Thursday, 14 July 2011

Alternatives To GERD Medications

Acid reflux and GERD are essentially the same condition. Therefore, when we are talking about GERD medications we are also making reference to acid reflux medications.
There are several reasons to look at alternative methods for controlling severe heartburn symptoms. One is that some people want to avoid pharmaceuticals altogether. A second is that... long term use of GERD medications is addictive and even potentially harmful.
Unfortunately, when you enter into the world of alternative remedies you open up a new set of difficulties. There are numerous recommended solutions, schools of thought, and limited legitimate research. In many cases, the only way that you can know if something is going to work is to use yourself as the guinea pig.
In regard to acid reflux and heartburn, a simple internet search for natural remedies will uncover hundreds of possibilities. Some of recommended solutions appear illogical. For example, apple cider vinegar is one of the highest rated natural remedies. Besides the fact that vinegar tastes bad (by itself), it is also highly acidic. Pouring acid on acid doesn't seem to make much sense. But there are many advocates who sing the praises of apple cider vinegar. Personally, I tried it, and it didn't work for me. Based on the experience of others who swear by it, there is a possibility that it will work for you. If you can get by the taste... give it a try.
Closely related to apple cider vinegar is... pickle juice. Now, since pickles are made in a variety of ways the question arises, "What kind of pickle juice?" Pickle juice advocates strongly favor juice from fermented pickles. I didn't know there was such a thing... but I'll take their word for it. Yet other suggest dill pickle or sweet gherkin juice. And if you can't stand drinking the stuff straight... just suck on a pickle... or eat one. So they claim.
Likely a more long term natural fix will require a change in diet. The idea is to keep your system in a proper alkaline to acid pH balance. What we eat controls that balance and most of us, due to our highly acid modern diets, are leaning too heavily on the acid side of the scale.
For these diet changes to work you must decrease the consumption of acidic triggers like chocolate, caffeine, sugar, soft drinks, and alcoholic beverages. Also troublesome are greasy, spicy, and fatty foods. Alkaline foods are pretty much all vegetables and they are best consumed raw. Raw vegetables provide you with powerful enzymes that are necessary for good digestion.
Since I am on the subject of diet... it is important to recognize that obesity is one of the biggest contributors to GERD. If you have a weight problem then you can anticipate that acid reflux goes along with it. I know that it's easier said than done, but losing weight is one of the most effective natural cures for heartburn that you will find.
Apples are also often recommended as a natural remedy for reflux. They are high in enzymes and can help soothe the fire in your belly.
One of the first natural remedies suggested to me actually came from my grandmother. She believed in the effectiveness of baking soda. Many people concur with her recommendation. Again, it's not a cure-all but it may give you that immediate relief you seek.


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