I Had Ridiculous Acid Reflux for a Year: Here's How I Fixed It (Without Drugs)

Amanda Montell
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About six years ago, seemingly overnight, I developed a case of acid reflux so unpleasant that I felt as though lava was perpetually bubbling up into my throat. Sorry, I know that's gross, but unfortunately, that is what it feels like to have the gastric contents of your stomach flow backward and up into your food pipe. Even more unfortunate, I am hardly the only one to have experienced this.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) affects 33% of Americans, most of whom treat the condition by popping over-the-counter antacid tablets like they're Tic Tacs. But according to Rebecca Lee, a New York City–based registered nurse and founder of the natural treatments site Remedies for Me, coming at your GERD with drugs can be a big mistake. With so many natural remedies for acid reflux, you shouldn't need to hit up the pharmacy.

"Acid reflux medications are among the world's top-selling drugs and account for billions of dollars in sales annually," Lee says. But consider this: "Antacids were never created to be given out like candy. Initially, they were prescribed for people who were suffering from severe ulcers." When folks with the type of acid reflux that I had take these blockers, they disrupt the natural stomach acid needed to digest properly, absorb vitamins and minerals, and keep harmful overgrowth of bacteria in check, Lee tells me.

A much better approach is to zero in on the underlying cause of your acid reflux and correct it. Personally, mine developed while I was studying abroad in college—aka, drinking too much alcohol and coffee and eating too late at night. These are all major causes of GERD, as is consuming too many spicy foods, citrus, and fibre. Smoking, sedentariness, and food sensitivities can also contribute.

Luckily, I was able to remedy my acid reflux with a few simple diet and lifestyle changes, and Lee says you can, too. With her help, plus the advice of Elizabeth Trattner, a doctor of Chinese and integrative medicine, we put together this list of nine natural remedies for acid reflux to try.

Bottom line? If you've got acid reflux, there are so many natural remedies to try before heading to the drugstore. These tips worked for me, and the experts are confident they will help you too.

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