Get the Skinny: Natural Approaches to Ease Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux, you know that the food and drink of holiday festivities certainly doesn’t help.  And while medications can be necessary for many, today we’re Getting the Skinny on the multiple lifestyle changes we can make to help manage and prevent the symptoms.

 

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease |GERD – what it is:  The valve where the esophagus meets the stomach doesn’t close tightly enough, allowing acid from the stomach to move up into the esophagus.

 

Symptoms include heartburn, chest pain, pain after meals, pain in upper back/between shoulder blades, hoarseness, cough, sore throat, bitter taste in mouth, nausea, difficulty swallowing.

 

Lifestyle Modifications:

 

Meal Timing: Leave at least 2 hours before dinner and bedtime (or between mealtime and lying down)

 

Maintain good posture during and after a meal; try to sit up straight while eating

 

Foods to Avoid:

  • High fat foods
  • Caffeine
  • Chocolate
  • Onions
  • Peppermint
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus and tomato products

 

What to ADD:

 

Alkaline Water – pH of 8.5 or greater may have therapeutic benefits for people with reflux disease.

 

Chewing gum (NOT mint-flavored) increases saliva production & reduces amount of acid in esophagus

 

 

3 Supplements to try:

 

Throat Coat Tea by Traditional Medicinals:  Contains licorice (can improve symptoms of reflux), slippery elm bark and fennel, which help to sooth hoarseness & sore throat

 

Gaia Reflux Relief: Contains calcium (can help reduce acid, as well as aloe leaf extract, which can help sooth intestinal tract and mucous membranes, chamomile, licorice,  marshmallow root

 

Aloe Herbal Stomach Formula by Lily of the Desert: Contains calcium (reduces acid), aloe vera juice (soothes intestinal tract, mucosal membranes), slippery elm, fennel seed, chamomile. Think of it as all-natural Pepto Bismol.

 

Note:  As always, check with your physician and/or pharmacist before beginning any new supplement regime.

 

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Want more from Molly?  Click here to sign up for Nutrition Bites, her weekly e-newsletter with links to her Get the Skinny TV segments here on WGNO, and her weekly column in NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune!   And you can follow Molly on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram:  @MollyKimballRD