Acid Reflux: Causes & Cure


4 Min Read

Acid reflux and its painful companion heartburn are on the rise as millions of Americans say they experience acid reflux at least once a week. When acid reflux occurs more than once a week, your doctor may diagnosis you with GERD (Gastroesophael reflux disease). While some causes of GERD are based on one’s lifestyle choices (eating a diet high in fat or acidic foods, overeating and emotional stress), other factors that can cause GERD include genetic abnormalities in the stomach and/or esophagus, or certain medications.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

After food enters your mouth you chew and then swallow. The food travels down your throat, into your esophagus, through the lower esophageal sphincter and then into your stomach where it mixes with acid and bile. When properly functioning, the lower esophageal sphincter only opens in one direction (into the stomach). Unfortunately, the body does not always function the way it should and sometimes acid and bile from the stomach can go up through the sphincter into the esophagus. This is how acid reflux is caused. Sometimes, acid reflux causes pain and the pain is due to the acid in our esophagus. This is called heartburn.

How To Detect GERD?

Only your doctor can diagnosis you with GERD and if you are experiencing acid reflux and/or heartburn frequently you should go see him or her as soon as you can. Some symptoms of GERD include heartburn, chest pain, nausea after eating, feeling too full after meals, coughing, bitter taste in mouth, asthma, vomiting and regurgitation. Because of the frequency of the acid reflux, the lining of the esophagus can also become eroded and cancer of the esophagus can become a concern.

Treatment Options: Western vs. Eastern Acid Reflux Cures

The western treatment of heartburn includes acid blockers and antacids such as Prilosec, Prevacid or Tums. These drugs are not cures and only mask the symptoms without addressing the cause. They can also cause unwanted side effects including abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and headaches. Symptoms can even become worse after discontinued use.

In Traditional Chinese medicine, acid reflux is related to a dysfunction in the stomach meridian. The stomach meridian begins around the eyes and travels downward through the heart and stomach and finishes at the second toe. When the stomach qi starts traveling upward, (as it does during acid reflux) there is a pathology in the stomach meridian. Acupuncture works to help direct stomach qi back downward and correct the pathology. Heartburn can also be related to the heart meridian. If the heart meridian is involved, the acid reflux will more likely be caused by stress or have an emotional component. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture do not have any negative side effects and can reduce your heartburn in just one treatment.

Heartburn Remedies

  • Try using Probiotics: Many of my patients have had great success in treating their heartburn with a teaspoon of liquid probiotics everyday.
  • Don’t eat less than two hours before bed
  • Skip dessert and coffee
  • Avoid strenuous activity before bed
  • Avoid night caps
  • Lose weight for excess weight adds pressure to the valve
  • Quit Smoking as it can weaken valve between esophagus and stomach- nicotine weakens sphincter
  • Avoid mint after dinner. Mints may relax valve at top of stomach
  • Keep a food diary. This can help you realize your heartburn food triggers
  • Wear loose fitting clothing
  • Try chewing gum. It increases saliva and swallowing, washing acid out of esophagus
  • Avoid caffeine, garlic, onions, peppermint, alcohol, chocolate, tomatoes, fried or fatty foods.

Try Acupressure – Having a flare up between treatments? Ask your acupuncturist to show you these two important points and massage for 5 minutes to help reduce heartburn immediately!

Acupressure Points

PC6 Acupuncture Point

ST36 Acupuncture Point

ST36 Acupuncture Point

Image courtesy – www.renewacupuncturecare.com

Brittany Lombardo

I am an acupuncturist and owner of Renew Acupuncture; an affordable, private acupuncture clinic in the Society Hill area of Philadelphia. I use many different modalities in my practice including: E-stim, moxibustion, gua sha, cupping, and tui na. In my spare time I love reading, learning about essential oils, yoga, gardening, traveling and live music.

Brittany Lombardo

I am an acupuncturist and owner of Renew Acupuncture; an affordable, private acupuncture clinic in the Society Hill area of Philadelphia. I use many different modalities in my practice including: E-stim, moxibustion, gua sha, cupping, and tui na. In my spare time I love reading, learning about essential oils, yoga, gardening, traveling and live music.

Post a Comment
Jacqueline Allen
Jacqueline Allen 5pts

Marjorie Tracey Phillips says one session of acupuncture can cure heartburn. I might have to try this.

Jay Sahoo
Jay Sahoo 5pts

Can u comment on my account?

Mariett N Nemy Estrada
Mariett N Nemy Estrada 5pts

I use apple cider vinegar and honey, mix 2 tablespoon w/ 1 tablespoon of raw honey in 8oz of warm water. In 10 minutes reflux is gone.

Ric Vargoshe
Ric Vargoshe 5pts

Try Bromalien, which is pineapple extract, pineapple itself, sauerkraut. or papaya. They all work great!

Allirem Amparo
Allirem Amparo 5pts

take this vitamin MOSEGOR ...as possible with food intake,quite,cold room 4 u to sleep...note :make sure not daily intake otherwise when migraine re attacks it won"t work no more.because you will be immune to sleeping effects...no side effects...stout,obesity is on that way...you know what this my way to get rid of my migraine in just one click...when i wake up i"m alive,vigorous again (: my migraine brought me to a very critical condition when it attacks. seems its shorten my life,really...god bless

Ajit Mungi
Ajit Mungi 5pts

I will try that because I am tired of consuming antacids

Ayurveda 5pts

Padu Melwani Mahtani Thanks for sharing! :)

Padu Melwani Mahtani
Padu Melwani Mahtani 5pts

1 tsp apple cider vinegar diluted in a mug of warm water first thing in the morning on an empty stomach and also after meals will help also

Patty Fitzgerald
Patty Fitzgerald 5pts

Stay away from tomatoes, and tomato sauce, acidity fruit. Chocolate, coffee, tea,It helps me don't know if it will help you or not. I am also taking something to coat my stomach before I eat, I feel a lot better, but I am still careful what I eat.Hope it helps you.

Mahendra Patel
Mahendra Patel 5pts

I Though This May Help all M y Friends With Acid Reflux, Or may Be Not, I sam Nota Doctor.

Linda Gatlin
Linda Gatlin 5pts

Had it for years nothing helps as far as I'm concerned just be cautious of what you eat and drink THIS SUCKS

Ayurveda 5pts

Dinesh Patel Thanks for sharing! :)

Dinesh Patel
Dinesh Patel 5pts

As noted avoiding coffee tomatoes chocolate ( after evening ) and chewing gum I am free from this reflux ( it does occur but may be once in 10 days )

Mj Sinogo
Mj Sinogo 5pts

i start having my GERD since 2009 and i already tried 3 times medication since then but still same after a few months or year,and i experience already suffering from severe heartburn, its so hard really, i tried so many different kind of natural supplement and drugs that advise by my doctor but nothing change until i tried drinking pure stabilized forever aloe vera gel, it amazed me a lot cos its the only one who make me feel better until now.

Ajit Mungi
Ajit Mungi 5pts

I am having antacid first in the morning last 4 years. Can't help.

Jessie Sinogo
Jessie Sinogo 5pts

hi sir. u should try forever aloe vera gel..

Junaid Cheema
Junaid Cheema 5pts

Me, suffering from GERD since 2 decades, any best tips for get rid of it

Christine Aryal
Christine Aryal 5pts

I hate the worse condition og Gerd. Ditched meds and switched to diluted apple cider vinegar. Within a month I was totally cured!

Joseph Solomon
Joseph Solomon 5pts

Very interesting article...conveys lot of small things which we ignore

Ankit Parikh
Ankit Parikh 5pts

I got sinusitis and I always feel there is some cough around throat area. I think it should be sinusitis, but not sure if it is reflux. Is there an easy to way find it out (I don't feel burning, but I do get quite a few burps).

AnilKotian 5pts

try  giving up farsan gathiya and other gujju foods.

Jay Jankord
Jay Jankord 5pts

Real simple! After you eat add some vinegar pills to increase the acid and it will close the sphincter and avoid excessive liquids during and after a meal.