Reflux is an annoying problem that, in addition, can cause damage to the esophagus, so it is important to treat it in time.
Its full name is gastroesophageal reflux and in popular slang it is known as gastric reflux; It occurs when stomach acid returns to the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach, that is, the esophagus. This reverse flow, known as acid reflux, can irritate the lining of the esophagus.
Currently, due to the modern rhythm of life that the intake of precooked, fried and fast foods brings, it causes a number of people to suffer from this condition, either from mild acid reflux, which occurs at least twice a week, or either moderate to severe acid reflux, which occurs at least once a week.
If you have ever suffered or it is starting to happen to you, then the following article could guide you in this matter.
We talk about some medicinal plants that could be used as an alternative to treat this ailment, but with the important condition that it is always under medical supervision. We also offer some interesting facts, so that you can get a little more in-depth knowledge about it.
Why does gastric reflux appear? ￼
When acids in the stomach pass through the esophageal sphincter and up the esophagus (for example, when vomiting) it causes pain under the breastbone and significant heartburn, especially in the throat. According to this study carried out by the Ramón y Cajal University Hospital in Madrid, gastric reflux can also be accompanied by:
- Expulsion of food (regurgitation)
In addition to the usual symptoms, if someone suffers from gastric reflux very often, they can begin to suffer asthma, hoarseness, cough attacks and a sore throat, as this research entitled: “Relationship between gastroesophageal reflux and diseases of the air: the paradigm of airway reflux ”.
Among the most common causes of gastric reflux is the weakening of the gastroesophageal sphincter, which is the valve that controls the passage of food between the esophagus and the stomach.
This kind of gate has the objective of opening or closing to allow or prevent the passage of food. When we eat something, it opens and closes automatically so that food cannot go the other way.
If the muscles in this door loosen, some of the stomach contents can return to the esophagus, causing burning and heartburn. There are factors that cause a weakening in the control valve:
- Hiatal hernia, which can be the cause of other problems as well, according to this study. made by the Spanish Journal of digestive diseases.
- Eat very fast
It is necessary to treat gastric reflux so that more serious complications such as an ulcer in the esophagus or the so-called Barret’s syndrome, a chronic irritation of the throat and esophagus due to the action of stomach acids, do not develop.
How can acid reflux be prevented and treated?
If it has happened to you once and you don’t want it to become a habit, pay attention to these tips :
Reduce portions and / or amounts of food
If your lunches, and especially dinners, are very heavy and full of fat, you are more likely to experience reflux. You must control what you eat. This research from the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin Hospital in Cuba suggests that increasing your water intake could be beneficial. So it is recommended to eat between 4 and 5 meals a day that are composed of regular portions and that obviously contain the necessary macronutrients for the body.
Don’t fall asleep immediately after eating
Both for naps and for night rest the same rule applies. Going to bed with a full stomach without having digested favors the appearance of reflux. For this reason, it is suggested to wait at least 1 hour sitting on a sofa or chair before going to sleep. Even without reading or without having to use the mobile.
Sleep with your head elevated
You can put more pillows or some studs on the legs at the head of the bed. If the head is below the level of the stomach, it is easier for the sphincter to open and let food and acids escape.
Avoid smoking and drinking coffee or alcoholic beverages
Tobacco attacks the stomach , damages the mucosa and relaxes the valve of the esophagus. With caffeine, the opposite occurs, since it stimulates the gate and does not allow it to relax and close properly. The same as with alcohol.
Maintain an adequate weight
Beyond aesthetics, it is always good to avoid obesity. The accumulation of fat in the abdomen puts more pressure on the stomach and consequently causes the esophageal sphincter to open. Several studies, such as the one carried out by the Department of Surgery of the Clinical Hospital of the University of Chile, affect the development of this pathology, associating it with morbid and / or severe obesity.
Avoid foods that promote reflux
To avoid and treat gastric reflux, eliminate the following processed foods from your diet :
- Butter, margarine, cream and creams
- Snacks or chips
- Red meat, hamburgers and sausages
- Cookies and pastries
Natural remedies to treat gastric reflux
Do not hesitate to consume the following foods and homemade recipes to try to alleviate your condition. However, despite the anti-inflammatory capabilities of many of them, there is no evidence to corroborate any kind of positive impact on this condition or those indicated below.
- 1 handful of raw almonds.
- 60 ml of aloe vera juice to reduce lesions in the esophagus.
- 1 glass of warm water with lemon on an empty stomach to balance heartburn.
- 1 red apple after a copious intake.
- 1 cup of chamomile or mint tea.
- 1 cup of ginger tea to protect the stomach and prevent ulcers.
- 1 cup of dandelion tea to aid digestion and prevent heartburn.
- 1 small pinch of turmeric in meals to improve the functioning of the digestive system.
- 1 tablespoon of marshmallow root dissolved in a glass of water to relieve stinging or burning of the esophagus.
- 1 bit of licorice after the meal to avoid digestive discomfort.