Home Remedies for Acid Reflux in Adults
If you’ve ever experienced heartburn, then you know just how uncomfortable and potentially painful it can be. The truth is, however, that heartburn isn’t the condition itself, but rather a symptom of acid reflux. If you experience acid reflux, it’s important to consult a medical professional for advice on how to treat your case.
In many cases, simple lifestyle changes are enough to help prevent or stop acid reflux incidents. Today, we’re exploring home remedies for acid reflux in adults that may help you stop or reduce this common health ailment.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Before we hop into home remedies for acid reflux in adults, let’s make sure you understand what acid reflux really is. So, what is acid reflux? It’s a common health condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. The most common symptom of acid reflux is heartburn.
Acid reflux is so common, in fact, that the American College of Gastroenterology estimates roughly 60 million adults in the United States experience heartburn at least once a month, with 15 million of those experiencing it almost daily. When you experience heartburn from acid reflux more than twice in a week, it is labeled as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
What Causes Acid Reflux in Adults?
Being so common, there are a number of factors that can increase your risk of acid reflux symptoms. Some of these causes of acid reflux may include:
- Eating certain foods
- Stomach abnormalities
- Some medications
Determining what causes acid reflux in your body is a key element in learning home remedies for acid reflux that may help. As with any health conditions, first consult a medical professional to determine the best course of treatment for you.
Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
While many cases of acid reflux pass naturally, continued occurrences could lead to the development of scar tissue and the narrowing of your esophagus. In extreme cases, a narrowed esophagus caused by acid reflux may make it more difficult to eat or drink, leading to potential malnutrition and dehydration issues.
While it’s important to consult a doctor before beginning any home treatments, there are a number of home remedies for acid reflux in adults that may help. These can be especially useful as natural remedies for acid reflux in pregnancy, where medications are often limited for the health and safety of the baby.
Some natural home remedies for acid reflux include:
- Avoiding foods that cause acid reflux in your system
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Practicing mindful eating habits
- Changing up your sleep position
- Managing stress levels
- Wait before going to bed after eating
Avoiding Foods That Cause Acid Reflux
One of the easiest home remedies for acid reflux in adults is to adjust your eating habits to avoid foods that cause acid reflux in your body. Different foods affect people differently and may be the source of the problem, so keeping a food diary is an effective method to track what triggers any acid reflux symptoms. Some common trigger foods that cause acid reflux include:
- Coffee and tea
- Fried foods (and other greasy foods)
- Spicy food
- Tomatoes and tomato-based foods
As with anything, you may be able to control heartburn occurrences with moderation. While cutting these foods out entirely is the best bet as home remedies for acid reflux in adults, enjoying them in moderation until you recognize your body’s limits could be an option, as well.
Maintaining a Healthy Weight to Avoid Acid Reflux
While maintaining a healthy weight is advisable to your overall health, it may be key to your home remedies for acid reflux, too. Fighting obesity has been shown in some studies to potentially resolve gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms. Acid reflux and GERD symptoms were observed in as high as 37% of the obese individuals observed.
Speaking to your doctor about a healthy routine to maintain a healthy weight may help prevent acid reflux symptoms. Keeping active doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym every day, though! There are plenty of full body workout exercises you can do from the comfort of home. Regardless of your decision, remember that a post workout recovery routine is critical to keeping your body in optimal health. You don’t want to sacrifice physical well-being while trying to fix another health condition!
Practicing Mindful Eating Habits
Mindful eating habits are home remedies for acid reflux that go hand-in-hand with maintaining a healthy weight. Eating too quickly and overeating have both been linked to acid reflux conditions. Part of the issue is that when you eat too quickly, your brain may not pick up signals that your body is full, leading to overeating complications.
To practice mindful eating as part of your home remedies for acid reflux in adults, try out these tips:
- Pause before diving into a meal to process it with all your senses
- Eliminate distractions (such as phones or tv) during mealtimes
- Chew your bites very thoroughly
Eating smaller meals instead of larger ones can help reduce the pressure put on the lower esophageal sphincter. Excess pressure on it can cause stomach acid to work back up into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn or other acid reflux symptoms. Mindful eating practices are also great natural remedies for acid reflux in pregnancy, when reactions to different foods may be enhanced.
Best Sleeping Position for Acid Reflux
Did you know that home remedies for acid reflux in adults can extend into how you sleep? Studies have shown that sleeping on the left (called left lateral position) may help improve digestion and significantly decrease the risk for acid reflux. There have also been suggestions that elevating your head level while sleeping may work as part of your home remedies for acid reflux, as well.
The complication with elevating your head for sleeping, however, is that it could result in excess pressure forming on the lower back and pelvic region. This pressure can lead to lower back pain and sciatica symptoms. To combat this, you might consider using a zero gravity chair as part of your sleep routine. In the zero gravity position, the legs are elevated above the heart level and weight is distributed along the body. This position removes excess pressure from the spine, helping with lower back pain relief and a host of other potential health benefits (including better digestion).
Managing Acid Reflux Caused By Stress
One of the most important lifestyle changes to make as part of your home remedies for acid reflux in adults in managing stress levels. In a recent study, nearly 50% of over 12,000 individuals interviewed reported that stress was one of the biggest factors making acid reflux and GERD symptoms worsen, even if they were taking medication for it.
Finding ways to manage stress levels doesn’t have to be hard. For example, you can even combine your efforts for better sleep quality with stress management by practicing zero gravity meditation. Learning how to meditate at home allows you to refocus your mind and center yourself. Mindfulness meditation isn’t about clearing your mind entirely, but allowing your thoughts to pass without judgement. Becoming increasingly associated with mental health benefits, mindfulness meditation has been shown in studies to have a positive effect on psychopathology.
Other methods for managing stress levels as home remedies for acid reflux in adults can be as simple as listening to calming music, journaling to get your thoughts down, or using aromatherapy to create a zen spot in your living room! You may find that learning relaxation tips to de-stress has a surprisingly large impact on your physical health, as well.
How to Reduce Acid Reflux Before Bed
Finding the best sleeping positions aren’t the only home remedies for acid reflux in adults when it comes to winding down before bed. The last item on our list of home remedies for acid reflux is waiting after eating before you go to sleep. While it may seem like a super simple routine, too many people eat just before bed and then experience acid reflux symptoms like heartburn or indigestion that lead to sleep deprivation.
The easiest lifestyle adjustment for this acid reflux remedy is to start a relaxing night time routine. Not only does this help you digest food and reduce the risk of acid reflux symptoms, but it also helps your mind and body unwind for better sleep quality. Activities like a warm shower, relaxing in a zero gravity chair, reading a book, or night time journaling are all great ways to settle in for the evening. If you’re using a zero gravity chair, you can combine home remedies for acid reflux in adults and spend time meditating or doing other calming activities.
For those looking for natural remedies for acid reflux in pregnancy, having a relaxing night time routine is all the more important. Avoiding acid reflux symptoms naturally and getting better sleep while pregnant? We’ll take it!
As you can see, there are a number of simple lifestyle adjustments that make potentially effective home remedies for acid reflux in adults. From avoiding trigger foods to choosing a zero gravity chair for relaxation and possible health improvement, learning what works for you can make a huge difference in your daily life. Just because acid reflux is a common health condition doesn’t mean you have to live with it! Find what works for you and experience the difference for yourself.
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