I have not made any recent changes to my diet, but I’m having heartburn and acid reflux after I eat.
Q. Dear Terry, “I have not made any recent changes to my diet, but I’m having heartburn and acid reflux after I eat. I am not a fan of prescription medications and would like to try some natural options instead.” — Jimmie R., Sparks, NV
A. Dear Jimmie, While the conventional approach to treating acid reflux involves acid-blocking medications, I believe there are natural options that are safer and more effective. In fact, one of the primary causes of acid reflux is inflammation and not producing enough stomach acid. Other triggers of acid reflux include eating before bed, fried or spicy foods, infections, alcohol, caffeine, chronic stress, and smoking. So modifying your diet and lifestyle can also greatly reduce your occurrence of acid reflux. In addition to these changes, I believe there are natural medicines that can help.
Two of my favorite ingredients for acid reflux are d-limonene and sea buckthorn oil – they both can greatly improve digestive function. Sea buckthorn has been clinically studied for healing ulcers and other gastric lining inflammation that can also cause heartburn, and d-limonene has been studied for GERD. Both are also very soothing to the mucosa of the digestive tract. I recommend taking these two ingredients 2-3 times daily. Make sure the sea buckthorn you choose features both the seed and pulp oil to receive the full benefits of this plant. Be patient, as it may take a month or two to see improvements.
You may also want to consider adding in deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL). DGL is a powerful antioxidant, works as an antimicrobial agent, and helps reduce inflammation. The DGL I recommend is standardized to at least 3.5% glabridin and greater than 10% flavonoids. I would take DGL once or twice per day.
Lastly, I think human strain probiotics would be very beneficial. I prefer probiotics that have a long history of human use, like Lactobacillus plantarum, Lactobacillus rhamnosus, and Bifidobacterium bifidum. I would take these with each meal.
Terry . . . Naturally