What is acid reflux?
Do you know that it is estimated that 25 to 40 percent of Americans suffer from acid reflux? By definition, acid reflux is dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter. If this sphincter doesn’t close all the way after food has passed through, acid from the stomach will creep up the digestive tract and cause a skew of symptoms. Symptoms include: heartburn, bitter taste in mouth, bad breath, dry mouth, gum irritations, black stools, bloody vomiting, regurgitation of acidic food, pain in the abdomen, and belching, flatulence, and nausea.
Conventional Solutions – The Risks:
Over the counter medications such as antacids (TUMS) and H2 Blockers (Pepcid), might treat a symptom in the short-term, but are very detrimental to your health. For starters, these medications are designed to block the body’s natural production of HCl. Therefore, the body is no longer able to produce pepsin, which is the body’s digestive enzyme responsible for breaking down proteins. This can cause further abdominal pain and increases your risk of infections from bacteria that would normally be killed by a healthy pH in the stomach.
1) Apple cider vinegar
This home remedy is so simple it is definitely worth a try if you suffer from acid reflux. Apple cider vinegar works by balancing your stomach’s pH and therefore normalizing stomach acid. Try 2 tablespoons with 8 ounces of water before meals.
2) Eat green, leafy vegetables
The benefits of leafy greens are endless! Cruciferous vegetables are amazing at balancing the pH in your stomach and alkalizing your whole body. The precursor to your body’s strongest antioxidant, glutathione, comes directly from these greens. Load up with vegetables like broccoli, kale and spinach – or try others to find your new favorite!
3) Fermented foods/drinks
Probiotic foods can help nourish the healthy bacteria in our digestive tract. Research has shown that these fer- mented foods can protect the stomach lining and even prevent regurgitation. Try out foods like kombucha, kefir, and sauerkraut. Better, yet – experiment making your own fermented foods!
4) Get adjusted
Stress from sitting all day, car accidents, sports injuries, or other traumas can lead to compression of the spine, specifically in the mid back region where nerves lead directly to the stomach. Moreover, an issue in the upper part of your neck can put pressure on your vagus nerve. This nerve controls the parasympathetic system and tells your body to relax and digest food. What ends up happening is your body is put into a chronic stress response (sympathetic overload), and in turn your body is not able to function and heal like it is designed to. It is is clear to see why a healthy, functioning spine is essential for not only acid reflux, but also overall health!