Acid reflux describes a condition where partly digested food in the stomach mixed with digestive juices, namely hydrochloric acid, backs up into the esophagus through the esophageal sphincter. In this condition the sphincter has become lax and is unable to do its job of holding the top of the stomach closed to prevent the backup of food. The condition has numerous symptoms, mainly burning pain, belching, bloating and erosion of the esophageal lining due to exposure to acids. Acid reflux can be eliminated through dietary and lifestyle changes, and there are several excellent, inexpensive treatments you can do at home to find the result you're looking for--relief from heartburn pain.
How to Neutralize Acid Reflux
Drink baking soda and water in a light dilution to neutralize acids in the stomach and eliminate heartburn. Dr. Theodore A. Baroody explains in his book "Alkalinize or Die" how baking soda works to change the pH of stomach acids. Bicarbonate is one of the naturally occurring digestive juices secreted from the pancreas, and adding a little more by way of drinking baking soda and water complements the digestive process.
Mix ½ teaspoon baking soda with 8 ounces of water and drink slowly for heartburn relief during an attack, according to a suggestion at Drugs.com.
Drink a baking soda and water cocktail with each meal to aid digestion and prevent acid reflux. The taste is just slightly salty if mixed as recommended. It shouldn't interfere with the taste of food.
Drink a glass of the baking soda-water mix before bedtime. According to Dr. Baroody, the body becomes more acidic during the night and the baking soda will help prevent this from occurring, making it easier for you to sleep.
Prepare a glass of baking soda and water in the middle of the night if you wake up experiencing reflux pain. Drink only a few sips for relief and leave the glass out for another drink if necessary.
Sleep with an acid reflux wedge pillow to elevate the upper portion of your body, helping to prevent acid from backing up into the esophagus during sleep.
Avoid drinking milk and dairy products, says nutritionist Gloria Tsang of HealthCastle.com. This is one of the most important food groups to eliminate from you diet. Most people feel better when they initially take milk or dairy during an attack of reflux, but these products offer relief for only a few minutes, then stimulate the stomach to produce more acid in a dangerous feedback loop that further aggravates the overall condition.
Things You'll Need
You should consume no more than 2 teaspoons of baking soda total per day. During severe reflux flareup you can take up to 3 teaspoons of baking soda per day but for no more than three days at a time.
Baking soda can raise the blood pressure, so those with hypertension need to be cautious using this product. Speak to your doctor for specific dosage recommendations that apply to your case.
The information offered here is for educational purposes and is not meant to replace medical advice.