Keep a food diary and avoid trigger foods. Resist the urge to overeat or eat quickly. Avoid late meals, eating snacks before bed, and eating before exercising. It can be difficult to know what to do when heartburn occurs.
With such a variety of over-the-counter (OTC) treatments, herbal remedies, or other natural remedies and prescription drugs available, choosing the right treatment can be an adventure. Most medications used to treat heartburn, both prescription and over-the-counter, have undergone rigorous testing and studies to establish their safe and effective use, but what about natural remedies? You've probably seen long lists of natural cures for heartburn, or maybe you've had friends or family who rely on baking soda or apple cider vinegar to relieve heartburn, but what does the evidence say about these methods? Some drinks, such as coffee and alcohol, can increase symptoms of acid reflux. Replacing these drinks with decaffeinated herbal teas can help reduce the likelihood of acid reflux. Other people may find that home remedies are sufficient to reduce acid reflux and relieve symptoms.
Normally, the diaphragm naturally strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter, which prevents excessive amounts of stomach acid from leaking into the esophagus. By optimizing all aspects of gut health, including microbiome, acid content, intestinal lining and digestion, my patients have learned to cure GERD without the need for medication. The low level of stomach acid allows bacteria to thrive in the stomach, compete for nutrients and generate excess gas. These are for treating GERD, not occasional heartburn, and include two types of medications that suppress acid production.
Avoiding diet triggers, eating several small meals instead of fewer large meals, losing weight, quitting smoking, and avoiding lying down for a few hours after eating can help reduce acid reflux. The reason for the link seems to be that excess fat around the abdominal area puts pressure on the stomach, causing the body to work harder to keep the acid low. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux; the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux. However, although several studies suggest that coffee and caffeine may worsen acid reflux in some people, the evidence is not entirely conclusive.
Adults experience symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) once a month, and approximately 10 percent of the adult population takes a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for this condition.