Natural Alternatives for Healing GERD

by Tom Bills on October 14, 2010

Chamomile flower for treating GerdAcid reflux, heartburn and indigestion are all familiar terms for Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease or GERD. You may experience a dull or severe pain, with a feeling of fullness in the pit of the stomach. A sour liquid usually moves into the mouth. Dizziness, bloating and headache may also be present. There are many heartburn remedies on the market today which are available, both over the counter and by prescription, that are effective. But they usually carry warning labels about many, possibly dangerous, side effects. There are, however, numerous other treatment choices using natural remedies to heal gerd which you may want to try first.

Natural Treatments for GERD

One of the easiest methods of GERD or Acid Reflux treatment is to make some simple dietary changes. There are certain foods that can cause the excessive burping that is associated with heartburn. Avoidance of the offending substances or activities, which increase stomach acid, is always a good plan. Alcohol, smoking, eating onions, garlic, tomato sauce and spicy foods can all lead to overactive salivary glands and a reduced ability to swallow the saliva that naturally builds in your mouth. Other known irritants are chocolate, coffee, fried foods and citrus fruits. Any of these food items can trigger the acid regurgitation, which can cause a sore throat and sometimes hoarseness of the voice, due to the harsh acid flowing upwards through the esophageal tract into the mouth. Strangulation may occur, especially if you are lying down. Any activity that necessitates bending over also aggravates this tendency. If you are experiencing indigestion type symptoms such as excessive burping, burning pain in the chest or acid regurgitation, first loosen any clothing around your stomach and waistline. This reduces the pressure and provides some immediate relief. Many people find that drinking a glass of water or cold, fat free milk every couple of hours is beneficial and reduces the strength of the offending acid. Body position is extremely important in minimizing the discomfort. Sit up straight, stand up or walk around. Do not lie down for at least two hours after eating and avoid any bedtime snacking. Because symptoms usually increase when in a prone position, a wedge pillow is especially helpful when sleeping. The wedge pillow is specially designed for people who suffer from sleeping disorders due to acid reflux. By elevating the head and upper body, the wedge pillow naturally impedes the flow of excess acid from backing up into the esophageal tract into the mouth.

Herbal remedies

Natural herbal remedies have been in use for centuries and for good reason. Research has proven that many herbs have been found to be effective in stopping excess acid from occurring. For instance, lemon balm, when used alone, tends to produce a calming effect on the digestive tract. When mixed with other herbs, such as chamomile or meadowsweet, it produces an excellent anti-inflammatory. Peppermint is often used successfully to settle a nervous stomach. Try adding a bit of cumin to a glass of water or drink a mixture of honey and ginger root extract after each meal. Many sufferers find that mixing a little apple cider vinegar with a glass of water and drinking it several times a day provides relief. A session with a good herbalist can help you determine the correct herbals along with the proper dosage recommended for your symptoms.

Unfortunately, symptoms of gerd mirror symptoms of many other diseases of the heart, kidneys or lungs. Thorough testing needs to be done to rule out any other underlying causes. You should be professionally diagnosed prior to trying any remedies to be certain that you are treating the correct illness. GERD is not only extremely uncomfortable and painful, but, if not treated successfully, it can also lead to more serious complications of the digestive tract. Not all of these natural cures will work for everyone. If you choose to try one or more of the natural alternatives to heal gerd, be sure to seek your physician’s advice. Your physician knows your medical history and any risk factors you may have, and is in the best possible position to make recommendations.

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