Symptoms and Causes
- Acid reflux shares many common symptoms with heartburn, including pain and tightness in the throat, difficulty in breathing and chest pains. While acid reflux has some common causes---such as medication, elevated hormone levels, eating before going to sleep, stress, greasy or fried foods, alcohol and carbonated drinks---the cause of reflux varies for each individual.
Base and Diluting Foods
- When in the midst of an attack, drinking a base liquid, such as milk, can bring immediate relief by neutralizing the acid in the system. Similarly, drinking plenty of water when a reflux occurs will help dilute the acid and will also flush the acidic substances out of the body more quickly.
Apple Cider Vinegar
- Even though vinegar is another acid, it is a good acid that, much like base foods, can actually help neutralize the bad acids in your body. To use apple cider vinegar in the prevention of acid reflux, mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a half a glass of water and sip along with your meal.
Stomach Calming Herbs
- There are several herbs that are known to aid in digestion and help calm the stomach, and many of these will also help fight acid reflux.
Drinking a tea made of one part anise to one part lavender in two and a half cups of boiling water each morning and evening can help prevent occurrences of acid reflux throughout the day.
Fennel seed can also serve as a preventive measure. Fennel seeds contain a compound called anethole, which suppresses stomach spasms and gastrointestinal tract issues. Chewing a half-teaspoon of fennel seeds after a meal can help prevent an acid reflux attack.
Other foods that will help fight acid reflux include chamomile and fennel teas, which soothe a wide variety of stomach and throat problems, and ginger, even in candied form, which absorbs stomach acid and helps relax tense muscles.
If you are on the go a lot, keep gum on hand. Gum stimulates the production of saliva, which will help your body digest acidic foods more quickly and simultaneously dilute the acid already in your system.