It’s not the best way to end a meal, but for some a familiar burning and bitterness rising up the throat is an almost inevitable finale to savouring a spot of rich cuisine. Acid reflux is a relatively common problem that rears its head at point or another in people’s lives.
It happens when a valve at the bottom of your esophagus called the of lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t close properly and allows the acidic juices and food from your stomach to sneak into your throat unexpectedly, which can range from feeling a little discomforting to quite panic-worthy.
What does acid reflux feel like?
You’ll have a burning pain in you lower chest along with possible bloating, burping, a sore throat, snoring, difficulty breathing or ulcers as the acidity irritates the food pipe lining. If it persists and gets worse over a longer period it’s possible for scar tissue to build up and narrow your throat making it more difficult to swallow. That’s why it’s best to take of it as soon as you can.
What causes it?
Things like lying down too soon after you’ve eaten, smoking, drinking alcohol and some foods and medicines can trigger an attack of acid reflux by upsetting the balance of your stomach’s digestive juices. Your stomach has too much acid, just that your body is too acidic. In fact it is thought that acid reflux can be caused by too little stomach acid.
There has been research to suggest that oxidative stress can lead to low level infections of H. Pylori that is associated with reflux symptoms too. People with hiatal hernias are often prone to this.
Conventional treatments for acid reflux often involve suppressing your tummy’s acid production. By suppressing your stomach’s acid, you take away its defensive ability to kill a particular infection known to reflux called H. pylori, so you can actually be making things worse. What is really happening is not necessarily the excess acid, but that it creeps up where it doesn’t belong. Along with this, your tummy lining can be damaged and inflamed by poorly controlled acidity, leading to ulcers.
As always, what you put into your body can make all the difference. One of the keys to good health is keeping your body alkaline and this is especially important when it comes to acid reflux. There are certain foods that tend to be no-no’s, foods that create excess acid in your body and so encourage more inflammation. If your body is too acidic it will draw from minerals in your bones and teeth to try and neutralize it, so make sure you have enough alkaline minerals for your body to dip into without it being a problem.
• deep fried foods
• raw tomatoes
• refined white flour and sugar
• canned foods
Choosing to eat a fresh, wholefood diet is key, eating alkaline forming foods and condiments will support your body’s natural ecology and balance. Once you know which foods are too acidic, a basic start is common sense – eat lots of fruits and veggies, especially raw as these tend to be high in potassium. You can also try grains rich in potassium a such as millet, quinoa and amaranth.
Along with alkalinity, you can support your tummy’s natural flora by taking a good probiotic supplement. Food that contain good bacteria are also an age old wisdom that have always been known to help us keep the good guys on the up and up in our digestive system. Fermented and cultured foods such as yoghurt, kefir, kombucha and sauerkraut all are natural ways to get in good bacteria.
Supplementing with digestives can take some of the burden off you stomach as you rebalance your tummy juices. This is a better idea than suppressing acid production, which can actually can interfere with your body’s natural digestion process.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This trusty remedy is staple in the natural tricks for acid reflux department. It has a similar effect to your stomach acid so helps you digest your food while still having a healthy alkaline effect on your body. Take a tablespoon in a glass of water before meals to reap the benefits.
Healing clays are such simple little wonder treatments. Bentonite clay not only binds excessive acidity, it can also kill infections such as H. Pylori as it is strongly antibacterial and remove toxins, parasites and heavy metals that could be causing irritation. Added to that, it alkalises your system and also lines your stomach with a slimy protective coating while remineralising your body. Overall, it’s a good bet.
Taking a teaspoon in some water before a meal is the way to go for prevention. You can also take it as an emergency treatment when you are already experiencing symptoms. Zeolite clay has a similar effect to Bentonite when it comes to really useful reflux tricks.
Another natural remedy for natural reflux healing is the juice of the aloe plant. This gel like liquid is so soothing for your lining and helps prevent inflammation that can cause acid reflux. It also has unique sugars that help you digest your food without triggering excessive acid. You can drink about half a cup before meals.
Siberian Pine nut oil
Siberian Pine Nut Oil’s magic lies in the fact that it is effective against H. Pylori and also an excellent antioxidant. Oxidative stress has been found to be a major cause of gastric disturbances. It also is has special fatty acids that are very anti-inflammatory, healing and protective for your stomach lining.
Glutamine is an important amino acid when it comes to your stomach as it is very useful for healing damage in your gastro intestinal lining. There has also been research that found that getting enough B vitamins and folate can reduce acid reflux. Folate-rich whole foods include things like asparagus, spinach, okra, and beans.
Try some of these tips and tricks for a happier meal experience and take care of your tummy with some natural love it will be grateful for!