Though acid reflux is usually associated with wrong eating habits, there are many other underlying reasons triggering this condition. Some of the reasons and natural remedies for acid reflux are mentioned here to prevent this condition from getting chronic over time.
What Causes Acid Reflux?
Stomach acid is very strong as it is used for digestion and removal of unwanted microbes during the process. This is hydrochloric acid which is quite harsh in nature. The stomach lining is not affected by this acid as it is built for it. Esophagus and the upper gut are not used to these acids and hence burning sensation takes place when the stomach acid flows to these areas.
The muscle ring known as Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) is a valve located at the entry of the stomach. Usually when the food enters the stomach, this valve automatically closes to check the stomach acid from entering into the food pipe. When this valve opens frequently or doesn’t close after the food is passed through, the stomach acid flows back to the food pipe. This condition is termed as acid reflux. The acid in the esophagus would cause burning sensation and heartburn.
This is also caused due to Hiatal Hernia, where LES and the upper stomach moves above diaphragm. Diaphragm is also instrumental in keeping the stomach acids in check as it divides chest and the stomach. When LES moves above the diaphragm, it allows the stomach acids to flow out of the stomach.
Apart from the above abnormalities, the major reasons for acid reflux include –
- Obesity or being overweight.
- Consuming spicy and oily food in large quantity.
- Lying down immediately after heavy meals.
- Binging on food at wrong times especially before going to bed.
- Excess intake of beverages like coffee, tea, aerated drinks, and alcohol.
- Consuming citrus fruits on empty stomach.
- Inadequate sleep.
- Fluctuating meal timings.
- Low intake of dietary fiber or roughage.
- Some medications including pain killers, blood pressure medicine, muscle relaxants, asthma drugs, sedatives, and antidepressants.
Common Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
Some of the common symptoms experienced by those suffering from acid reflux are –
- Persistent Hiccups
- Pain in chest or upper abdominal portion
- Dry Cough
- Bad breath
- Deteriorated dental health
- Laryngitis, soreness, and hoarseness
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
The natural remedies for acid reflux include lifestyle and diet changes as mentioned here –
- Avoid heavy meals in single serve. Eat frequently but in smaller portions.
- Don’t eat just before lying down. If possible finish your meals 2 to 3 hours before sleeping.
- Drink more water.
- Avoid long daytime naps or if possible use a chair for power naps.
- Maintain your weight in prescribed limits.
- Take a walk daily.
- Include more roughage in the diet.
- Don’t wear tight belts or skin tight clothes.
- Sleep in comfortable clothing.
Above changes would ease the symptoms to great extent. You may also check with your doctor for antacid in case you experience the symptoms or have taken a heavy meal. Treating acid reflux in time would prevent many other associated ailments.
Karishma enjoys writing blogs and articles as a part of her profession. While she provides her services for various known websites, her free time is utilized in exploring health benefits of natural supplements and extracts. She contributes these articles occasionally to Turmeric Curcumin Shop, the online shop for pure turmeric curcumin extract.