Acid Reflux Awareness & Remedies

According to the American College of Gastroenterology, acid reflux/heartburn affects an estimated 60 million Americans at least once a month and 15 million daily. Acid reflux is a common condition that presents itself with a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area. 

Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD actually have very different meanings. Acid reflux is a common medical condition that can range in severity from mild to serious. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic, more severe form of acid reflux. Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux and GERD.

Most people experience chest discomfort or heartburn after eating or when they lie down or bend over. It results from acid reflux — stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus, which is the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach. 

How do you know if you have heartburn or acid reflux?

Heartburn feels like a burning pain in your chest that may be very bothersome or painful. You also may have a bitter or sour taste in your throat or mouth. Heartburn actually is a symptom of acid reflux, or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux occurs more than twice a week.

Common causes of acid reflux (and therefore heartburn) include:

Drinking alcohol

Smoking

Obesity

Poor posture (slouching)

Certain medications (calcium channel blockers, nitrates, antihistamines, certain asthma medicines

nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

antidepressants)

Certain foods (fatty and fried foods, chocolate, garlic, and onions, Raw onions might also irritate the lining of the esophagus, causing worsened heartburn. caffeinated drinks, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, spicy foods, mint)

Eating large meals

Eating too quickly

Eating before bedtime

Hiatal hernia stomach

Pregnancy

Diabetes

Increase in stomach acid (from stress, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, stomach tumors)

Weight gain

Here are some helpful tips to alleviate or prevent acid.

  • Avoid eating large meals and avoid eating a few hours before your bedtime.
  • Keep a healthy weight since extra weight can cause pressure inside the abdomen.
  • Eat lean protein and less simple carbohydrates because poor carbohydrate digestion can cause acid reflux.
  • Check if you have bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine as it can cause acid reflux.
  • Avoid alcohol as drinking alcohol can worsen acid reflux symptoms.
  • Avoid coffee as it’s linked to worsening acid reflux and heartburn. 
  • Avoid carbonated beverages or citrus juice as they are linked to worsening the condition. 
  • Avoid trigger foods that can aggravate symptoms, such as fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, caffeine, mint, spicy foods, citrus, and tomato-based foods. Avoid chocolate and mint as they can worsen the symptoms.
  • Avoid vaping, smoke or are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke.

Most of the time, diet and lifestyle changes can help relieve or cure acid reflux symptoms (GERD) and heartburn. Reflect on your lifestyle factors concerning drinking clean water, getting enough sleep, exercising, utilizing stress reduction strategies, meditate, and keep a journal to reach your optimal health.

Listen to the podcast and learn DIY strategies for combatting acid reflux. 

What to do? Get tested to determine your GI functioning, avoid certain foods, take natural supplements to boost GI health, natural detox, liver support and glutathione levels. Stay hydrated and keep a food journal to determine patterns between your overall wellness and your food and beverage intake.

Disclaimer: You should always speak with your physician before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or adopting any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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