Acid reflux is characterized by heartburn or burning pain around the lower chest area due to stomach acid moving up into the esophagus, a long tube connecting the throat to the stomach. The pain tends to worsen when you lie down or bend over.
Severe or chronic acid reflux is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In addition to heartburn, it may also give rise to symptoms like nausea, a sour taste in mouth, sore throat, dry cough and chest pain. If left untreated, it can cause serious complications including Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer.
The exact cause of acid reflux disease is still not known. But it is clear that factors like smoking, obesity, pregnancy, certain foods, genetics, malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter muscles, stomach abnormalities like hiatal hernia and certain medications may contribute to this problem.
Frequent and severe bouts of acid reflux require medical treatment. If you experience only mild symptoms, you can try some natural home remedies to get relief. If the problem occurs more than twice in a week, then consult your doctor.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one of the most effective home remedies for acid reflux. It aids digestion and helps balance acid production in the stomach.
- Mix one to two teaspoons of organic raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a cup of warm water.
- Drink it 20 to 30 minutes before eating a meal.
- Do this on a regular basis, at least for a few months.
You can also drink apple cider vinegar mixed in water when heartburn strikes.
2. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a natural antacid that provides quick relief from heartburn, the most common symptom of acid reflux.
- Mix one-half to one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water.
- Drink it down quickly for instant relief.
Note: Prolonged ingestion of baking soda is not recommended. Also, those who have high blood pressure should avoid taking baking soda as it contains sodium.