Home remedies for acidity and GERD. Festival times are the best times to catch up with friends and family by sharing food and quality time. It is but natural to overeat. Initially, food is enjoyable but then the after-effects of overeating are unbearable.
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You may end up with bloating, indigestion, or burning sensation in your chest and upper stomach. The symptoms are so overlapping that you get confused about whether you are experiencing acid reflux or gastrointestinal reflux (GERD).
So before we jump to Home remedies for acidity and GERD, let us first see what is the difference between acid reflux or acidity and GERD?
Difference between Acidity and GERD
- Acid reflux or Acidity is when stomach acid reverses to the esophagus, through the junction where your esophagus and stomach connect.
- GERD is an abnormal amount of acid reflux from the stomach. It can result in heartburn with a hoarse voice, chest pain, and asthma in extreme cases. GERD may lead to ulcers, bleeding in your esophageal lining or tissue scarring.
Symptoms of acid reflux or acidity and GERD:
Acid Reflux (Acidity) Symptoms
- Stomach upset: Bloating, nausea, gas, uncomfortable feeling.
- Burning feeling in your oral cavity.
- Food regurgitation in the throat.
- Excessive belching with a sour taste in your mouth.
- Chest pain.
- Regurgitation of food in the throat.
- Difficulty swallowing.
- Coughing or wheezing.
- Poor appetite or unexpected weight loss.
What is the main cause of acidity?
- High-fat foods:
Fried and fatty foods weaken the oesophageal sphincter, causing more stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Such foods delay stomach emptying, giving a feeling of bloating. Few examples of high-fat foods are:
Fried foods, full-fat dairy products like butter, cheese, sour cream, desserts, and creamy salad dressing.
- Citrus fruits:
High acid-containing fruits like oranges, grapefruit, lime, pineapple, etc. if taken in large quantities worsen the symptoms of GERD. These fruits further lower the pH level in the stomach causing more acid reflux. It is advisable to consume the right quantity of fruits at the right time.
Garlic, onions, and spices:
Spicy foods sometimes trigger heartburn in many people. Onions and garlic have gas-causing properties. Also, the spices if taken in excess trigger burning sensation in the esophagus. This may not happen to all. But, people specifically reactive to onions, garlic, and spices should be cautious while having these foods.
The caffeine in the coffee aggravates the acid reflux. Thus, avoid black or strong coffee or don’t have coffee on an empty stomach.
Obesity is associated with high-fat deposition near the waist. This can cause to loosen or weaken the oesophageal sphincter leading to excess acid reflux.
Less activity or no activity leads to food being stagnant in the intestines and stomach. More time the food is in the stomach, there are higher chances of reflux.
During pregnancy, the fetus may sometimes push the stomach towards the esophagus and in turn, the sphincter relaxes. This causes the reflux.
Reasons for acidity:
- Eating large meals
- Lying down right after a meal
- Snacking before bedtime
- Taking over the counter drugs regularly like aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxants or hypertension medications
Home remedies for acidity and GERD
These Home remedies for acidity and GERD works best to reduce acidity. These are the foods that can be included in the diet to reduce acidity.
- Coconut Water: Coconut water is high in potassium. It helps neutralize the stomach acid thus reducing acidity symptoms. A glass of coconut water for a few days will give a good result.
- Banana: Bananas contain potassium. It acts as a buffer against acid reflux. Consume one banana every day to prevent discomfort.
- Basil Leaves: Eat a few basil leaves or boil 3-4 basil leaves in a cup of water and let it simmer for a few minutes. Sip on it frequently.
- Fennel: You can also chew fennel seeds post meals to prevent acidity. It can also be taken in the form of fennel tea. It is useful in relieving digestive problems.
- Buttermilk: The probiotics in combination with lactic acid in the buttermilk relieves the acidity. For best results add cumin seed powder to relieve gas issues.
- Cinnamon: Drinking cinnamon tea by boiling cinnamon in water, improves digestion and absorption, thus relieving acid reflux.
- Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds aid digestion and also are an acid neutralizer. Consume crushed roasted cumin seeds for better results.
- Ginger: Ginger has anti-inflammatory property which helps to reverse the minor damage caused by acid on the stomach cells. According to Ayurveda ginger is also beneficial for digestion. Chew a slice of fresh ginger or drink fresh ginger boiled in a cup of water.
- Cold Milk: Milk is rich in calcium, which neutralizes the acid in the stomach. A glass of cold milk will give symptomatic relief.
- Cloves: Cloves prevent flatulence in the stomach. Use clove in pulse preparation which is more likely to cause flatulence.
Tips to reduce acidity?
- Avoid fried and fatty foods, chocolate, garlic onions, coffee, spicy foods, etc.
- Avoid large gaps between meals
- Eat small meals
- Eat 2 – 3 hours before sleeping
- Avoid consuming water with the meals to avoid bloating
- If the symptoms are severe take medical help
Sample Diet Plan to reduce Acidity and GERD :
Empty Stomach: ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder with 1 cup warm water + 1/2 Apple
Breakfast: 1 Bowl Oats with milk
Mid-Morning: 1 glass coconut water
Lunch:1 bowl salad + 2 – 3 chapatis + 1 cup vegetables + 1 cup Dal
Mid Afternoon:1 glass buttermilk
Evening snack:1 fruit (Banana)
Mid-Evening:1 glass buttermilk (if required)
Dinner: 1 cup vegetable soup + 1 cup Brown rice + 1 cup Dal + 1 cup curd
Bed Time: 1 cup cold Milk
How can I relieve acid reflux?
A simple lifestyle change is enough to relieve the symptoms of acids reflux and GERD. These are:
- Avoid eating before sleeping
- Don’t lie down soon after eating
- Avoid trigger foods that aggravate symptoms
- Avoid alcohol and smoking
- Try to maintain ideal body weight
- Maintain good posture while sitting post meals
- Put blocks measuring 4 – 6 inches under the head of your bed to raise the bed
- Avoid tight clothes or tight belts
Few Interesting reads for you –
- How to get instant relief from gas and indigestion
- Benefits of lemon for better digestion
- Health benefits of Ginger in better digestion
Smart eating and appropriate lifestyle changes help us relieve the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. Differentiating between acid reflux and GERD is the key to its treatment. Removing the root cause of heartburn is more important than only treating the symptoms. I hope these home remedies for acidity and GERD.