This is not something new:
To live a healthy life is to maintain good health through routine exercise, to avoid any toxic component and eating a healthy diet.
Toxic component can be inside medications.
These medication can have side effects that makes us think to not to let the cure of our diseases be worse than the disease itself.
One of acid reflux or heartburn or GERD medicine, proton pump inhibitors, may cause serious side effects, according to recent study.
The most common names of GERD medicine is Omeprazole.
The proton pump inhibitor is used by more than 118+ million people in the U.S.
The fact is, it is available as over the counter medications.
Brand names including Prevacid, Nexium and Prilosec and prescription medications such as Protonix and Aciphex are examples.
According to recent studies, these medications may link to medical problems including dementia, bone fractures, heart attacks, and kidney disease.
About 70% of people who are suffering from acid reflux or heartburn or GERD does not take those medication.
Instead, they take advantages from their healthy diet, their healthy lifestyle and natural therapies without any risk involved.
The evidence are good enough right:
After you learn about these risks, many of you should be motivated to try discontinuing your acid blocking medication.
You have to be sure that symptoms may come back sometimes in the future.
You just have to take steps to treat the underlying cause of acid reflux or the heartburn or GERD.
The treatment of acid reflux or GERD without medication means to dedicate yourself to a good lifestyle habits.
Symptoms of acid reflux
The main symptom of acid reflux is burning sensation (heartburn).
Other symptoms of acid reflux including:
- having trouble swallowing food or drinks
- tasting sour in the back of the mouth
- sore throat
Did you feel those symptoms?
If you feel discomfort, see your doctor immediately.
If not treated, acid reflux or GERD can cause many problems including damage, bleeding and other.
As mentioned above, your doctor would prescribe medication to reduce acid production in your stomach.
Besides the over the counter medication and prescription medications, there are also alternative medicine or complementary medicine options that may effectively provide relief.
These type of medicine can work as traditional treatments, while alternative therapies are effective too.
Even with little scientific evidence supporting alternative treatments, you can still consider to take them.
You should always consult to your doctor before trying alternative medicine.
Unfortunately, herbs and supplements may have a negative impact with medications you are already taking.
Safe natural alternatives of acid reflux medicine
Here is the fact:
Stress could worsen the GERD symptoms.
Because your body is stress, it will response by increasing the amount of acid in your stomach.
This will also slow down your digestion.
This triggers can be avoided my managing your stress level.
Let’s look at relaxation techniques you can use to manage your stress level:
a. Practicing Yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi
The Yoga technique is very popular and have proven reduce the level of stress.
These three techniques combine flowing movement with rhythmic breathing.
The purpose of these three are to provide practices that can offer a state of mental focus that can help distract you from racing thoughts.
The other benefits you will get are to increase balance and enhance your flexibility.
These three relaxation technique can not be practiced if you are in health problems or in painful condition.
You should always check your condition with your doctor before starting them.
b. Routine prayer
This relaxation technique can only be effective if your religion is appealing or spirituality is so meaningful to you.
You can start your relaxation process by repeating short prayer or sentence from a prayer while inhaling and exhaling your breath to focus.
Start practicing by sitting on a comfortable mat, think and focus on the way you breath in and breath out, and stay focus on what you are doing right now and do not be concerned about the past especially about the future.
There are many form of meditation and has been increasingly popular in recent years.
Meditation, according to many research suggests that it may be very helpful for those people with stress and pain.
d. Breathing focus
This relaxation technique using your breath as the focus of attention.
You can start by taking deep, slow, long breaths or also called belly breathing or abdominal.
While you are taking a breath, your mind will be released from any distracting sensations and thoughts.
This breathing focus is known to be helpful for people with eating disorders.
It will help them focus on a more positive way towards their own body.
If you have painful condition, health problems or respiratory illness, this technique would not be appropriate to apply.
#2. Natural home remedies for acid reflux
You do not like the feeling of heartburn do you?
Nobody like the feeling at all.
The burning hot acid crawling up your throat and it give pressure to your chest.
You can go straight to natural or herbal home remedies if you decided not to use over the counter medicine.
Here is the list:
a. Baking soda
b. Chewing gum
Your saliva is alkaline due to the existence of various enzymes.
c. Ginger tea
Ginger has many beneficial components when it comes to nausea, stomach aches, and help reduce acid reflux.
If you do not want to have the hassle of preparing ginger for the remedies, you can take organic ginger tea.
d. Chamomile tea
You only need 1 cup of chamomile tea to reduce acid reflux.
d. Marshmallow root tea
Marshmallow root has the benefits of preventing or lowering heartburn, as well as reducing stomach ulcer symptoms, diarrhea and constipation.
The root will coat inside your stomach and will help prevent acid to cause the burning feeling and discomfort.
You can purchase marshmallow tea as a form of indigestion, that tends to work the best and help soothing to the stomach.
It works without causing any side effects, so it is natural and safe to consume.
e. Licorice tea
The licorice tea is remedy has proven to be effective as acid reflux remedy in several studies.
Licorice works to help resist the irritating effects of stomach acid.
Licorice is available as licorice tea or in kaplets or liquid form.
It is considered safe and natural to take indefinitely to treat acid reflux.
By applying acupuncture plus herbal medicine, someone with GERD or acid reflux can outperforms the performance of omeprazole.
In the matter of long term or short term medication, acupuncture plus herbs can be more effective than drug therapy.
The combination of herbal medicine and acupuncture proven to have a lower relapse rate than those drugs therapy.
So do you want prove?
Here it is:
A study by Hebei Provincial Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine prove that the combination can produce an 89.7% total effective rate.
While using only herbal medicine produced only an 82.1% total effective rate.
Compare to the omeprazole (proton pump inhibitor) therapy that would produced an 82.8% total effective rate.
While other study show that the combination of acupuncture and herbal medicine had a 21.7% relapse rate.
When using herbal medicine without acupuncture produced a 35.0% relapse rate.
The omeprazole drug therapy show the result of a 45.5% relapse rate.
The data indicates that acupuncture and herbal medicine have significantly longer lasting results than drug therapy for the treatment of acid reflux.
Hypnosis, can also help with those people suffering from the conditions like GERD, heartburn, inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Hypnosis is a relaxation techniques through suggestions of calming sensations and imagery.
Those patients have improved from abdominal pain, constipation to diarrhea and bloating after the therapy.
The effectiveness would only take place after a series of eight or more visits, and some homework to do by the patient.
Studies show more than 70% of patients experience at least a 50% reduction in symptoms of GERD after hypnotherapy sessions.
Many patients can to stop drug medication, such as popular acid reducing drugs, Omeprazole.
#5. Lifestyle changes
If you are experiencing series of heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux, you might change your lifestyle like the following:
a. Eat small and frequently
Reflux can go into your esophagus when your stomach is very full.
To avoid this, you can try to eat small meals more frequently rather than eating three large meals daily.
b. Avoid certain food
There are some foods that are more likely than others to trigger the production of acid reflux you should avoid.
These foods are alcohol, fatty foods, tomatoes, garlic, mint, onions, garlic, coffee, tea, chocolate, and alcohol.
Try to analyze which of these foods you can eliminate if consume regularly, see if there is a change of controls to your reflux.
c. Avoid carbonated beverages
All those carbonated beverages available in the market taste good right?
But they make you release air from the stomach that make a noise.
When the air is released, the acid would be sent into the esophagus.
You should change your drink to plain water instead of carbonated beverages or sparkling water.
d. Stop smoking
Smoking affects can increase the volume of acid reflux.
If you quit smoking, you can reduce GERD.
Not only that, you can also reduce your risk for other health complications if you quit smoking.
e. Lose weight
If you have excessive weight, you will feel extra pressure on your stomach.
This pressure will cause acid to reflux into the stomach
Start your weight loss program and lose those weight.
f. Elevate your head
To make your stomach contain flow downward, elevate your head when sleeping.
Use 2-3 pillows and elevate anywhere from 7 to 10 inches.
Other method is to purchase adjustable bed so you can have better position while you sleep at night, without worrying about getting heartburn.
Tips on what to drink for acid reflux
These are the do and don’t drink if you have acid reflux.
Drinks you can have
#1. Coconut water
Unsweetened coconut water can give the right pH balance in the body to control acid reflux.
It is a good source of potassium (helpful electrolytes).
Smoothies are a good source of minerals and vitamins to be added into their diets.
When making a smoothie, use low-acid fruits such as watermelon or pear or kale or spinach.
You can also make and combine avocado and spinach or green tea smoothie with green grapes.
They are safe to consume for people with acid reflux or GERD.
#3. Fruit juice
You must choose wisely when making juice.
Some fruits are acidic than other fruits.
Apple juice, pineapple juice, tomato juice are very acidic and cause acid reflux.
The good options are:
Beet juice, spinach, cucumber, pear, carrot, cabbage, water melon and aloevera.
#4. Natural grown milk
There are many variety of plant based milk:
- soy milk is an excellent source of vitamins, vitamins B12, vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium. It is safe and not a trigger of acid reflux.
- almond milk is an alternative to soy milk. It can help strengthen the bone, lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases and it is high in vitamin D.
- flax milk is source for calcium, vitamin D, plant protein and omega-3 healthy fats.
- cashew milk is a good source of omega-6 essential fatty acids which is important for healthy skin and keeping cholesterol in good level and safe for acid reflux.
#5. Skim milk
Full fat cow milk can promote acid in the stomach.
But if you choose low fat milk it is a lot better.
Avoid these drinks
- citrus juice like pine apple, lemon, oranges, lime, grape fruit
Henry Kaswandi is graduated from University of Indonesia majoring History. After receiving the bachelor degree of History, Henry Kaswandi take the education to the next level by graduating from University of Indonesia majoring Information Technology. On daily basis, he writes article and review the product sold on Amazon. Before this, he was the Head of Information Technology Department at PT Indopoly Swakarsa Industry, Tbk and was the Head of Information Technology at PT Pratama Cipta Inaweb.