Have you ever eaten a good meal, but suffered a burning sensation that attacks the center of the chest? Doesn’t it take the fun out of enjoying your favorite foods? This irritating condition is called Acid Reflux, which occurs when the contents of your stomach (with acid) backs up into the esophagus. But, eating is not the only time acid reflux occurs. Bending over, exercising, or lying down at night may trigger heartburn, which is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux.
Table of Contents
- What is Acid Reflux?
- Causes of Acid Reflux
- Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
- Acid Reflux Prevention
What is Acid Reflux?
When it comes to acid reflux, there are three terms you may encounter, which are often used interchangeably to describe this condition. They include:
a) Acid Reflux:
The transfer of acid from the stomach to the esophagus characterizes this condition. The acid is responsible for the digestion of food and is not harmful when it remains in the stomach. Problems arise when the acid escapes the stomach, and can increase in severity when left untreated.
When acid reflux occurs, a burning sensation is felt. Heartburn is an indication that the acid has reached the lining of the esophagus.
c) Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): 
When you experience heartburn for two or more times per week, you may have the chronic condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. When the esophagus sustains damage from continuous acid reflux, you might be diagnosed with GERD, which is often referred to as acid reflux disease.
When it comes to acid reflux, a wide-range of symptoms beyond heartburn is attributed to this irritating physical condition. The symptoms of acid reflux can also persist or occur on a frequent basis. Additional symptoms of acid reflux includes:
This symptom creates a sour or bitter taste that develops in the back of the throat. An individual may also belch in the process.
b) Feeling Too Full:
Acid reflux sufferers may experience a feeling of fullness before they complete their meal. Bloating may also accompany this symptom.
Individuals experiencing acid reflux may feel nauseous and may also vomit.
Chronic chest pain is a common symptom associated with acid reflux.
e) Symptoms in Children:
Younger sufferers experiencing acid reflux may exhibit uncontrollable crying; food refusal; bad breath; and vomiting.
Causes of Acid Reflux
There are plenty of food and drink-related factors that cause acid reflux to occur. Below you will find some of the reasons why this irritating condition develops:
The increased pressure on the stomach, as well as hormonal changes cause pregnant women to experience acid reflux. For some, this condition may unfortunately occur on a daily basis.
b) Underdeveloped Digestive Systems:
In babies, immature digestive systems cause of acid reflux in the young. While most infants are able to shake the condition by their first birthday, some children continue to suffer from acid reflux as a teenager.
c) Large Meals:
When you eat until you have an overly full stomach, the extra pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter has the potential to cause acid reflux.
Coffee, tea, hot cocoa, and chocolate contain caffeine and other ingredients, which promote the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. These food and drink items cause the esophageal sphincter muscle to relax, allowing stomach acid to escape.
e) Fried and Fatty Foods:
When consuming these types of foods, digestion slows down, which keeps the food in the stomach for a longer period of time. Stomach pressure also increases.
Those who consume alcohol increase their chances of acid reflux because the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes. This allows the contents of the stomach to seep into the esophagus.
g) Additional Foods and Drinks:
Tomatoes and products containing acidity are known to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which allows acid reflux to occur. Citrus fruits and juices also have the same effect.
Home Remedies for Acid Reflux
There are plenty of acid reflux home remedies to consider when heartburn and an upset stomach arise. While some treatments can be found in your refrigerator or freezer, others reside at your local health food store. Below you will find a wide-range of suggestions to consider:
a) Ginger Root:
Instead of drinking plain water with meals, add a little cumin, which helps to stop the formation of gas in the stomach.
c) Vanilla Ice Cream:
A sweet treat to relieve symptoms of heartburn includes a cup of vanilla ice cream  that is said to do the trick.
d) Fat Free Milk:
Alternative medication for acid reflux treatment doesn’t have to include drugs. Drinking small amounts of chilled skim milk every one to two hours will ease the burning sensation associated with acid reflux.
Prepare an infusion or tincture made from fennel, which can be used to combat cramping pains.
f) Lemon Balm:
This herb has the homeopathic power to relax and sedate a nervous stomach when used as an infusion or tincture.
A nervous stomach and nausea can be treated when you add 15 grams of dried peppermint to 2 cups of water to create an effective infusion recipe. New mothers should refrain from this approach when breastfeeding because this remedy has been known to reduce milk flow.
h) Apple Cider Vinegar:
Vinegar, especially the apple cider variety has been known to ease acid reflux. Many individuals take an apple cider vinegar pill once per day to solve symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. Some people drink vinegar mixed with honey as a treatment as well.
Acid Reflux Prevention
There are a few ways to avoid acid reflux from occurring by following a few preventive measures. Below you will find the kind of habits you may want to incorporate into your daily lifestyle:
a) Body Position:
Keeping an upright posture after eating a meal may help prevent acid reflux. Raising your head about six inches will also allow gravity to influence the contents within your stomach.
b) Meal Sizes and Times:
Eating smaller meals will reduce your chances of suffering from acid reflux. If you eat your meals at least 3-4 hours before going to sleep, as well as avoiding bedtime snacks, you will be able to thwart the symptoms of acid reflux.
c) Food Choices:
Some of the foods that you eat contain ingredients or substances that may irritate the esophagus or weaken the sphincter that can lead to acid reflux. Peppermint, chocolate, tomatoes, grapefruit, oranges, fatty foods, and alcohol all contribute to lower esophageal sphincter problems.
Not only will quitting smoking improve your overall health, but it also eliminates one of the many factors that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter.
Try wearing loose belts and clothing to eliminate unnecessary stomach pressure.
f) Weight Management:
Individuals with a healthy weight avoid the abdominal pressure known to cause acid reflux.