GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) or acid reflux is caused by stomach bile or acid rising into the esophagus. Acid reflux is a common phenomenon today, but if it happens more than twice a week it is GERD. The acid solution splashing into the esophagus leads to inflammation, scarring and irritation which narrows the esophagus. Symptoms may be burning, hoarseness, nausea, wheezing and eroded tooth enamel. Old people or overweight ones tend to be affected by this disease more as abdominal fat interferes with the functioning of the esophagus. The lower sphincter also weakens with age and hence may not perform its functions well. The lower sphincter prevents the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus by closing up, but certain foods can relax it. Alcohol, nicotine, chocolate, caffeine, fatty and spicy foods relax the sphincter and can cause an acid reflux.
Lifestyle and food together along with a few precautions can create a GERD home remedy to manage the discomfort and pain.
- Try apple cider vinegar for GERD relief. It aids digestion and reduces the bad bacteria in the gut. It is an alkalizing food that balances the body’s pH level. Buy a bottle of unfiltered, raw and organic apple cider vinegar. Take one or two teaspoons each morning followed by some water.
- Aloe Vera is an anti-inflammatory ingredient that is wonderful for soothing sunburns too. When consumed, it soothes an inflamed stomach and esophagus. Mix 2-3 ounces of aloe vera with 8 ounces of fruit juice or coconut water and drink 20 minutes before eating.
- Fennel seeds are a great digestive aid and are known worldwide for it. It is a source of anethole – a compound that relaxes the stomach. Crush some fennel seeds and add it to boiling water to make tea. Sip it after meals for best results.
- Ginger aids in digestion and treats nausea. Drinking some ginger tea to battle acid reflux would be good for the stomach. Make the tea by steeping some thin slices of the root in hot water or boiling water.
- Kudzu is a vine that is used in Chinese medicine. When mixed with apple pectin, it settles the stomach gently. Mix 32 ounces of unfiltered apple juice with one tablespoon of kudzu in a pot, while stirring with a wooden spoon every 1 minute. You can have some after 10 minutes and save the rest for later, in a glass container.
- Peppermint does wonders in cooling a burning throat. Try peppermint tea or peppermint capsules for relief.
- Avoid eating citrus fruits if you have GERD. Fruits like apples, papaya or banana are best. Pectin promotes digestion, while malic and tartaric acid in apples balances the pH level. Bananas will line the stomach and are a natural antacid. Papain in papaya dissolves carbs, treats constipation and decreases inflammation.
- People with GERD must not sleep on flat surfaces while lying down and definitely not immediately after meals. This will stop the acid from going into the esophagus. Try sleeping on the left side for GERD Relief.
- Loose fitting clothing and small meals throughout the day will also help in maintaining health and managing the disorder.