Heartburn and GERD – a tougher, more chronic version of heartburn – aren’t the result of you having too much acid churning in your stomach.
Rather, these conditions are caused by a lack of stomach acid, along with bacterial overgrowth in the digestive system.
Successful treatment depends on the restoration of stomach acid production and the elimination of bacterial overgrowth. In today’s blog post, we’ll look at some of natural remedies for managing heartburn and GERD.
How can I reduce bacterial overgrowth and low stomach acid?
These two factors are linked: when bacteria becomes overgrown, it can suppress stomach acid, leading to a vicious circle in which the two things help each other, causing a decline in digestive function.
Studies at Duke University have shown that GERD patients on a low-carb diet were able to reduce bacterial overgrowth. A low FODMAP diet may also help prevent an overabundance of bacteria.
High fiber diets should be avoided. The fibers we don’t digest help feed the bacteria in your intestine. You should also avoid artificial sweeteners – which can increase the growth of bacteria – and try to cut down on the amount of fructose in your diet.
What other strategies can I use to manage heartburn and GERD?
There are several different natural remedies you can try to help get heartburn and GERD under control:
Raw apple cider vinegar – One tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in a glass of water can easily improve the acid content of your stomach.
Baking soda – Use this as an emergency remedy against serious acid reflux pain: Drink a glass of water mixed with a half to full teaspoon of baking soda.
Aloe juice – Just as aloe plants can naturally help relieve burning and inflammation on the skin, taking aloe juice can help ease the symptoms of acid reflux. Drink maybe half a cup before meals. But be careful: this juice acts as a laxative, so you may want to look for a brand that has removed that property.
Chamomile tea – Drink a cup before bed to soothe stomach inflammation and sleep better.
Ginger root – Taking ginger can suppress helicobacter pylori, a microorganism that impedes acid production. Add a few slices of fresh ginger root to two cups of hot water and let it steep for 20 minute, then drink the ginger tea before your meal.
Vitamin D – Found in sunlight, vitamin D helps your body fight infections. If you can’t get out in the sun as often as you’d like, take an oral supplement. Yogurt, egg yolks and wild caught fish are also great sources of vitamin D.
Bitters – Another way to restore acid production is by taking bitter herbs. We’ve already mentioned ginger, but some other options include caraway, dandelion, fennel, milk thistle, peppermint and wormwood, all taken in small – 5 to 10 drops – doses.
B vitamins – Higher folic acid levels can help your digestive troubles. Raise them by eating folate-rich foods such as asparagus, beans, okra and spinach.
If you’re looking for other natural remedies to manage heartburn and GERD, Proper Nutrition can help. Our supplements – such as Seacure and Seavive – are full of bioactive peptides designed to restore gut integrity and help you lead a fuller, healthier life.