Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux

If you’ve experienced the occasional bout of heartburn, you know how uncomfortable the painful burning sensation can be. Maybe you want to go all-natural or you want to treat heartburn symptoms that don't respond to medication. If this describes your situation, consider turning to diet and lifestyle modifications, as well as natural remedies to relieve your symptoms.

Heartburn may be caused by the backflow of your stomach contents into your esophagus. The esophagus is the tube that transports food to your stomach. When you have backflow from your stomach, the medical condition is called acid reflux. Your pain may also be caused by a more severe or chronic form of reflux called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

This article will look at several acid reflux remedies and lifestyle modifications that may help.

What is Heartburn?

Verywell / Emily Roberts

Avoid Your Trigger Foods

You may have already discovered that certain foods can trigger your heartburn and reflux symptoms. Try keeping a food and symptom diary to help you identify foods that worsen your reflux, so you know what to stay away from.

Here are some common food triggers:

  • Coffee and tea
  • Chocolate
  • Spicy food
  • Beer, wine, and other forms of alcohol
  • Fried or greasy foods
  • Mint
  • Tomatoes and tomato-based foods

Some people find that sweets, high-glycemic index foods (i.e., those that get digested quickly, spiking blood sugar), and meals that are too hot may trigger heartburn.

Aim for Your Healthy Weight

Losing weight may help reduce your heartburn symptoms. Speak with your healthcare provider about a diet and exercise plan that can help you reach a healthy weight.

Take a Mindful Eating Approach

Eating quickly and overeating are connected to heartburn and reflux. Sometimes you may not even realize that you're eating quickly. You may not notice that you keep eating even after your body is signaling that it's full.

Practicing mindful-eating techniques may help you slow down and listen to what your body is telling you. Here's how:

  • Pause before each meal. Take a moment to look at your meal. Observe what is on your plate and enjoy the way the food smells. Also, take a moment to notice how hungry you are before you take your first bite.
  • Eliminate distractions at mealtime. Avoid reading, checking your phone, or watching television while you eat.
  • Chew each bite thoroughly.
  • Eat smaller meals rather than big meals. Overeating puts more pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter.

Wait Before Going to Bed

Lying down too soon after meals can cause heartburn. Instead of lying down or going to bed soon after eating, try to eat at least three to four hours before bedtime.

Elevate the Head of Your Bed

In a small study published in the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, people with night reflux were found to have reduced acid reflux when the head end of their bed was elevated with a 20-centimeter block.

Using bed risers, wedge pillows, and mattress wedges that fit between the mattress and box spring are some ways to raise the head of the bed.

Some experts recommend raising the head of the bed by six to eight inches or more. Note, however, that this can cause back and hip discomfort or pain in some people.

Elevating the head while sleeping is usually only suggested for people with nighttime symptoms or symptoms that prevent them from sleeping.

Sleep on Your Left Side

When it comes to your sleeping position, sleeping on your left side may help you avoid nighttime heartburn.

Avoid Tight-Waisted Clothing

Clothing with snug waistlines or belts puts pressure on your stomach. This can lead to acid reflux. Try wearing pants that don't cinch you in the waist, like:

  • Lower-rise pants
  • Pants with an elasticized waist
  • Pants one size larger than you normally wear

If you wear skirts, try wearing dresses instead. Sometimes it can help your reflux.

Ease Your Stress

While stress isn't usually considered a cause of heartburn or reflux, it can trigger symptoms in some people. Additionally, severe life or physical stress may lead to heartburn symptoms.

In addition to seeking professional help, incorporating stress management techniques such as meditation and progressive muscle relaxation into your daily routine may help.

Give Up Smoking

Nicotine may weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. This is a band of muscle involved in closing off the esophagus from the stomach and preventing acid reflux.

Quitting smoking may help shield you from heartburn.

Explore Natural Remedies

Remedies that are said to help with some heartburn and reflux include:

Summary

Acid reflux is a medical condition where the contents of your stomach flow back into your esophagus. You can treat this medical condition through lifestyle changes, diet, and natural remedies.

Whether you avoid trigger foods, reduce stress, strive to reduce your weight, or try other natural treatments, you can help your acid reflux in various ways.

Talk to your doctor for more tips on how to naturally treat acid reflux.

A Word From​ Verywell

Changing your diet and lifestyle may be enough to keep your heartburn in check. But it's important to go to the doctor if you experience regular or severe symptoms. Over time, acid reflux-associated heartburn may injure your esophagus and lead to complications.

If you have pain in the throat, chest pain, regurgitation of food or liquid, sore throat, and a sour taste in the mouth, it can also be a sign of a serious underlying condition such as a heart attack.

Heartburn Doctor Discussion Guide

Get our printable guide for your next doctor's appointment to help you ask the right questions.

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6 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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