4 min read

Backstory: The truth behind over-the-counter and prescription strength antacids

One reason I started looking into alternative medicine was because when I first started having more severe episodes of pain and went to see a traditional medical doctor, there were two trends that happened.

1.  I usually had more than 1 pain symptom that overwhelmed doctors.  Rather than seeing all of them as related as my body was telling me, they mostly wanted me to give them my top problem.

2. They only seemed to treat symptoms.  Basically, no matter where I said my pain was, often times I was told to take ibuprofen.  The reason I went to see the doctors was because ibuprofen wasn’t really working.

Antacids Only Treat Symptoms…And Make Your Problem Worse

People often don’t realize that acid reflux and heartburn are a result of your body’s way of frantically producing more acid when you haven’t produced enough acid. (It’s your body’s way of correcting a past fault.)

I had a friend that was taking antacids as recommended by a doctor to help her with digestion.  The only problem was that instead of helping her, the antacids were stopping her body from digesting food. Literally, food was just sitting there and rotting in her stomach.  Thus, I have compiled a list of natural remedies and lifestyle changes that should help you with heartburn problems.

1. Chew sugar-free gum after a meal.

You want to avoid mint-flavored gum since mint relaxes the flap in your esophagus that prevents acid from flowing back up. However, chewing gum for 30 minutes after a meal helps releases more saliva into your digestive system to neutralize any excessive acid that might be bothering you.

2. Watch how you eat.

People who have acid reflux are advised to take smaller portions of meals and eat slower.  (To read my article about how not to overeat, click here.)  As mentioned previously, sometimes acid reflux is a result of your body not producing enough acid at the right time for you to digest something properly.  Then your body suddenly starts frantically producing more acids.

It is highly recommended that when you eat, you should not multi-task too much because you want to give your body time to “smell the food to release the acid”, which is kind of taking time to “smell the roses.”  For example, it may not be a good idea to always be eating while in front of a screen or TV, or while you are driving.  Here is also a video from an Alexander Technique instructor stating how acid reflux could be a manifestation of the fact that your organs are pressing tightly together.

Also, if you can, don’t eat 3 to 4 hours before bedtime.  Going to sleep on time is good as well since your body also digests food when it is at rest.

 3.  Avoid or reduce certain foods that trigger heartburn.

It’s very interesting that certain foods that are recommended on the candida diet (i.e. grapefruit, lemon, garlic, and onions) are also thought to trigger heartburn.  Other foods include very greasy foods, spicy foods, chocolate, etc.

It is probably a good idea to keep a list of what triggers your acid reflux.

4. Try apple cider vinegar, ginger root tea, or chamomile tea, DGL licorice supplements, and probiotics.

As there is a list of foods that may not be as good for you to eat, there is also a list of foods and beverages that may help positively.  For example, sipping apple cider vinegar (try  1-2 teaspoons of Bragg’s raw Apple Cider Vinegar diluted in water) may help while you eat.  (ACV is also great in fighting candida.)  Bananas also have antacid properties that help certain people, but for some, it may not help.  Some people also like deglycyrrhizinated licorice tablets. Probiotics like kefir help as well.

5. Lose weight, avoid tight-fitting clothes, and get adequate exercise.

Hopefully, as the spring weather warms up, this will be easier for everyone.  I am a naturally antsy person, so I enjoy taking frequent water breaks to the water fountain in between practicing or doing homework.

Spiritual Component

My chiropractor, who is a Christian-minded holistic practitioner, once told me that digestive problems are often triggered by stress, anxiety, rejection, and feelings of abandonment.  One thing I have learned in the past couple years is how we think can really affect our health.  (To read about how toxic thoughts can imprint physically into your brain, rest here.)

Proverbs 4:23: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.” 

Again, Alexander Technique is a great way to deal with acid reflux brought on by physical clenching. Read an article about this here from AT instructor Luke Ford.

Here is a great article from Touch of Life International Ministries about acid reflux.

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