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  • Writer's pictureDr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam

Acid Reflux - Natural Home Remedies

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common condition where stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing symptoms like heartburn, chest pain, and regurgitation. While medications can provide relief, many people prefer to manage their symptoms using natural home remedies. Here are some effective strategies to help alleviate acid reflux naturally.

Understanding Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle that acts as a valve between the esophagus and stomach, doesn’t close properly. This allows stomach acid to escape into the esophagus, leading to discomfort. Common triggers include certain foods and beverages, obesity, smoking, and stress.

Natural Home Remedies for Acid Reflux

1. Dietary Changes

• Avoid Trigger Foods: Identify and avoid foods that trigger acid reflux. Common culprits include spicy foods, fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, citrus fruits, tomatoes, and garlic.

• Eat Smaller, Frequent Meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals can prevent the stomach from becoming too full and reduce pressure on the LES.

• Stay Upright After Eating: Avoid lying down immediately after meals. Wait at least 2-3 hours before lying down or going to bed to prevent acid from flowing back into the esophagus.

2. Herbal Remedies

• Ginger: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, ginger can help soothe the digestive tract. Drink ginger tea or add fresh ginger to your meals.

• Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea can help reduce inflammation and relax the digestive system. Drink a cup of chamomile tea before bed to help prevent nighttime reflux.

• Licorice Root: Licorice root can help increase the mucus coating in the esophagus, protecting it from acid. Look for deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) supplements to avoid potential side effects from glycyrrhizin.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

• Diluted Apple Cider Vinegar: While it may seem counterintuitive, apple cider vinegar can help balance stomach acid levels. Mix one to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it before meals. Be cautious, as this remedy may not work for everyone and can worsen symptoms for some people.

4. Baking Soda

• Baking Soda Solution: Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, can neutralize stomach acid. Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it for quick relief. Use this remedy sparingly to avoid potential side effects, such as increased sodium intake.

5. Aloe Vera Juice

• Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera juice can help soothe the esophagus and reduce inflammation. Drink a half cup of aloe vera juice before meals. Make sure to choose a product labeled for internal use and follow the recommended dosage.

6. Chewing Gum

• Sugar-Free Chewing Gum: Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which can help neutralize stomach acid and wash it back down into the stomach. Opt for sugar-free gum to avoid additional calories and tooth decay.

7. Lifestyle Modifications

• Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can put pressure on the abdomen, pushing stomach contents into the esophagus. Losing weight can help reduce symptoms.

• Wear Loose Clothing: Tight clothing, especially around the waist, can put pressure on the stomach and LES, leading to acid reflux.

• Elevate the Head of Your Bed: Raising the head of your bed by 6-8 inches can help prevent acid from flowing back into the esophagus while you sleep. Use blocks or a wedge pillow to achieve the elevation.

8. Quit Smoking

• Smoking: Smoking weakens the LES and increases stomach acid production. Quitting smoking can significantly reduce acid reflux symptoms and improve overall health.

9. Manage Stress

• Stress Management: Stress can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or tai chi to reduce stress levels and improve digestion.

When to meet Doctor

While natural remedies can be effective, it’s important to consult doctor if you experience:

• Severe or Persistent Symptoms: Frequent heartburn or acid reflux that doesn’t improve with home remedies.

• Difficulty Swallowing: Trouble swallowing or the sensation of food getting stuck in your throat.

• Unexplained Weight Loss: Losing weight without trying, which could indicate a more serious condition.

• Chest Pain: Severe chest pain, especially if it is accompanied by other symptoms like shortness of breath, jaw pain, or arm pain, as this could indicate a heart attack.

However, always consult with a healthcare professional if you have persistent or severe symptoms to ensure proper diagnosis and treatment.

Dr. Karuturi Subrahmanyam, MD, FRCP (London), FACP (USA)

Internal Medicine Specialist

Kify Hospital



Phone : 85000 23456

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