Acid reflux, sometimes referred to as heartburn, can be a common post-meal nuisance that happens when acid from your stomach splashes up into your esophagus, where it doesn’t belong. Since stomach acid is designed to break down food, it can really irritate the lining of your esophagus – talk about painful!
There are several prescription and over-the-counter medications to manage heartburn, but here are a few alternative methods to explore:
Chew (sugar-free) gum. Chewing gum stimulates the production of saliva causing you to swallow more frequently, which helps remove digestive acid from your esophagus. Choose sugar-free gum to safeguard your teeth.
Elevate your bed (not your pillow) four to six inches. Elevating the head of your bed with blocks can help keep stomach acid where it belongs – in your stomach.
Try a new relaxation technique. Stress heightens symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, or chronic acid reflux). Explore a new relaxation method, such as bedtime yoga, tai chi, deep breathing exercises or listening to calming music.
Consider lifestyle changes. Smoking cessation, weight loss, smaller meals, low-fat diets and consuming fewer provoking foods, such as alcohol, caffeine, garlic, onions or tomatoes, can help alleviate heartburn.
“GERD: Lifestyle and Home Remedies,” Mayo Clinic Staff, mayoclinic.org, July 31, 2014.
“Natural Home Remedies for Heartburn,” WebMD Staff, webmd.com, accessed on March 7, 2016.