Updated: Mar 29
Acid reflux, also known as gastritis or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a condition in which stomach acid flows back up the esophagus, causing irritation and heartburn. This occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to keep gastric acids in the stomach. Common causes of acid reflux include obesity, smoking, pregnancy, certain medications, and eating a diet that is high in acid-forming foods such as fried and processed foods, citrus fruits and juices, spicy foods, and garlic.
Symptoms of acid reflux may include burning sensations or pain in the chest or throat, a sour taste in the mouth, dry coughs or hoarseness of voice after meals, belching or flatulence after eating fatty foods, nausea, and vomiting. In some cases, acid reflux can be accompanied by difficulty in swallowing food or liquid due to inflammation of the throat lining from gastric acids. If left untreated over time this can lead to damage to the esophagus and even cancer.
Making small changes to your diet and lifestyle can help you manage gastritis and acid reflux. In addition to over-the-counter options, there are several home remedies that have been used for centuries to improve digestive health and wellness.
1. Eating small meals
Eating small meals throughout the day rather than three large meals can help reduce acid reflux. Eating slowly and avoiding spicy, greasy, and fatty foods can also help reduce gastritis flare-ups.
2. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been used for centuries to improve digestion and stomach acid balance. Taking a tablespoon of ACV diluted in 8 ounces of water before meals may help reduce gastritis symptoms.
3. Chewing gum
Chewing gum can increase saliva production, which helps neutralize gastric acid. Chewing sugar-free gum with natural ingredients such as xylitol and peppermint can help reduce gastritis symptoms.
4. Aloe vera juice
Aloe vera juice has been used to improve digestion for centuries. Drinking aloe vera juice twice a day may help reduce gastritis symptoms.
Ginger is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce gastritis symptoms. You can add ginger to your meals, or drink it as tea by adding two or three slices of fresh ginger root to boiling water (let steep for 10 minutes).
6. Taking foods high in fiber
Eating food that is high in fiber can help to reduce gastritis symptoms by regulating digestion and reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
Foods like yogurt with probiotics can help promote good bacteria in the gut and may be beneficial for gastric health.
8. Not eating when it's almost bedtime
Avoid eating close to bedtime and instead, have dinner at least two hours before going to sleep as this can help reduce gastric reflux symptoms.
9. Elevating your head
Elevating your head while sleeping can also help reduce gastritis symptoms due to the gravity working against acid reflux.
10. Relaxation techniques
Try relaxation techniques like yoga or deep breathing to reduce stress, which can exacerbate gastric reflux symptoms.
It is important to talk with a doctor before beginning any home remedy regimen to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for your specific gastric needs. By making small changes to your lifestyle, you can help manage gastritis and acid reflux symptoms in the comfort of your own home and achieve better health and wellness.
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