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.
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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:
- 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
- Eat within 3 or 4 hours before bed
- Bend over immediately after a meal
- Wear clothes that are tight around your waist
- Drink too much alcohol
Here are some of the remedies which worked for sufferers:
Apple Cider Vinegar
More on apple cider vinegar here
For the US, a best seller can be found here.
In the UK, for a recommended Aloe Vera go here.
Baking Soda (Sodium Bicarbonate)
Baking Soda in pill form is highly recommended by its users
This is from http://livingwithcowsmilkproteinallergy.com/
Cut Down 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.
This is the explanation: “Gerd is only possible when bacteria that are overgrown in the small intestine ferment carbohydrates into gases like methane and hydrogen which attempt to escape the body through the upper esophagus causing heartburn/gerd. When these bacteria are not overgrown they are in the large colon and may make you fart but will not produce gerd. You may find the following article to be of interest: More evidence to support the theory that GERD is caused by bacterial overgrowth
I do not see any study that you have linked, but all of the studies that I have reviewed show that vlc reduces symptoms of gerd but does not do anything further to actually solve the root cause of the bacterial overgrowth. Symptoms are reduced on vlc because the amount of fermantable substrate in the diet is greatly reduced or completely eliminated on vlc which leaves nothing for the overgrowth to ferment into gases. However, this does not starve the overgrowth and only serves to weaken the bacterial composition of the whole digestive tract as the pathogens that are overgrown cannot be countered by your beneficial bacteria when you starve them as well. Further, the small intestine is usually cleared numerous times throughout the day by cleaning waves that push food and overgrown bacteria into the large colon. When you reduce carbohydrate you slow metabolism and decrease the amount of cleaning waves that occur. I have seen studies that show people with gerd may only have 3-4 waves in a full day while healthy people can have upwards of 12 waves.
I used to have gerd and going vlc can reduce some symptoms but not cure gerd, as I have done, which requires a high carb approach. You have cured gerd when you can eat anything and have no symptoms of gerd. If you go vlc and eliminate symptoms that instantly return when you eat large amount of carbohydrate you have not cured gerd but made the situation worse.”
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?
From my own experience, chewing gum is extremely effective in controlling acid reflux. A popular sugar free brand which is highly recommended is Spry here (US) or here (UK). This has the added benefit of containing Xylitol, widely considered as an aid to teeth, but not Aspartame.
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.”
“Melatonin has pretty much cured me. It strengthens the LES muscle”
Facebook group, GERD/Acid reflux, November 2014
For more information on Melatonin, read this article.
“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
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)
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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:
Perhaps controversially, onions have been used to calm heartburn:
Cut Out Dairy
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:
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 can be obtained here (US)
In the UK, chewable tablets can be found here.
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