Have you got that burning feeling? Heartburn, that is.
60 million Amercan adults experience heartburn at least once per month and 25 million suffer daily. Heartburn is a symptom of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. The chronic digestive disorder occurs when the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach becomes weak or misfunctions, allowing the contents of the stomach to flow back up into the esophagus. The action is called acid reflux and the symptom then is heartburn.
What causes or triggers acid reflux?
diet– acidic, spicy and greasy foods, caffeine, soda, alcohol, soda, large meals
hiatal hernia – when the upper part of the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm, and up into the chest
weight – obesity and pregnancy can add pressure to the abdomen area and sphincter
gastroparesis – a disorder where the stomach takes too long to empty its contents
Adding to the problem
Medical doctors add to the problem by telling us that the problem is too much acid. They prescribe medicines to control acid production but that have many side effects. This may include allergic reactions, headache, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, depression and others. Most commonly used medicines include antacids, H2 blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac) and proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec). While these medications may subdue the symptoms for a while, many people report them ineffective for long term use as the article Danger in Acid Reflux Drugs reveals.
Dr. Mercola, the natural health doctor also warns patients to never take these drugs because they are dangerous and ineffective. Read his article and if you are currently taking these medications learn How To Wean Yourself Off Dangerous Acid Reflux Drugs.
Natural Foods Heal
Being aware of and avoiding dietary triggers can help to reduce acid reflux and GERD. Adding natural foods and supplements targeted toward healthy digestion may actually heal the condition. Here is a list of things to include:
- Green vegetables – are alkalizing foods that cleanse the blood and heal the digestive tract.
- Betaine HCL supplement – taken before meals may prevent symptoms for some people and aid digestion.
- Unrefined sea salt – contains trace minerals that the body needs to maintain homeostasis (a healthy balance).
- Probiotics – can be taken in a pill form. Probiotics increase the friendly bacteria of the gut and balance the stomach lining.
- Digestive enzymes – taken in pill form or by eating enzyme rich fruits and vegetables helps to properly and efficiently digest food making its nutrients available for the body to use.
- Vitamin D – helps regulate immune system responses and lowers the risk of bacterial infections
Quick Natural Relief
If you experience an attack of heartburn, reach for one of the following to relieve the symptoms and consider using these natural remedies in your daily diet.
Apple cider vinegar – use 1 Tablespoon in 4 oz filtered water.
Aloe vera juice – use 1 Tablespoon in 2-4oz water.
Licorice root – the herb can be taken in extract form or an herbal tea decoction.
Raw sauerkraut – is rich in vitamin c and digestive enzymes. It can help to heal the stomach lining.
Make your own Raw Sauerkraut
Raw sauerkraut is just so good for your gut and you can make it for a fraction of the cost of store bought. The Blender Babes have outlined a wonderful version of Kimberly Snyder’s raw sauerkraut recipe if you you want to make your own.
Juicing to Relieve GERD
Fresh natural juices feed the cells directly with vitamins, minerals, and enzymes to help the body heal itself. Juicing is one of the quickest ways to reverse chronic health conditions. When juicing to relieve GERD, include some of the following: carrots, cabbage, apples, celery, watermelon, fennel, ginger, parsley, and bananas (for smoothies ).Note: not all of these foods will work for all people. Experiment to find the right combination for your own health.
Green Earth Juice
taken from Healthy Juice Recipes by Carey (Kingsbury) Avalon
1/4 or large wedge from a head of cabbage
3 celery ribs
1 cup spinach
2 green apples
1/2″ ginger (or fennel or parsley)
Natural remedies are the best remedies for acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD. Which of these remedies have you had success with? Do you have other natural remedies to share? Leave a comment below: