Despite what you might think – the most common cause of acid reflux is LOW stomach acid. Often heartburn and acid reflux are treated with antacids which only exacerbate the problem by preventing the production of stomach acid. If there is not enough digestive juice, nutrients will not be absorbed properly and mineral deficiencies will develop, as well as heartburn. To confirm this, you can perform an apple cider vinegar test.
What are the symptoms of heartburn/acid reflux?
- Burning sensation at the back of the throat
- Painful or burning sensation in the upper abdomen or chest, at times radiating to the back (heartburn)
- Bloating, discomfort after eating
- Food in stools
- Excessive belching is common
- Food feels stuck at back of throat, tightness
- Bad breath
Some Possible Causes:
- Hiatal hernia
- Insufficient saliva production
- Low stomach acid
- Delayed gastric emptying
- Certain foods
- Food allergies
What foods should I avoid with heartburn/acid reflux?
- Fatty and deep fried foods
- Pickled and smoked foods/Salt preserved foods
- Spicy food
- Soft drinks
- Vinegar (except apple cider vinegar)
- Fruit juices
These prevent the esophageal sphincter from working properly.
Diet recommendations to alleviate symptoms of heartburn/acid reflux.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently – The more the stomach is stretched by food, the higher the tendency to reflux.
- Eat less fat – Acid Reflux is also increased by eating fatty meals as fat delays gastric emptying.
- Eat dinner earlier – Try to avoid large meals in the evening.
- Avoid antacids – which only make the problem worse by depleting stomach acids. Antacids shut of HCl, acid kills bacteria, low HCl -> H-pylori bacteria.
- Good bacteria – add one capsule of a good quality probiotic to two tablespoons of organic plain yogurt, stir well. Take on an empty stomach. This will restore good bacteria to the stomach and colon.
- Avoid NSAIDS – anti-inflammatory remedies like Aspirin, and Ibuprophen irritate the stomach lining, causing irritation and often leads to acid reflux.
- Apple cider vinegar – 1-2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water with 1 tsp non-pasteurized honey (optional) before each meal. Works in 20 to 30 seconds to alleviate acid reflux and restore pH balance of the stomach. Take 1-3 times daily.
- Digestive enzymes – Take one tablet/capsule at the beginning of each meal. These help to break down and digest your food.
- Fibre – Add 1 tablespoon of ground flax to your day. Add to yogurt, hot cereal, smoothies, etc.
- Aloe Vera Juice – Promotes healing, reduces inflammation, and soothes the esophageal lining.
- Fermented/bitter foods – lemons, sauerkraut, chard, kale, bitter melon, dandelion. Promotes stomach acid production.
- Licorice Tea – helps to heal and protect the stomach lining and intestines. NOTE: licorice tea should not be taken if you have high blood pressure.
- Drink less with meals – only take small, occasional sips during meals, and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Not all remedies are right for everyone. A holistic nutritionist can assist you in finding the cause and work with you to find a solution that will provide healing and prevent future complications.