Natural Remedies That Can Reduce the Need for Heartburn Medication
05. 19. 2017
A simple pill that controls heartburn for a full 24 hours – for acid reflux sufferers, it sounds like a dream come true, but experts have their concerns. Proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, are the most commonly prescribed class of drug for treating acid reflux. These medications offer the strongest protection against gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its complications, but studies show that they may produce complications of their own.
Research suggests that over half of people who take PPIs don’t actually need them (Source: Digestive Health Institute). These patients are placing themselves at unnecessary risk for long-term complications including bone loss, kidney failure, heart attack, nutrient deficiency, and dementia. While patients with severe acid reflux may require aggressive treatment to manage their digestive symptoms, most patients can reduce or eliminate their reflux episodes with natural remedies. These treatments produce no unwanted side effects, and they can often be just as effective as medication.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Raw apple cider vinegar acts to naturally balance pH in the stomach and eliminate the effects of acid reflux. Mix one tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar with a glass of cold water and drink for immediate relief.
- Baking soda – Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is alkaline, which helps to neutralize stomach acid. Dissolve ½ teaspoon of baking soda in warm water and drink when heartburn strikes.
- Ginger – This fibrous root has many digestive benefits, including the ability to quell reflux. Chew on slices of raw ginger or steep them in hot water to make ginger root tea for natural heartburn relief.
- Slippery elm – This herbal remedy coats the lining of the throat and stomach to soothe away the effects of acid reflux. Mix a few tablespoons of powdered bark with hot water to create a warm, soothing tea.
- Chewing gum – If you’re on the go, a stick of gum may be all you need to manage your heartburn symptoms. Chewing gum stimulates the salivary glands to help wash digestive acids back into the stomach.
Medications have their place in treating acid reflux, but they shouldn’t be the first resort. If you’ve been on PPIs longer than the recommended 14-day course of treatment, talk to your doctor about natural remedies and lifestyle changes that can control your symptoms. You may be able to find an all-natural treatment plan that manages your digestive issues without the risk of long-term side effects.