The lower esophageal sphincter is the muscle that controls the passage between the esophagus and stomach. When the sphincter doesn’t close completely, stomach acid and food flow back into the esophagus. The medical term for this process is gastroesophageal reflux; the backward flow of acid is called acid reflux.
Acid reflux can cause sore throats and hoarseness and may leave a bad taste in your mouth. When acid reflux produces chronic symptoms, it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disorder or GERD. The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn.
Here are a few ways to alleviate acid reflux symptoms without relying solely on medications.
Eat Smaller Meals, Slowly
When the stomach is full, it is more likely that reflux will travel into the esophagus. You may want to try grazing, which is eating small meals more frequently rather than three large meals daily. Chew your food slowly before swallowing and avoid eating right before bed. Waiting for at least two to three hours before lying down is recommended.
Sleep on an Incline
Sleeping completely flat is horrible for acid reflux sufferers. Doctors recommend sleeping as upright as possible and on your left side because this position does not allow stomach acid to empty back into the esophagus. You can invest in a foam wedge to support your upper body or stack pillows on top of each other to create a similar effect.
Identify Your Trigger Foods
Some foods are more likely than others to trigger reflux, including mint, fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, onions, garlic, coffee, tea, chocolate, and alcohol. If you eat or drink any of these items regularly, you might want to try eliminating them to see if doing so controls your reflux, and then try adding them back one by one. Not everyone has the same trigger foods, so taking the time to understand what aggravates your reflux and cutting that out of your life is essential.
Try a Natural Approach
Many natural herbs and supplements have been proven to help relieve acid reflux symptoms like chamomile, ginger root, marshmallow root, and slippery elm. These herbs can be taken as capsules or tea and may help alleviate acid reflux symptoms while they are happening. It is important to always check with your doctor before taking any new herbs or supplements, as they might interfere with your current medications.
Dande-Lion Herb Shop understands the uncomfortable side effects of acid reflux and other digestive issues. That is why we carry products for digestion and acid reflux treatment. Check out our online store for our gut and digestion products that will assist you on your journey of healing naturally!