How I Cured My Acid Reflux Naturally
How I Cured My Acid Reflux Naturally
Where it all started
I remember being as young as the age of 6 and complaining that “I kept throwing up a little bit in my mouth”. My mom brushed it off, thinking I was being dramatic as always, but that pain was real - and continued to cause damage to my stomach and esophagus as a grew older.
I started having really bad health problems around the age of 12, food sensitivities, migraines, the works. Finally around age 15 we decided to see a GI specialist who did an Endoscopy (sticking a camera down your throat) and found that my entire stomach lining and esophagus was inflamed and scarred. I was still out of it when he came into my room, but from my understanding the doctor asked about my stress level and prescribed an acid blocker, without gathering any more info. I didn’t give it much thought and I started taking a prescription version of Zantac daily.
The next week I felt great and was STARVING, it’s a miracle what reduced inflammation can do to you! I continued to take these medications everyday for almost 4 years. If I missed a dose I would literally feel like death. My throat would be on fire and I would get sick if I tried to eat anything. After follow up visits with GIs they kept upping my dose and changing prescriptions “because my body got used to it”. But it baffled my mind that my body, which was created by a perfect being - our Heavenly Father - could not fight this on its own. Acid blockers AT MOST should only be used for 2 weeks - it says that right on the bottle, yet I had been taking them for years! In my mind I thought these were supposed to heal my body so I didn’t have acid reflux anymore, but it was simply masking my pain.
I was sick and tired of them and wanted another option. I went in for a second Endoscopy at age 19 with a new GI and my tests came back completely normal!!! If it was completely normal why did I feel like I was breathing fire if I missed a dose?!
So I decided to turn to natural remedies. I hated being dependent on prescriptions that seemed to be doing more harm to my daily life than good. Today I can honestly tell you that I do not take prescriptions daily, and I only take a Zantac every once in a while if it gets bad (like any other American). Here’s a list of the things I tried that helped me kick those prescriptions for good. If you’ve tried (failed or succeeded) drop your tips in the comments to help others!
How I got rid of my acid reflux:
I didn’t go cold turkey at first
The day I decided I was through I didn’t just stop taking my meds. I wanted to slowly take the dose down. So I started by taking just half a dose. I would do that for a few days and if it was unbearable I would take the full dose. After a week or so I was good on half a dose so I started doing some of the things below to transition. Then after a week or two with multiple remedies I cut out the prescription all together. Don’t go cold turkey! You’ll shock your system and potentially cause more damage than good!
2. Avoid high acidic/fatty foods
Obviously during this transition you shouldn’t eat salsa or anything that would normally give you (or any American) heartburn. Avoid those foods and sick to a warm, simple diet - like soup. I recommend staying about from raw veggies (lettuce was a huge no-no for me) because they can actually be pretty rough on your stomach lining. If you like veggies try steaming them first, it'll help your body digest them. Lay low for a few weeks and if a food triggers some pain, avoid it. You should be able to eat regular in a few weeks, so just avoid them for a moment. Know your body, listen to your body, and do what’s best for it.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar Shots
You may have heard how amazing Apple cider vinegar is! If not, it’s honestly incredible. I started drinking 8oz of WARM water with a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar and some honey every morning and night or as needed. My GI recommended warm water because it’s more soothing than cold. You can drink it as a tea or just get it over with as quickly as possible if you’re like me. It does not taste amazing. I’ll tell you that. But give it at least 5 tries before you give up. It gets to be bearable I promise. The honey really helps with the taste, but it takes a few minutes to dissolve in the water. I found this was very soothing but only for an hour or so. Sometimes I would shake it up in a water bottle and sip it whenever I could feel the heat rising. I drank it in the morning and night for a few months, but carried a bottle with me while transitioning off my acid blockers. It’s not pleasant, but it works. Apple cider vinegar is an anti inflammatory so it will help soothe your stomach and esophagus lining leading to relief.
4. Slippery Elm
This one was WAY weird, but the supplement that I alway recommend to people with Acid Reflux. I have no idea why it works - but it totally does. It’s basically a natural acid blocker so I used it in transition to help me survive, plus I’m all about that plant based life! What I would do is take 1-2 slippery elm capsules when I started feeling my acid reflux coming. It was an on demand type thing. I used this during my last week on my prescription, and then solely this and Apple cider vinegar for about two weeks. Then I would just use this when needed beyond that.
What I found was those 4 week of transition SUCKED, but every day was a little more manageable, and before I knew it - I didn’t wake up with acid reflux, foods didn’t give me heartburn, and all my other acid reflux symptoms were gone! It takes dedication to do this, but if you’re sick of prescriptions and want a life free of acid reflux, I recommend giving it a try. Your body will heal itself, but you HAVE to get off those prescriptions. What I found is these remedies helped me manage the pain during the transition, but in the end my body healed itself.
If you have questions feel free to drop them in the comments, reach out to me on social media, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org! I’d love to chat with you and support you on this journey!