The pain and discomfort that come with acid reflux can make it difficult to work, relax and even sleep. Fortunately, there are wonderful natural remedies that can quickly relieve acid reflux. Surprisingly, the top remedy for acid reflux is apple cider vinegar, which may seem counter-intuitive, but works fast because the vinegar alkalizes your pH. However, many more natural cure options are available besides the ACV, like baking soda and pickle juice!
We’ve put together a list of the 10 most effective remedies for acid reflux for short term and long term relief.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when the contents from your stomach come up into your esophagus. Because your food has mixed with the digestive juices in your stomach (which are acidic for the purpose of breaking down your food) the food that comes up is sour or acidic and quite unpleasant.
Remedies for Instant Relief from Acid Reflux
Fortunately, some of the easiest short term solutions for acid reflux are likely in your kitchen right now!
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
While it may contradict your intuition to take something as acidic as apple cider vinegar to cure your acid reflux, raw and organic apple cider vinegar works very to bring immediate relief to your acid reflux by facilitating digestion and restoring proper pH to the stomach. When used for medicinal purposes, organic apple cider vinegar is the best.
2. Sodium Bicarbonate
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has been used for generations to cure digestive problems. ½ teaspoon of baking soda is added to 4-6 ounces of water and taken internally. This not only helps to neutralize the acid in your stomach, it will neutralize the acid in your throat.
3. Pickle Juice
Because pickle juice contains a lot of vinegar, it works similarly to apple cider vinegar. Pickle juice is more palatable than vinegar for many people and just as effective.
Preventing Acid Reflux
If you are prone to acid reflux, natural remedies to prevent reflux will help you to avoid the misery in the first place.
Probiotics promote good digestion. Taking a probiotic supplement or regularly consuming probiotic foods like kefir, kombucha or kimchi can help your digestion to work well all of the time, reducing incidents of acid reflux or other digestive problems.
5. Digestive Enzymes
Taking digestive enzymes with your food will help your food to be digested properly, preventing acid reflux attacks. While the body normally produces digestive enzymes on its own, sometimes it needs a little help, especially because aging or hormonal changes can cause a reduction in digestive enzymes.
Aloe is a gentle remedy that is helpful to a variety of digestive ills. Aloe juice or supplements can be used on a regular basis to improve your digestion.
Lifestyle Changes to Eliminate Acid Reflux
Making some modifications in certain practices can reduce or eliminate acid reflux.
7. Lose Weight
If you are overweight, losing weight can reduce acid reflux attacks. Eating less food at each individual meal will also reduce the risk of an acid attack.
8. Don’t Eat Before Bed
Having a full stomach when you lie down in bed is a recipe for digestive distress! Have you last meal a few hours before bedtime. Resist that bedtime snack. Suck on a mint instead and then brush your teeth. You will be less tempted to eat something else if your mouth feels fresh and clean.
9. Drink More Water
Chronic low grade dehydration can be a cause of acid reflux. Energy drinks, coffee, and soda may be liquids but they are not a good source of proper hydration. Add ¼ teaspoon of sea salt to a quart of water and consume this throughout the day. The salt helps your body to use the water effectively in the cells instead of having it just flush through your system. Drinking more water will also help you to eat less, reducing your risk of acid reflux.
Change Your Diet
10. Dietary Changes
Like it or not, some foods may be the root cause of your acid reflux. Pinpointing these foods and avoiding them, or at least consuming them less often or in smaller quantities will be worth it if you feel better.
Alcoholic beverages, spicy foods, fried foods, tomatoes, chocolate, citrus fruits and juices are all common causes of acid reflux. Of course, everyone is different. You will need to pay attention to the foods you eat (keeping a log of what you eat for a week can help you make connections between certain foods and acid reflux) and plan your menus accordingly.
Medications and Acid Reflux
Over the counter medications for acid reflux may provide temporary relief but used on a regular basis can cause other health problems. Calcium carbonate, an inexpensive over the counter remedy for acid reflux, can actually cause your body to make more acid over time as it compensates for the acid reduction. It has also been linked to kidney stones.
Proton pump inhibitors have become quite popular in the treatment of acid reflux. Unfortunately, they have been linked to bone fractures, vitamin deficiency, and even pneumonia when used long term. A safer option would be to improve your health to eliminate your acid reflux. Covering up any problem with medication is not a good long term solution.
While acid reflux medication carry side effects, other medications have acid reflux as a side effect! If you take medications on a regular basis, you may need to investigate and see if one or more of them could be causing your digest problems. Pain medications, medications for anxiety and depression, and antibiotics can all cause acid reflux!
Could My Acid Reflux Be a Sign of Something More Serious?
If the “instant relief” remedies above do not bring you relief in short order and/or you have pain in your chest that radiates to your arm, neck, jaw or back, or if you experience dizziness, shortness of breath or cold sweats, seek immediate medical attention to rule out a heart issue.
If your bouts of acid reflux happen on a regular basis, you may have a chronic digestive disorder like GERD, hiatal hernia or gallbladder disease. It is wise to seek medical counsel to understand what you are dealing so that you can best treat it.
Have you tried a natural remedy for acid reflux? Please send us some feedback! Continue reading to learn which remedies our readers found to be effective in curing their acid reflux.