Acid Reflux


Acid reflux is an ailment that causes burning pain, known as heartburn in the lower chest region. It occurs when acid flows back from the stomach into the esophagus. It is diagnosed as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) when acid reflux happens more than twice a week.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease

Common symptoms of acid reflux disease are:

  • Heartburn: a burning pain and discomfort that may move from your stomach to the abdomen, chest, or throat.
  • Regurgitation: a sour or bitter-tasting acid is coming up into your throat or mouth.

Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include:

  • Bloating
  • Bloody or black stools
  •  Bloody vomiting
  • Burping
  • Dysphagia – The sensation of food being stuck in your throat
  • Hiccups that don’t let up
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat

What Causes Acid Reflux Disease?

One of the common causes of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. It occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates the stomach from the chest. Usually, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our gut. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into the esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.

These are other common risk factors for acid reflux disease:

  • Pregnancy
  • Prolonged smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Eating snakes close to bedtime
  • Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal
  • Eating a heavy meal and lying on the back or bending over at the waist
  • Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
  • Eating certain foods, such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty food
  • Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications

Ayurvedic treatment for Acid reflux

Ayurveda recommends avoiding foods that exacerbate the symptoms of acid reflux, especially foods that aggravate Pitta. It also provides herbs and herbal remedies that improve digestion and help treat acid reflux.

Herbs for Acid reflux

  • Amla (Emblica Officinalis): Amla helps balance the acidic pH level of the stomach and helps rejuvenate the gut.
  • Saunf (Foeniculum Vulgare): It acts as an appetizer and digestive, improving appetite and digestion.
  • Chitraka (Plumbago Zeylanica): It helps to remove accumulated toxins from the body.
  • Giloy (Tinospora Cordifolia): It balances the secretion of digestive juices and improves metabolism.
  • Pippali (Piper longum): It acts as an appetizer and catalyst.

How Is Acid Reflux Disease Diagnosed?

It’s time to see your doctor if you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if medications don’t bring lasting relief. Symptoms such as heartburn are the key to diagnosing acid reflux disease, especially if lifestyle changes, antacids, or acid-blocking medications help reduce these symptoms.

If these steps don’t help or have frequent or severe symptoms, your doctor may order tests to confirm a diagnosis and check for other problems. You may need one or more tests such as these:

  • Barium swallow (esophagram) can check for ulcers or a narrowing of the esophagus. You first swallow a solution to help structures show up on an X-ray.
  • Esophageal manometry can check the function and movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter.
  • pH monitoring can check for acid in your esophagus. The doctor inserts a device into the esophagus and leaves it in place for 1 to 2 days to measure the acid amount in the esophagus.
  • Endoscopy can check for problems in your esophagus or stomach. This test involves inserting a long, flexible, lighted tube with a camera down your throat. First, the doctor will spray the back of your throat with an anesthetic and give you a sedative to make you feel more comfortable.
  • A biopsy may be taken during endoscopy to check tissue samples under a microscope for infection or abnormalities.

Herbal Remedies for Acid reflux

Gopal Ayurvedic Center offers effective herbal remedies made purely from ayurvedic herbs and plants, providing effective results. These remedies are safe to use for acid reflux and have no side effects. These herbal formulations are Acigone Tablets, Mahashank Vati, Arq Livo Care.

Dietary Guidelines

Food to add to your diet:

  • Vegetables: Potato, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, green beans, peas, cucumber.
  • Fruits: Fresh apples, watermelons, bananas, pineapples, etc.
  • Spices: Basil leaves, mint, licorice, aloe juice, asparagus, etc.
  • Other: Drink at least ten glasses of water, herbal tea without caffeine, low-fat milk, oatmeal, etc.

Food to remove from your diet:

  • All non-veg should be avoided
  • Vegetables: Onion, Garlic
  • Fruits: Citrus Fruits (in excess), orange, lemon
  • Spices: Chilies, Ajwain seeds (in excess)

Lifestyle changes

You can manage the symptoms of acid reflux by changing your lifestyle also.

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Do not go to bed with a full stomach. Do not eat for 3 to 4 hours before going to bed.
  • To reduce the symptoms of reflux at bedtime, raise the head of your bed four to six inches.
  • Do not overeat. Eat small portions at meals or eat four to five small meals instead of three large ones.
  • Avoid alcohol and smoking.
  • Eat slowly and take time to chew every bite of food.
  • Stay straight for at least two hours after eating.
  • Avoid wearing tight clothes.