Acid reflux can be challenging to manage, but it’s fairly common: 60 million Americans experience acid reflux at least once a month.1 It’s no wonder that people seek out reflux home remedies.
However, there are some things to keep in mind when considering home remedies, whether they are lifestyle changes or something else. While it’s true that certain habits can help reduce your chances of acid reflux, much of the information circulating about home remedies for acid reflux lacks scientific evidence.1,3 Read on to explore the tactics you can employ to help manage your symptoms of acid reflux.
Review of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is a physical condition in which acid from the stomach flows backward up into the esophagus.1,3 If the lining of the esophagus comes in contact with too much stomach acid, a burning discomfort may occur, which is referred to as heartburn. This discomfort may be accompanied by a bitter or sour taste of acid in the back of the throat.1
How to Manage Acid Reflux at Home
There are ways to manage acid reflux at home. These home remedies, however, are not a cure or treatment for symptoms. Rather, they are simple modifications you can make to your daily habits to reduce your chance of developing acid reflux.
1. Avoid trigger foods.
Modifying your diet is one way to help you manage acid reflux at home. Certain foods may worsen acid reflux, such as:
- Fried food
- Fast food
- Processed snacks, like potato chips
- Chili powder and pepper
- Fatty meats, such as bacon and sausage
- Tomato-based sauces
- Citrus fruits
- Carbonated beverages2,3
If you’re experiencing acid reflux and don’t know what’s causing it, keep a food diary to track what you eat. There may be other foods not on this list that are triggers for you.
2. Consider low-acid and high-fiber foods.
Eating certain foods can’t prevent or treat acid reflux. However, some foods may help alleviate symptoms. Low-acid foods like melon, bananas, and cauliflower help offset stomach acid.2
It is also beneficial to eat foods containing fiber. High-fiber foods can make you feel fuller faster, and since overeating can trigger heartburn, eating a fiber-rich meal might be a good option for you if you experience reflux occasionally.2
You may hear that foods like milk, ginger, and apple cider vinegar help reduce acid reflux. However, there isn’t enough evidence to support these claims.2
3. Quit smoking.
Smoking cigarettes can worsen acid reflux.2,3 Tobacco inhibits saliva production, which may cause additional irritation.2 In addition, tobacco may possibly stimulate stomach acid production and relax the muscle between the esophagus and the stomach, aggravating acid reflux.2
4. Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight is thought to be a trigger for acid reflux.3 Take steps to manage your weight, such as exercising and eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet. If you’re struggling to maintain a healthy weight and experiencing acid reflux symptoms, consult your doctor for guidance.
5. Limit your alcohol intake.
Consuming too many alcoholic beverages may cause instances of acid reflux for some indivudals.1 Avoid alcohol, or drink only in moderation, if alcohol is a trigger for you.3
6. Adjust your sleeping position.
If you experience reflux while in bed, try changing your sleep position. Sometimes, raising the head of the bed or finding a way to elevate your head position may reduce acid reflux.1,3
While the above lifestyle changes are not treatments for acid reflux, they can help you manage your symptoms at home.
- Acid Reflux. American College of Gastroenterology. https://gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/.
- GERD Diet: Foods that Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn). John Hopkins Medicine. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/gerd-diet-foods-that-help-with-acid-reflux-heartburn.
- Acid reflux and GERD: The same thing? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/expert-answers/heartburn-gerd/faq-20057894.