Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a more severe form of acid reflux. In both cases, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle does not close tightly after you swallow, allowing food to come back up the esophagus from the stomach, along with stomach acid. This causes the burning feeling that comes with acid reflux. Although you can take medications for GERD, there are a number of simple GERD remedies that can help treat this disease.
Certain foods can trigger GERD symptoms. Keep track of your diet and any symptoms you have to help identify which foods are most likely to trigger GERD symptoms for you. Some common triggers include citrus fruits, fatty foods, chocolate, mint, tomatoes, alcohol, garlic and onions, spicy foods and caffeine. Once you know your trigger foods, you can avoid them. Eating smaller meals and not lying down for three hours after eating can also help provide as a good natural GERD remedy.
Weight Lossyou are overweight, you are more likely to experience acid reflux since the extra weight puts pressure on your stomach, so losing weight can help minimize your incidences of acid reflux. Aim to lose between one and two pounds per week until you reach a healthy weight.
Avoid Tight Clothing
Clothing that is tight around your middle can put pressure on your stomach and increase acid reflux. Though this a minor change, it can in fact work in your benefit when it comes to acid reflux.
Smoking increases the risk for acid reflux by interfering with the functioning of your lower esophageal sphincter. There are a variety health problems smoking can cause apart from acid reflux.
Raise the Top of Your Bed
If you experience GERD often during the night, raising the top of your bed by placing blocks under the feet at the head of your bed can help. Simply using more pillows is not effective, however, since this only raises your head and not the rest of your upper body.
Some evidence points to the benefits of using acupuncture as a natural treatment for GERD. This involves having a trained specialist insert long, thin needles into certain points of your body.
A Taiwanese gastroenterologist conducted an acupuncture experiment which was designed to analyze the effectiveness of traditional eastern medicine as a remedy for acid reflux. This experiment reduced transient lower esophageal sphincter relaxations by a surprising 40% from 6 an hour to just to three and a half an hour. It was also significantly higher than the placebo group. Of course, every person is different and acupuncture does not prove to work for everyone.
Using relaxation therapy to reduce the stress in your life is another natural remedy that may be beneficial for people who suffer from GERD or acid reflux. Relaxation techniques sometimes used as GERD remedies include guided imagery and progressive relaxation therapy.
For people who are not suffering from severe GERD, the GERD remedies above can help to reduce acid reflux enough that medication is not necessary. However, if you have a very severe case of GERD you may need to ask your doctor about prescription medications for GERD.