Acid reflux is common, but it’s not “normal,” and you can put an end to the bothersome symptoms associated with it. You know the feeling all too well. It starts with that telltale burn in the center of your chest and gets worse the minute your head hits the pillow, especially after a heavy meal.
This unpleasant sensation is called acid reflux, acid indigestion, or heartburn, and it can also make it harder to swallow. You may feel like there’s a lump in your throat, and some people also report feeling fluid coming back up their chest.
Other acid indigestion symptoms can include:
- Chronic cough
- Raspy or hoarse voice
- New or worsening asthma
- Sleep disturbances
Here’s why it happens: Stomach acid flows backward up into your esophagus (the tube connecting your mouth and stomach), causing the burn. The acidic backwash can irritate the lining of your esophagus. This is called gastroesophageal reflux (GER).
If your acid reflux and heartburn are occurring more than twice a week, you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux may be normal for you, but it’s not normal and there are lots of things you can do to feel better.
1. Lose weight
Obesity is considered a major risk factor for developing GERD. If you are overweight or obese, losing weight can help extinguish your acid reflux.
2. Quit smoking
Smoking can aggravate acid indigestion. If you smoke, quit, and if you don’t, never start.
3. Watch when and what you eat
Eating large meals or eating late at night can be a recipe for acid indigestion. Instead, try to eat your main meal in the middle of the day.
4. Avoid heartburn triggers
Fatty or fried foods, alcohol, coffee, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, and spicy foods can all cause acid reflux. Keep a symptom journal to see if you can identify your triggers, and then take steps to avoid them.
5. Change your sleeping position
Place a foam wedge or extra pillows under your head so it elevated by about 6 to 8 inches. This keeps your esophagus above the stomach so that gravity works in your favor, not against it.
6. Go natural
If you are constantly popping over-the-counter or prescription medications to relieve heartburn and other GERD symptoms, if may be time to try something new and natural instead. These drugs can cause side effects, especially if they are used too frequently.
Certain homeopathic ingredients can help tame heartburn. These include Berberis vulgaris, Iris versicolor, Ginger, Valeriana officinalis and Calendula officinalis. Force of Nature’s Heartburn & Acid Reflux Relief has all of these ingredients, which work synergistically to extinguish heartburn and acid indigestion. Place 6 to 9 drops under your tongue at first signs of symptoms and repeat every 15 minutes until your symptoms are gone.
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Acid Reflux (GER & GERD) in Adults. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/acid-reflux-ger-gerd-adults