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What to do about acid reflux: how to treat and prevent it

2018-10-28

Understanding the causes of acid reflux

To fully understand how to prevent or stop acid reflux, let’s first take a brief look at what causes it. It’s due to a fault in the body’s anti-reflux mechanisms. Normally, these prevent stomach acids from flowing back up the oesophagus.

The body’s anti-reflux system can be affected by various factors. Among the main causes of acid reflux are:

  • heavy meals;
  • a high-fat diet;
  • eating irritant and/or acidic foods;
  • drinking alcohol;
  • smoking;
  • stress;
  • pregnancy;
  • excess weight;
  • etc.

Note: acid reflux is often the result of a combination of several causes, hence the importance of addressing each of them.

What natural remedies are available to treat acid reflux?

Though deeply unpleasant, the symptoms of acid reflux can fortunately be alleviated. Home remedies with an alkalising effect are sometimes suggested such as drinking potato juice. An alkalising product has the opposite effect to that of an acidifying one. It helps maintain a better acid-base balance and thus maintain digestive comfort.

Carob is very effective at helping to get rid of acid reflux. It contains a large amount of fibre which once ingested, rapidly eliminates acidity in the stomach and digestive tract. Carob fibre has the added advantage of being a natural appetite-suppressant. It thus helps prevent over-eating which pre-disposes towards acid reflux. Suffice to say that supplementing with carob offers a variety of health benefits!

Acid reflux is by no means a modern problem. Hundreds of years ago, Native Americans were already treating it with red elm. Today this plant is often combined with other natural acid reflux remedies. For example, the product Anti-Acid Reflux Formula combines extracts of red elm, deglycyrrhizinated liquorice root and orange peel. Together, these natural compounds provide effective relief from the discomfort of acid reflux and prevent associated complications!

How can acid reflux be prevented?

The above-mentioned natural remedies are just as effective at protecting against acid reflux as they are at treating it. In addition, a number of other preventive measures are often recommended:

  • avoid heavy and excessively fatty meals;
  • avoid consuming irritant and/or acidic foods;
  • avoid alcohol;
  • don’t take intensive exercise after a meal;
  • avoid bending over ;
  • don’t go to bed within three hours of eating your evening meal;
  • try to sleep on your back and elevate your head;
  • don’t smoke or give up smoking;
  • don’t wear clothes that are too tight especially round the waist;
  • avoid gaining weight;
  • take stress-relieving measures;
  • etc.

In terms of foods to avoid, there are certainly some that can increase stomach acidity while others irritate the stomach wall. To prevent acid reflux, it’s a good idea to cut out the following foods:

  • fried food;
  • dishes in sauce;
  • fatty cuts of meat and charcuterie;
  • oily fish;
  • fermented cheeses;
  • spices, especially chillies;
  • citrus fruit such as oranges;
  • carbonated drinks;
  • alcohol;
  • coffee;
  • etc.

Finally, we should mention stress which is an important risk factor for acid reflux. To reduce this risk, you should try to wind down before eating a meal – relaxation exercises can be helpful here. Taking a natural anti-stress supplement may also be of benefit.

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