My son gets acid reflux. What can he do to get rid of it? He is looking for a natural remedy instead of expensive medicine.
Every one that is saying that acid relux is only caused by too little stomach acid is not true. It can either be caused by too little or too much. Some people have too little while others have too much stomach acid. I saw a very good naturopathic Doctor who tested both my wife and myself. My wife had too little and I too much.
The key here is consuming the right diet for your metabolic type.
Digestive enzymes. They are a life changer! You will notice immediate results if you get off the nexium, etc. Take 2 with every meal. They are awesome and all natural.
Mega-zymes by enzymatic (whole foods, grocery stores, vitamin stores), wholezymes ultra (whole foods), both are the same formula.
Hi, I'd like to share my experience. I am:
- 31 years young male
- eat a diet of 2 meals a day, being each about 80% veggies, 10% chicken or shrimp and 10% grains or bread.
- for breakfast I have a fruit smoothie with soy milk
Around 2 years ago I think I had a gird attack, massive heartburn and chest pain and ever since I've had almost daily a burning sensation right bellow the chest on my right side. Doctor said it was acid reflux, tried raniditine and then nexium. it was working fine, but I feel that these modern prescription drugs only mask the problem and not cure the root causes of it.
So I dropped nexium and started to try to get better results from my diet alone. Controlling just the diet had some effect but moderate. Then 2 days ago, on my girlfriend recommendation not related to my acid problem, I bought acidophilus (the refrigerated one, 5+ billion active) and when I started taking it. I was shocked that it seemed to have made a BIG difference on the reflux. I had never heard of acidophilus as a possible treatment for acid reflux and I googled "acid reflux" +acidophilus to see if there was any correlation between the 2 or if i was just going crazy and that's when i started reading that other had similar effects.
So, I am so excited (even though it's been only 2 days) that I thought I'd come here and share this with you all. It makes perfect sense now that I think about it, since acidophilus acts to establish proper and natural environment in the stomach. I believe that over time my situation will improve even more and I recommend trying it. Just make sure you get good-quality and refrigerated ones.
My goal is to establish good stomach environment to aid in all-around health, for the long term and not have to take any meds.
This article confirmed my gut feeling that acidophilus. was what was making me feel better and has additional suggestions and other supplements that may assist in curing this condition once and for all. I will try all that is suggested.
Good luck to everyone and I hope that we all find our way towards better health. Forums like this are a great tool for us, the real-people, with problem to share and discuss possible natural remedies that work for us and I would love to hear the opinions of those who try the acidophilus regiment.
As for me, I started taking 3 pills as soon as I wake up and 3 after dinner. I will do some variations on the times and see how it works. I am so excited to see a light in the end of this tunnel and I believe meds don't address the problem properly but I also don't believe that it should remain untreated. Acidophiles has been my savior.
Had Acid Reflux and took Nexium. It worked BUT it was medicine so I stopped taking it. Went to an Amish store and got some Yoder's Good Health Recipe...all natural and contains Cider Vinegar and herbs. Been taking an ounce a day for 10 days and my Acid Reflux is just about gone. The guy at the store said he's down to one ounce every four days and his stays gone. Can't wait til I'm there. Everyone's body is different. This works for me so far.
I 'second' the Braggs ACV. Typically when you have acid reflux, there is too much acid in the stomach; taking antacids absorbs this, then the stomach 'says' "Hey, where are the digestive acids. They're gone!", so it pumps out more, hence the cycle of too much acid, then none, etc., etc. ACV neutralizes this acid, not eliminates. A tablespoon of ACV followed by a teaspoon of baking soda in 4oz water will stabilize this, and daily potions of 1 Tbsp. with 4oz water will eliminate the acid reflux.
By Meredith Bell08/09/2009
Looks like there are a lot of different causes for GERD (chronic acid reflux). Mine wasn't due to too much or too little stomach acid, but rather to a loose lower esophogeal spincter (LES) muscle - this muscle acts as a trap door where the esophagus meets the stomach. It allows food into the stomach, but is supposed to close behind it to keep it from coming back up into the esophagus. Apparently the stomach lining can handle the acids the stomach produces, but the esophagus doesn't have the same protection. If the LES muscle doesn't work correctly (like mine), the acidic junk comes back up and can burn the esophagus and throat (thus the sore throat I always had). First time around, the only thing that worked was Prevacid twice a day. However, insurance wouldn't cover the medication twice a day, so my doctor said we'd make them pay for surgery. Nissen fundoplication sugery did the trick - see the link in the Surgery section below if you're interested - essentially they take a small part of the upper stomach and wrap it around the spincter valve to reinforce it. Immediately I was off all medication and was able to have red sauce again or wine with dinner - yea! Everything was great for 4 years, but in the 5th year I started having problems again. Went to a new GI (mine had moved) - apparently the surgical repair had lost its stitches and the LES muscle was back to its flimsly old self again. My friend who works in a GI's office says they do have to "redo" the surgery from time to time. The new GI wasn't fond of the surgery - says it was developed at Mayo and they won't do it anymore - but I'm not fond of medication so went looking up natural remedies. I am trying papaya tablets and so far it seems to be working pretty well. I am still staying away from red sauce, I eat smaller meals, and don't eat late at night.
FYI - my stepmother's GERD was so bad she couldn't sleep laying down, and would spit up through her nose if she ate solid foods. She just had Nissen fundoplication surgery and got immediate relief - she's back to sleeping in bed and eating normally.
The other thing I was told that has always worked for me was sleeping on my LEFT side. Sorry to confuse you since a couple of others said right side, but my doc explained the stomach comes up on the left side and curves to the middle - if I sleep on my left side stomach contents can pour out like a pitcher. Look at pics of the stomach - it makes sense. Bottom line re: sleeping - if I sleep on the right side after a larger or late meal I am sick to my stomach; if I sleep on the left side I feel fine.
My .02 worth...thanks to all for your input!
By Emily Pierce08/01/2009
I have horrible heartburn because I'm pregnant and my baby kind of squishes up my stomach, forcing acid back up. I have a teaspoon of mustard, straight, if I have heartburn. It burns real bad going down, then the heartburn is gone, sometimes for several days.
Acid reflux is caused from lack of acid in the stomach or not chewing the food up properly. Digestive enzymes work great for either of these problems. You can find this in a health food store.
I drink a small glass of buttermilk every night before going to bed (usually when it hits me the worst). At least 6 ounces. But then I love buttermilk.
I have heard that a tsp. or Tbsp. of natural Praggs apple cider vinegar works. It's sold in the grocery stores most places. I'd do a Google search on apple cider vinegar.
I take 4 omneprazoles a day. It's a generic & at Walmart's is very inexpensive (prescription needed). Constant irritation can lead to worse things like cancer.
By Patricia Eldridge07/21/2009
A site called Earth Clinic has many natural cures. To find a natural cure for acid reflux, go to: www.earthclinic.com/CURES/acid_reflux.html
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
I have had acid reflux, or Gerd, for five years. I've been taking Nexium that whole time. It is now starting to make me vitamin deficient and cause other problems as well! It's hard to know who to believe on the internet. I was wondering if anyone knows of a natural alternative to Nexium for my problem? I'd love to try different herbs and natural remedies but don't know where to turn. Thanks!
Alica from Mo.
Remember, if you smoke cigarettes, it can be a contributing factor.
Good luck (12/08/2004)
I can attest to the fact that acidophilus and digestive enzymes work great. I use Spring Valley's chewable Papaya Enzyme. They taste good and are very inexpensive. I get them at Wal-Mart. (12/09/2004)
By Fran Marie
My husband was on Prilosec for a while, but found that if he'd take the enzymes faithfully, he didn't need the medicine. Someone suggested peppermint, but peppermint actually weakens the sphincter muscle that keeps the acid from entering the esophagus. By the way, if you use the enzymes faithfully, you do not have to limit the foods you eat--the problem is your body, not the food. Hope this helps. (05/23/2005)
Their recommendation was very easy and simple, one tablespoon of plain ordinary vinegar (mixed with a cup of water). I am a skeptic in the truest sense of the word but after one very bad bout of reflux thought what the heck, it can't get much worse so I tried it. Within a few minutes the pain was gone and I felt better than I had in some time. I don't know what doctors say about this but I say if it works - try it. The cost of an entire quart of vinegar costs less than 1 Nexium pill, and my finances love it as well. True the taste leaves much to be desired, but it worked for me. (05/23/2005)
1. I started eating earlier in the evening, instead of having a later dinner.
2. I joined Weight Watchers and have been losing weight. Between diet, exercise, and eating less fatty foods the combination has helped a lot.
3. Vinegar, as someone else suggested, may be a factor as well. Because of my dieting, I have tried to get used to eating lower fat foods that tend to use vinegar in them and that may have helped.
4. I also bought a vitamin book to find out what the daily requirements are of various vitamins. Vitamins have always made me sick to my stomach so I take them at night just before going to bed. I never get sick to my stomach any more and for some reason I tend to get sleepy faster. Also, I found out the hard way, that the Women's One A Day Vitamin contains almost all of the vitamins and almost all of the vitamins listed have 100% or more of the daily requirements. Only a few are less than the daily requirement that can be made up supplementing with that vitamin by itself. This will save you lots of money on buying each vitamin individually. (05/24/2005)
Everyone I know who has tried this natural remedy, no longer has problems with acid reflux, or even heartburn.
There are a few doctors who will reveal "this secret" that should be common knowledge by now. While I am sure there are exceptions to the vinegar cure, I have not found even one person who has not benefited from this simple remedy. (07/14/2005)
By Charles G.
Here's how it was explained to me: Reflux is caused by too little acid in the stomach, not too much. Back pressure that sends the acid into the esophagus is caused by fermentation, in the colon, of partially digested food.
One answer is to add HCl to the stomach by way of apple cider vinegar. Another course is to add digestive enzymes, usually under the direction of a natural healer. I don't know about acidophilus, but it makes sense. Also, drink more water.
The main cause is natural aging. The body production of acid slows down with age. Possibly the fact that people are working harder into their older years could underlay the current epidemic. It could have opened a window through which AMA members have eagerly stepped. (12/26/2005)
By a guest
I read that braeburn apple slices can help. I don't have any, so I don't know. I am willing to try about anything because my reflux is several times daily. So far, the honey, vinegar and enzymes do wonders. I use baking soda and water only when I cannot get any other relief. I took the baking soda on an empty stomach to see how long it took before it made me burp (depending on acid in stomach). It took me 23 minutes. So, it seems that I do have low acid. I read that normal acid production should make you burp in 2-3 minutes.
I hope this helps! (05/01/2006)
I eliminate sugar of all kinds, even fruit. I eliminate dairy and wheat. The problem seems to get bad when I feel great and start eating anything again, like cinnamon buns, nuts, chocolate, cheese. I just overdo. Then I eliminate everything except millet, quinoa, oats and vegetables and kefir and start adding things in a little at a time again.
Does anyone experience constant belching? It seems to be in my throat mostly and happens sitting at a computer or driving. (06/08/2006)
By Chris Robinson
I do not have a weight problem but find that overeating is a major problem. I also have candida and notice that when I treat the candida, with natural anti-fungals (capryillic acid, black walnut, nettle, aloe, other blends etc), probiotics (non- dairy bio-K), and enzymes that I feel much better. Also a cure for candida is ACV. It was the first real relief I found. I notice that if I slip up on the candida elimination diet for too long (ie. over the holidays) that the acid reflux comes back quite sharply.
It sounds to me like there is a connection between certain types of acid reflux and candida. If this sounds like you it might be worth checking out candida cleansing to reduce the reflux symptoms. If you think you have candida, it is important to know that a quick cleanse won't clear everything out especially if you are at the point where you are having persistent acid reflux. Candida Albicans is a very resilient little fungi and unless 95% of it is destroyed and intestinal flora managed, it will return. Thanks for all of your postings. They helped me! I hope this helps too. Good luck all! (01/20/2007)
By Farzana J.
After taking papaya tablets for 3 days my digestion became 100% perfect for the first time in 5 years. It appears that the enzymes were my problem. I am amazed at the lack of attention this wonder fruit gets. (03/16/2007)
Apple Cider and Honey. One or the other, or together. Today is first day but it is the most relief I have had in years. I have a bad bad case of GERD so I think that this would be worth a try, particularly for those that don't have the all day problem of acid reflux, every day. I do have and this gave me relief, today. I hope it works again tomorrow.
Also, the report said to eat lighter softer foods for first 2 days, so that your body could help you adjust. After that you should still modify diet but even if you didn't, you should experience relief.
Again, I definitely suggest trying it out. The apple cider vinegar kinda slaps you in the face at first, but man'o'man.. the relief makes me look forward to tomorrow. (06/29/2007)
By Paula Bowden
RE: Natural Alternative For Treatment Of Acid Reflux
Post By Frank (Guest Post)
The vinegar MUST be the organic type, not the one they sell at your local supermarket. It has to be unfiltered, uncooked. You can get them at the GNC stores. Do not use the Heinz Apple Cider Vinegar, it will not work! Organic only, raw, unfiltered, uncooked, preserved in wood. Mix with pure uncooked honey, it works. Stay away from dairy and white sugar. (11/24/2007)
By Vivian Richards
By M. Porter, Tallahassee, FL
Just this past September, I started having the same symptoms again, but since I don't have insurance, I tried Prilosec OTC. Symptoms disappeared after 2 days. I was good for about 3 months, and it came back again. So I took the Prilosec, and again, after a few days it was gone.
Well, about a month ago I started having the symptoms yet again, tried Prilosec, but this time it did not work. In fact, it seemed to get worse about 6 days into it. I continued the 14-day treatment with no improvement. So I decided to see my doctor, who put me on ACIPHEX. I have been on it for 5 days now and I still have the pain in my chest and throat, along with occasional headaches and bloating in my stomach. I am starting to try the natural healing remedies mentioned on this website, and many others.
I have changed my diet, eating much smaller meals, limited to mostly vegetables, plain chicken breast, and yogurt. I have begun taking acidophilus pills, papaya pills, and drinking aloe vera juice with my meals and throughout the day. I am going to also try the apple cider vinegar to see if that helps. I have read that certain exercises such as walking, can help strengthen the esophageal sphincter muscle, so I have also started doing that.
I will try to write an update to let others know if any of these things helped my condition, and hopefully avoid a trip to the GI specialist. (04/01/2008)
By Jesse Melchior
I haven't tried Papaya pills, I'll give them a try soon. And of course, losing weight and walking every day really helps the most. Good luck to everyone! (04/11/2008)
I would have to say the honey and papaya have made a HUGE change in my "food allergies" condition and will know more as I experiment with the vinegar. I am grateful for all your postings as I truly believe this is a condition of undigested food due to decreased acid production rather than too much acid. You've all been a great help! (05/04/2008)
It all worked well until I got pregnant. Am only 14 weeks pregnant and I have been advised against using antacids. The doc recommended Papaya enzyme and so far it seems to help. I also found out about Active manuka honey and been taking it for a little over a week now. A 2.2 lb can of Manuka honey costs 32 dollars at Sprouts. There are smaller/ cheaper ones too. Just take one teaspoon of the honey on a square inch of bread or toast 20 minutes before meal. It coats your esophagus and helps it to heal.
I've read from your various posts about Apple Cider Vinegar and it seems like a scary thing to add to acid, but many of you have said it works, so I guess it won't hurt to try. (10/02/2008)
WOW! Great advice from everyone, so many wise options posted here. Thanks to all who took the time. All sound good to me. I have the reflux problem too, but I have it under control most of the time now. When it returns I just reflect back on when and what I ate and that the problem is really self- induced. It's really all about making "lifestyle changes" that will get to the root causes of the problems.
Eating earlier before going to bed (the hardest rule for me to follow!). Smaller portions. Finding the "triggers" is also key. For me they are coffee, some pizzas (if the sauce is cheap), pepperoni is also a BIG no-no, lol! Try white pizza (no sauce at all). Or try less tomato sauce or fresh tomatoes (the best!). I can no longer drink orange juice, or lemonade. Have not tried the pineapple juice remedy yet, but heard it works. Can't see how, but whatever works!
I used to use Prilosec, but it's very expensive and I grew immuned to it eventually. When you stop taking it, the acid comes back worse. Nexium does do wonders for me, but that is just a band-aid approach (temporary quick-fix) anyway. You must control your weight, exercise, eat small portions (frequently). I find an empty stomach to be a problem too. Sometimes we just forget to eat with our busy hectic American lifestyles. Snacking on apples between meals sounds great to me!
But the real reason I'm posting is to mention a little trick I was told about that does help to reduce suffering while sleeping. It's not a cure or a cause mind you, just a way to minimize the damage. I was told to try sleeping on my right side while elevating your upper body, and it really does work! The little flap in your esophagus that keeps all the food down also keeps the acid down too. But if you turn over to your left side during sleep you are toast, because the flap will open and allow acid to flow up into the esophagus.
The acid will creep up slowly or it may even squirt up and burn your entire digestive track and your throat too. Nastiest taste and feeling in the entire world! Better always keep some hard candy or chewing gum handy near your bed just in case that ever happens. It does work, the sweet candy causes you to salivate. The saliva from your mouth will neutralize the powerful stomach acid, but it may take hours for the nasty taste to go away completely.
Water is not enough once you are burned. This squirting of acid is very dangerous, it causes scar-tissue to form on the walls of the esophagus. It can also burn and damage the flap (sphincter?) in the throat that keeps the food down when you are upright, so be careful how you sleep too. The right side trick really does work, it's simple physics and physiology.
Remember though, this is not a cure! The cure is lifestyle changes in eating habits and in knowing your body and adapting to changes (ie AGE!). We get fatter as we age because our metabolism slows down and so we burn fat and calories slower. This in turn leads to digestive slow-down and eventually GERD if nothing is done to compensate for the slowdown.
Bottom line "KNOW THYSELF", like master Plato said!
Good luck folks! And remember, if you cheat, or get lax (lazy) you will pay down the line. Your stomach will remind you. Been there, done that! You actually can return to the foods you love once you get the problem under control, but you have to use moderation, that's the key. Eat earlier and more often. Spread out your meals as much as possible. Hard rules to follow but they do work. Try them.
----Gerard from Philly (junk food capital of the world! Cheese steaks, hoagies, pizza, and lots of other yummy fried junk. Stay away from beer, coffee, and lemons.) Ginger tea or Chamomile tea DO work for me.
Got some stories or tips to share? My e-mail is renaissanceprince(at)hotmail(dot)com (10/18/2008)
I can't begin to tell you what the pain was like plus I coughed and wheezed for a week. So, this has led me to do all kinds of research about this condition. I stopped taking Prilosec. I started taking Probiotics 14 strains - 20 billion per capsule. I went to a Chinese herbalist and he gave me three different natural medications. One is WEI DE AN, another is WE TE LING and the third is YANG WEI WAN. I am drinking Chamomile Tea.
They said not to drink Green Tea! I also got some Peppermint Enzyme and they seem to work if I start feeling any burning sensations during the day, although I think it might be better for me to use Papaya since I agree that it may relax the sphincter muscle allowing regurgitation. Oh yes, I am not eating after 6pm. So, I have been doing this for two days.
So far, so good. Normally, by now, without taking Prilosec I would have been in horrible pain. So, I will let you know how this works out. The herbalist said that it will take three months before my stomach has healed. By the way, I found out that I am also gluten intolerant. I don't know if this is because of the acid reflux problem or not. Getting off gluten has really helped my digestion issues but not my reflux. (11/19/2008)
My routine is: half hour after my main meal I take 2 TUMS (this lowers the acid to prepare my stomach for the Acidophilus), then 10 minutes later I take 2 Acidophilus pills. This almost immediately cures my heartburn symptoms for the rest of the day. I'll follow up with 500mg of D-Limonene.
I do this routine for 3 weeks, every 6 months. It's a miracle, and it doesn't interfere with normal acid production. I feel 100X better. I can now be active instead of worrying I'm going to get reflux. And these products aren't expensive. I pay $15 total, compared to the $80+ for prescriptions. (01/30/2009)
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