We have all experienced the troubling pains of acid indigestion or acid reflux at least once in our lives. Sometimes the feeling of heartburn is so intense that it might seem to be a heart attack at first. However, heartburn is just one of the signs and symptoms of acid indigestion that you may come across. In order to better understand the phenomenon and learn how to get rid of acid indigestion or prevent it, we would like to start off by answering a few basic questions like “What is acid indigestion?”, “What causes acid indigestion?” and “What acid indigestion symptoms are there?”. Afterwards, we will present 14 ways to prevent and treat acid indigestion.
Medical News Today describes acid indigestion or acid reflux as “one of the top health-related internet search queries, a very common symptom of burning pain felt internally around the lower chest area, caused by stomach acid flowing back up into the food pipe”. In other words, the heartburn you may experience from time to time is most likely acid indigestion.
Furthermore, there are multiple causes for acid indigestion, but almost each cause is closely related to an unhealthy diet. Obesity, super-sized meals, fast foods, fizzy drinks or spicy food are all main causes for this condition. Aside from those, smoking, taking certain medicine (like ibuprofen or aspirin) and even pregnancy may be some of the reasons why you are experiencing acid indigestion symptoms.
As far as symptoms are concerned, heartburn is definitely at the top of the list. Aside from heartburn, regurgitation is another main sign of acid indigestion, which occurs when you feel a bitter or sour liquid filling up into the back of your throat. Vomiting with blood, wheezing, burping, bloating, nausea or losing weight suddenly without knowing why might also point to acid indigestion. In severe situations, acid indigestion can also take place under the form of acid diarrhea. You don’t need to panic, though, there are many acid indigestion remedies available that can stop, treat and even cure acid indigestion. Discover our favorite home remedies for acid indigestion below and enjoy acid indigestion relief in a natural way.
1. Reduce Acidic Foods
One of the main reasons why you are undergoing acid indigestion is because you are consuming acidic foods. Examples of acidic foods are oranges, tomatoes, grapefruit, lemons, limes or vinegar. It is very healthy to drink a glass of fresh orange juice once in a while, but just know that if you are prone to acid indigestion it might not be the best idea. Instead, try consuming fruits that are not acidic and drinking them as juices to get your intake of vitamins and nutrients.
2. Don’t Eat Before Going to Sleep
A great mistake that we tend to make from time to time is eating right before we go to sleep or sneaking a bedtime snack. We have to admit that we all do it every once in a while, but we must also take responsibility for our actions and understand that we might end up with acid indigestion because of this. An easy-peasy acid indigestion treatment is simply eating at least two to three hours before bedtime.
3. No Alcohol
This is a particular home remedy for acid indigestion that you might not all like, but it is quite essential. In order to get rid of those nasty and worrying symptoms and relieve acid indigestion, you have to cut back on alcohol. It would be wonderful if you could stop drinking alcohol altogether, especially if you frequently experience this condition.
4. Baking Soda
Another one of the multiple home remedies that act as acid indigestion treatment is baking soda. Baking soda helps with relief owing to the sodium bicarbonate included in it. How? It neutralizes stomach acid and even prevents damage to your esophagus in the long run. You can purchase baking soda from your local store or consume it under the form of granules, capsules or tablets. This simple household ingredient really does wonders for acid indigestion.
5. Avoid Certain Foods
In addition to the junk food we will talk more about below, it is also important to avoid certain foods if you want to stay away from acid indigestion. Garlic, onion, chocolate and mint should all be avoided in this situation, as well as beverages such as tea or coffee. These all act as triggers for acid indigestion and may be the main cause you are experiencing heartburn.
6. No Lying Down After Meals
After eating a hearty and delicious home cooked meal, the first thing that pops in your mind is probably lying down to have everything settle down in your stomach. Think again! Yet another big mistake we all innocently make is lying down directly after eating. This means that you will have to push back that afternoon nap for at least three hours after you have enjoyed your meal so you can avoid acid indigestion.
7. Take Your Time Eating
When I was little, my mother would always repeat the same word at the dinner table: “Chew, chew, chew!”. While it annoyed me at the time, I know realize that she was doing me a world of good and helping me prevent unpleasant situations with heartburn. One of the most significant ways you can avoid acid indigestion is by taking the time to enjoy your meal, chewing well and occasionally taking a small break so your stomach can break down the food without being rushed.
8. Avoid Spicy Food
Everyone enjoys a plate of caliente Mexican cuisine as a treat now and then, but be aware that it could be the cause of acid indigestion. Highly seasoned spicy food turns your stomach upside down and results in heartburn. No matter how much you love chili or spicy peppers, try to avoid them if you are prone to these symptoms.
9. Lying Inclined
We said before that lying down directly after finishing a meal could lead to a heartburn horror. Even more so, lying flat down will make things even worse. After waiting those three hours after eating, you should avoid lying at a 180 degree angle. Instead, prop up some pillows or incline your bed head so you can rest comfortably at an angle that will not cause acid indigestion. If possible, try standing up as much as you can and avoiding lying down altogether.
10. Stop Smoking
Without trying to nag, you should really stop smoking no matter if you experience acid indigestion or not. Frequent smoking slowly but surely breaks down all of your organs, so do not be surprised if you feel pains here and there and you are a tobacco consumer. Everyday Health explains that “Some studies have found that nicotine can relax the muscles of the LES and can also interfere with your saliva's ability to clear acid out of the esophagus.” Stop saying that you will quit smoking tomorrow and throw that pack of cigarettes away today. Your body and your future self will thank you.
11. Don’t Supersize
We are always oh so tempted to supersize our meals and go from “small” to “medium and then creep up to “large”. It is understandable, all restaurants or fast food chains subliminally pressure you into doing it all the time. But as we are humans endowed with reason, we should try to control our cravings and eat as much as our bodies can take without being upset. If you engulf a large McDonald’s meal with extra fries, you shouldn’t be surprised that you are facing acid reflux.
12. Don’t Dress Tight
Girls love to wear leggings and tight tops to highlight their curves and physical features. No matter how pretty you may look in them, you should be aware of the fact that they could be the direct cause for the heartburn you are experiencing after a meal. Nutrition specialist Joy Bauer recommends that you “avoid anything tight around your middle, which can put pressure on your stomach and worsen the discomfort and pain of GERD”.
13. Good bye Fizzy Drinks & Fatty Foods
Soda VS water, what should you choose? Yep, you probably guessed it. Fizzy drinks like Coca Cola, Sprite, 7 up or Dr. Pepper are your one way ticket to acid indigestion. Any type of carbonated drink can trigger acid indigestion faster than you could say “Coke”, so try to avoid them at all costs. Moreover, greasy, fatty and junk food will cause this condition as well. Just try to follow a simple, yet golden rule: the greasier the food or the fizzier the drink, the more harm it is doing to your stomach.
14. Stay in Shape
Last but not least, staying in shape and carrying out an all-around healthy lifestyle will help you treat and prevent acid indigestion the best. While it is not recommended to exercise hardcore, walking around half an hour in the evening at a normal pace will work wonders. Avoid losing nights, drinking alcohol, smoking and packing on junk food and enjoy a lean and acid indigestion free body.