Acid reflux occurs when acidic gastric fluid is regurgitated into the esophagus, causing pain and a host of other health issues. This issue affects 60 million Americans and can lead to more serious problems, such as esophageal cancer. It's important to take this issue seriously and to consult a doctor if the following treatments do not alleviate the issue. Here are some treatments and home remedies that are available to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.
There are several stomach-acid-suppressing medications that you can get from your doctor. Many are taken over a long period of time to keep acid reflux from happening. These medications include Protonix, Dexilant, and Aciphex. The level of your acid production will be considered, as different medicines are given at different levels of acid production and severity. Some of these medicines may take two weeks to a month to take effect.
Medicine for acid reflux can also be obtained over the counter (OTC). However, you should still speak with your doctor to figure out which is right for you. There are two different types of OTC acid reflux medicines to consider. H2 antagonists work by blocking the action of histamines in the stomach, decreasing stomach acid production. Stomach acid suppressants work by reducing the amount of acid made by the lining of your stomach. Both of these medicines work quite well to treat acid reflux. Some examples of H2 antagonists are Pepcid and Zantac. Examples of stomach acid suppressants are Nexium, Priolosec, and Prevacid.
Other OTC options you can consider are temporarily relief medicines, such as Alka-Seltzer or Gaviscon. Both of these medicines work temporarily to relieve symptoms from acid reflux. Alka-Seltzer is a popular medication that fizzes when placed in a drink, while Gaviscon is a pill taken when the symptoms appear.
Weight loss can decrease acid production and be used to treat acid reflux. A few excess pounds of body weight can boost the risk of acid reflux, even if you consider yourself healthy. If you lose excessive weight, acid reflux might disappear completely.
Certain foods may cause more stomach acid production than others. Spicy foods, alcohol, dairy, and caffeine are some of the biggest contributors to excessive acid productio. If you notice that you have acid reflux after eating certain foods, avoid them.
Another temporary solution to acid reflux, baking soda can work almost immediately to relieve symptoms. While it isn't the best tasting option, drinking a tablespoon of baking soda mixed with half a cup of water should stop symptoms immediately. This can be consumed as much as desired to relieve acid reflux pain and burn.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been a favorite for many years to reduce acid reflux. Many people believe that acid reflux is the overproduction of acid, but it very well could be the opposite. Too little acid keeps food from being adequately digested and can wreak havoc on the body. One to two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar can stop this issue. It doesn't have to be consumed plain. It can also be added to the tea to mask the flavor.