3 Natural Remedies For Heartburn and Acid Reflux
When it comes to heartburn and acid reflux, in many cases the issue is not that it is an overactive stomach, it’s in fact an under-active stomach. This article shares with you 3 natural remedies (in order of importance) that you can try for heartburn and acid reflux relief.
Let’s first understand why stomach acid is important for facilitating proper digestion and how it works.
What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when acid from your stomach flows up into your esophagus and irritates the esophageal lining. This inflammation and irritability can cause a burning sensation. Most people experience other symptoms associated with low stomach acid. These can include:
- Bloating, belching and flatulence immediately after meals
- Feeling excessively full even after eating just small amounts of food
- Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation
- Food sensitivities or allergies
- Hair loss
- Weak, cracked fingernails; paper thin nails
- Undigested food in stools
- Nausea after taking supplements
- Gut issues/dysbiosis
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Iron deficiency
The Importance of Stomach Acid and How Our Body Uses It
The release of HCl (hydrochloric acid) depends on the stimulation of the parasympathetic nervous system and the release of the hormone, gastrin. Gastrin stimulates cells to secrete HCl as needed. However, in order for HCl to be released, a number of things have to happen (and some of these things can negatively impact the amount of stomach acid you have):
- The sight, smell, anticipation of food and chewing all stimulate gastrin secretion. This is the first step of digestion! If you eat when rushed, standing up or not chewing well, you are already creating an under-active stomach situation.
- The parasympathetic nervous system must be switched on. If the sympathetic nervous system is activated, it shunts blood away from the digestive tract. The sympathetic nervous system is the one in which responds to stressful situations. This is why if you eat in a stressed or nervous state, you may experience an immediate onset of indigestion (gas, bloating, heartburn, acid reflux, diarrhea, constipation are all symptoms that showcase how your body is responding to the digestion food).
- Insufficient amounts of nutrients to maintain healthy cells will decrease stomach acid production long-term. This can be from chronic stress, a nutrient-poor diet, or general inability to digest food (mal-absorption).
- Some foods stimulate then exhaust stomach acid secretion. For example, eating large amounts of protein-rich foods (animal sources) with nothing else during a meal especially, increase stomach acid and in time, exhaust this process. For those with stomach sensitivities, you may find that eating too much meat at one meal will cause discomfort and stomach irritability.
Other Digestive Issues?
You may be experiencing a variety of other symptoms and not understand what is causing them. Addressing the root cause of your chronic symptoms can help heal you indefinitely. Our holistic practitioners are here to help you identify the root cause of your chronic health issues and/or symptoms. If you’d like to speak to a practitioner yourself, please reach out here.
Here are some other articles that may be helpful to you:
- IBD: Causes and Symptoms (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- PCOS Diet: Foods to Eat and Eliminate
- The Best Diet for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- How Stress Can Make You Hold Onto Weight
3 Natural Remedies For Heartburn and Acid Reflux
The remedies listed below are stated in order of importance that have helped a great deal of our clients at CE Wellness. If you have other various chronic symptoms or symptoms of indigestion, please reach out to us directly and book a free phone consultation. During an appointment at our clinic, we can properly assess your symptoms and nutritional needs and cater to your health more bio-individually.
- 1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar in a glass of water before meals. This remedy can help to stimulate digestive juices naturally and release stomach acid. Try this 20-30 minutes before your meal. Make sure you are mixing with water and not drinking ACV alone. This is multi-purposeful because it will naturally increase stomach acid production in the future.
- Digestive bitters – Digestive bitters help stimulate gastric and bile secretion naturally. They allow your digestive tract to still do their work and naturally improve their function.
- HCL with Pepsin – This provides your stomach with what it is lacking. This should not be used long-term. It is beneficial for those that do have low stomach acid to use while naturally strengthening their stomach and increasing stomach acid through a variety of methods.
What To Do Next For Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Although these solutions provide meal-time relief, it’s important to understand that these remedies are somewhat still a bandage. Addressing the root cause – being potentially low stomach acid (and depending your health issues, there may be more underlying factors) – is key in order to overcome these symptoms long-term.