Acid reflux is an uncomfortable experience that most people will experience at some point. Some people experience it frequently. Here's a look at acid reflux, and some supplements that can mitigate it.
The Causes and Triggers of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid flows backwards, up into the esophagus
. This is the cause of what many call heartburn, an acidic burning feeling that occurs in the upper chest and throat (and not the heart). Acid reflux can be rare/occasional, or frequent and chronic, which is a condition called gastrointestinal esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Certain factors can cause you to experience acid reflux regularly. These include pregnancy, obesity, and smoking, which can negatively affect the throat and esophagus in multiple ways. Others experience GERD on account of a medical condition.
The way you eat
can trigger a bout of acid reflux. First, eating to excess is a common trigger. Lying down immediately after a meal is discouraged, since this makes it easier for stomach acid to flow in the wrong direction. Foods that can trigger acid reflux include alcohol, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, coffee, garlic, fatty and/or fried foods, spicy foods, and foods containing tomato.
Supplements to Treat Acid Reflux
Certain herbs and nutrients can mitigate acid reflux. When used in tandem with conscientious eating choices, you can greatly diminish the chances that you experience acid reflux. Bear in mind that these are not a replacement for medical attention where it is necessary.
, when taken orally, can directly mitigate the effects of acid reflux by soothing an inflamed esophagus and stomach lining
. It should be taken with water a few minutes before you eat.
, or betaine HCL, is a compound that can help comfort those who experience acid reflux due to having a low level of stomach acid
. Some individuals experience acid reflux and heartburn and stomach upset resulting from less-than-healthy amounts of stomach acid. Betaine HCL can increase the production of stomach acid, and potentially restore it to a healthy level that could diminish acid reflux in some people.
Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)
is a modified form of licorice, which is a natural flowering plant. DGL has qualities that can relieve the symptoms of acid reflux, as well as reduce inflammation in the stomach
. It can also help repair the lining of the digestive tract that has been affected by acid reflux.
could reduce inflammation in the esophagus, which occurs because of acid reflux. Ginger is also used in general to mitigate nausea, which is sometimes a symptom of acid reflux. An oral ginger root supplement is an easy way to take in this valuable herb.
: Taking in positive, healthy bacteria
that go to the gut could work against acid reflux. Studies have shown that a probiotic supplement can reduce the symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, including acid regurgitation, heartburn, and stomach pain. Probiotic supplements could also reduce the chance of negative changes in gut flora which are caused by use of proton pump inhibitors, a medication sometimes prescribed for acid reflux.
If you experience acid reflux regularly, or just on occasion, then you might benefit from treating it with one of these remedies. It's recommended that you talk to your healthcare provider before taking any of these to address acid reflux. The best time for such a discussion is before you experience any symptoms, if you believe you might be at risk.