Will Acid Reflux Go Away Naturally?
Acid reflux is uncomfortable, causes heartburn and nausea and takes the joy out of eating a slap up meal. Most people experience acid reflux at some stage in their lives during pregnancy or after a big meal. Over the counter antacids usually relieve symptoms and the conditions last for a short time. People with Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) suffer from the condition on a regular basis and it affects their general health.
Treatment for acid reflux involves proton pump inhibitors (like Omeprazole and Esomeprazole) which reduces the amount of acid the stomach produces. They are effective for short-term treatment but there are concerns concerning long-term use. Acid reflux is also a sign of health conditions such as a hiatal hernia, anxiety, oesophagal cancer and gastroparesis. It is important to visit your doctor if you suffer from acid reflux for a long time.
Lifestyle changes help to ease the symptoms of the condition because many everyday habits cause it. As long as a serious health condition doesn’t cause acid reflux being aware of triggers and avoiding them is the most natural way to treat the condition.
Acid reflux is the main symptom of GORD which is a condition affecting the lower oesophagal sphincter. It is a band of muscle separating the oesophagus and the stomach stopping food and acid coming back up from the stomach. People experience indigestion because the sphincter is weak and allows stomach contents to flow back to the chest.
Symptoms include; bad breath, burning sensation in the chest, feelings of nausea, vomiting, bloating and difficulty swallowing. Sometimes the pain is so bad it feels like a heart attack if this is the case a visit to the doctor will determine if this is the case. Chronic acid reflux damages the oesophagus and causes Barrett's oesophagus which alters the cells and is a precursor to cancer (source: NHS).
Triggers include; smoking, drinking alcohol, large portion sizes, lying down after eating, anti-inflammatories and asthma medication. Avoiding these triggers goes some way to preventing heartburn and indigestion.
The most effective treatment is proton pump inhibitors (such as Lansoprazole , Nexium or Losec) which reduce acid production in the stomach. If they are unsuccessful surgery may be necessary to tighten up the sphincter muscle.
Natural Ways To Control Symptoms
As well as taking medication lifestyle changes help to relieve acid reflux symptoms. Avoiding triggers and eating smaller portions helps to reduce attacks. Reducing weight, avoiding spicy food, fizzy drinks, caffeine, alcohol and lying flat help to relieve symptoms. Asthma medication relaxes muscles and causes heartburn keeping control of your condition relieves symptoms.
Lots of people suffer from heartburn at night time so elevating your head and upper part of your body helps to keep the acid in the stomach. Eating your last meal four hours before bedtime reduces your chances of indigestion while you are sleeping.
Keeping track of your symptoms and triggers helps you to avoid them. If you get acid reflux after eating certain foods you can start avoiding them and hopefully prevent an attack. Natural remedies such as; baking soda, chewing gum, ginger tea, mustard and chamomile tea relieve mild indigestion. If symptoms persist and you still suffer from painful acid reflux medical intervention is necessary.
By Parv Sagoo (Dec 2017)