Saturday, November 15, 2008

Natural And Alternative Ways To Deal With Acid Reflux

By Frank Robson

Some medication may help your acid reflux, but there are some that can actually make the problem worse if you stop taking them. There is a type of medication called PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors) which inhibits the acid production.

But if you stop taking PPIs, your body responds by bouncing back and producing even more acid, a process known as rebound hypersecretion. Because of this, even if you are considering alternative methods of treating your acid reflux, it's not a good idea to suddenly stop taking PPIs.

There are several herbs that are often used as heartburn remedies. Tea made from caraway seeds, chamomile, coriander, fennel, anise, and angelica can offer relief after a meal. Spearmint and peppermint teas are also known to help. You can also get capsules containing caraway seed and peppermint oils, which some people also get good results from.

There are specialists who rely on roots and herbs. Ginger root is one herb that's used in Ayurveda, and taking it regularly can help reduce acid reflux.

Adequate fiber consumption reduces symptoms of acid reflux. Fiber easily digests the acid from the foods. Fiber also keeps you unconstipated. Fiber pills or water-soluble powders are available for those who do not enjoy raw foods.

Another major contributor to acid reflux is nicotine, so stopping smoking can help. Nicotine relaxes the esophageal sphincter, allowing fluids to "swish around" freely. Stress can also be related to smoking, which also affects your digestion.

Avoid eating citrus fruits, raw onions, ground beef, potatoes, spaghetti, alcohol, spicy foods, ice cream, cheese, coffee and tea.

Some of the other alternative treatments that people have success with include licorice, meadowsweet, some digestive enzymes such as papain, and chamomile. Even marshmallow, which together with chamomile can work as an anti-inflammatory, has helped some people with their acid reflux.

In the end, a good diet, positive changes in your lifestyle, weight control and lowering your stress level will all help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.

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