach) and acetate, which acts as an effective buffer solution creating a mild acidic environment.
Often, too little hydrochloric acid production induces GERD. In that case, apple cider vinegar facilitates digestion by increasing the acid content in the stomach. Mix two teaspoonfuls each of ACV and honey in a cup of warm water and drink it twice a day before meals. However, excessive consumption of ACV should be avoided.
Treatment with baking soda
This is no doubt a simple home remedy for GERD, but the effect is short lived. Baking soda is composed of sodium bicarbonate.
The alkalinity of sodium bicarbonate reduces acidity in the esophagus providing a quick relief from heartburn and other disturbing symptoms. You can mix 1/3rd or ¼ th teaspoonful of baking soda in a cup of water and drink 2-3 times a day. Having this mixture after meals will be more effective.
Keep your head elevated while sleeping
Finally, keep your head elevated (5-6 inches above the horizontal position) while sleeping. You can place 1 or 2 extra pillows beneath your head to get the desired elevation. This posture is very helpful for those suffering from nocturnal GERD. Lying flat on the bed exerts pressure on the abdomen facilitating relaxation of the esophageal sphincter muscle causing a back flow of acid from the stomach. If you prefer to raise the head of the bed, maintain a low angle of inclination so that you can sleep comfortably.
Photo Credit: http://www.choa.org/Child-Health-Glossary/G/GA/Gastroesophageal-Reflux-Disease-GERD
Caution: Please use Home Remedies after Proper Research and Guidance. You accept that you are following any advice at your own risk and will properly research or consult healthcare professional.