What Works?

What Works?

What works for one person may not work for another. There are lots of success stories scattered around the internet, stories that are inspiring and motivating.

Some these are set out here, just as screenshots, as an information bank, as well as a spur to keep on looking for your own solution.

If you have succeeded in taming the heartburn / acid reflux beast, share it here so we can give you a big slap on the back as well as learn from your experience.

There seems to be no doubt that the powers that be agree on a few specific lifestyle changes to avoid, or minimise heartburn and acid reflux in the first place. Here’s a selection to be going on with:

DO:

  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals – as much as you can hold in 2 cupped hands
  • Raise one end of your bed 10 to 20cm by putting something under your bed or mattress – make it so your chest and head are above the level of your waist, so stomach acid doesn’t travel up towards your throat at night or
  • Try a wedge pillow
  • Try to lose weight if you’re overweight
  • Keep a food diary, and experiment with foods, to determine if you have any sensitivities which “trigger” acid reflux
  • Chew gum when you feel reflux starting
  • Get checked if you have chronic reflux. You may have GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease in the US) or GORD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease in the UK and elsewhere) or a hiatus hernia
  • Try to find ways to relax

Don’t:

  • Eat within 3 or 4 hours before bed
  • Bend over immediately after a meal
  • Wear clothes that are tight around your waist
  • Smoke
  • Drink too much alcohol

Popular remedies

Here are some of the remedies which worked for sufferers:

Apple Cider Vinegar

apple cider vinegar and acid reflux

ACV2

Apple cider vinegar

apple cider vinegar

More on apple cider vinegar here

Aloe Vera

aloe vera

Acupuncture

accupuncture

Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)

baking soda

Baking Soda in pill form is highly recommended by its users

Slippery Elm

This is from http://livingwithcowsmilkproteinallergy.com/

screenshot-livingwithcowsmilkproteinallergy.com 2015-09-25 23-08-29

Cut Down Carbs

excess carbs and heartburn

Increase Carbs

The following is taken from Mark’s Daily Apple, a website dedicated to a Paleo lifestyle and diet, which advocates a low carb diet (VLC). This forum contributor believes a high carb diet will cure acid reflux / Gerd. The location of the debate is here.

high carb and acid reflux, gerd

Cut Out Gluten

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, a characteristic of which is a reaction to gluten. Gluten is found in rye, wheat and barley, and consequently finds its way into everyday foods such as bread, pastas, cereals, and cakes.

One prevalent symptom of celiac disease is gerd / acid reflux. One study (here) has shown that a 3 month gluten free diet significantly improved gerd symptoms in celiac sufferers – perhaps this could help you?

acid reflux and heartburn

 Chewing Gum

chewing gum and acid reflux

From my own experience, chewing gum is extremely effective in controlling acid reflux.

Fennel

One user of fennel seeds is convinced:

“Several years ago, a reader wrote about her success getting off the medicine by taking fennel seeds. I had the same problem and tried the fennel seeds.

I also was able to come off PPIs. For the past three years, I’ve been drug-free, with only occasional mild heartburn symptoms. I hope you will continue to recommend this to readers who don’t know how to stop esomeprazole and similar medicines.”

Alternatively fennel tea is a good, convenient, substitute.

Melatonin

“Melatonin has pretty much cured me. It strengthens the LES muscle”

Facebook group, GERD/Acid reflux, November 2014

In the UK, you can buy Melatonin from a number of suppliers including this one.

For more information on Melatonin, read this article.

Milk Thistle

accupuncture

Papaya Enzyme

“I’ve had the worst heartburn for months now, like the kind that keeps you up all night till you drag yourself to sleep in the recliner. Anyway a friend recently told me about papaya and it’s been working! I’ve just been snacking on dried papya several times a day (along with not drinking water close to bed time) and I’ve been doing great. So just wanted to share in case anyone else was having that kind that there’s not enough tums in the world for. http://forums.thebump.com/discussion/12621440/heartburn-relief

how to get rid of acid reflux & heartburn with papaya enzyme

Take fresh papaya with or after meals, or its available in tablet form.

 Hot Peppers

how to get rid of acid reflux

Peppers are more often on the list of foods to avoid, so it may be surprising to see it here. However, there are is anecdotal evidence which suggests that for some people hot peppers actually alleviate heartburn and acid reflux. Here’s one:

“I was on reflux drugs like omeprazole (PPIs) for over ten years and even had surgery for severe reflux. I was determined to get off the PPIs, so I started drinking ginger tea, eating crystallized ginger when acute pain hit, snacking on several almonds every few hours, and taking a teaspoon of honey at night before bed. It definitely helped ease the symptoms but did not eliminate the heartburn.
Feeling discouraged, I ate some jalapeno-topped snacks even though my doctor had warned me to avoid anything hot. My reflux is now kept in check by jalapenos every few days without needing anything else! The reflux pain only returns if I go a week without eating any jalapenos.
I have been PPI-free for over 18 months now and feel so much better. Why would jalapenos make such a difference so quickly? The pain eases within an hour of eating them and lasts for several days.” (from http://www.peoplespharmacy.com)

Change Your Meds

Some people achieve relief by varying their medication, either changing the dose, timings, or even the medication itself. Here’s an exmple from a reflux forum:

proton pump inhibitors lanzaprozole

 Red Onions

Perhaps controversially, onions have been used to calm heartburn:

red onions

Cut Out Dairy

proton pump inhibitors

Cabbage Juice

Posted by Sarah (Brussels, Belgium) on 05/20/2007 via http://www.earthclinic.com/

“A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with GERD and I suffered from acid reflux and heartburn. The medication prescribed by the doctor rather worsened my situation and I suffered a number of side effects from it. I came across a site suggesting that drinking raw cabbage juice cures acid reflux and other problems related to the stomach, such as ulcer.I did further research to confirm this and decided to give it a try.

The general suggested daily dosage is about a quart [800ml] of raw cabbage juice to be taken about 4 times daily. I found that rather too much and I started with 400ml [100ml x 4].I noticed great improvement and after one week I reduced the dosage to 300ml [100ml x 3]. After about 3 weeks of the whole therapy, I decided to take only 200ml a day. Those with stomach ulcers or acute cases of acid reflux might need to take the full dosage.

I have stopped drinking cabbage juice since about 10 months now and I haven’t had any serious reflux problems. For those who would like to try it, PLEASE NOTE that it is said to have strong impact on the thyroid glands [the more reason why I never consumed 800ml a day!]. Not to mention the stench – it is better stored in an air-tight water bottle and kept in the fridge.”

Deglycyrrhizinated liquorice (DGL)

Many people seem to find DGL to help with acid reflux:

DGL

Breathing Exercises

A small study of 19 adults with mild gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, found that “belly breathing” exercises for 30 minutes per day seemed to help reduce people’s acid reflux, and eventually lessen their need for acid-suppressing medication. So it’s possible that deep abdominal breathing might help with GERD by strengthening the surrounding muscles of the diaphragm.

Pepto Bismol

pepto-bismol

In the UK, chewable tablets can be found here.

Herbal Teas

From RefluxMD:

Herbal teas