Did you know that one in 10 Americans experience symptoms of heartburn at least once a week?
If chronic heartburn is left untreated, it can lead to a more serious condition, like gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
To prevent acid reflux, avoid triggers like:
*Certain supplements or medications
There are over-the-counter and prescription medications to help prevent and ease the symptoms of acid reflux. But for those who prefer a more natural approach, there are other solutions.
Natural remedies for heartburn include:
*Chewing gum – Chew a piece of sugar-free gum 30 minutes after eating, which can help wash away acid.
*Licorice – Experts say licorice has stomach-healing properties that can get to the root of the problem rather than just calming symptoms. But be careful – eating too much could have serious side effects.
*Baking soda – Mixing a half teaspoon into a glass of water can help neutralize stomach acid. But it shouldn’t be used for chronic heartburn because it’s high in salt.
*Slippery elm – Research suggests that adding a couple of tablespoons of this herb to a glass of water can help coat and protect the stomach.
*Aloe – This plant can reduce inflammation in the stomach. Some experts suggest drinking aloe juice, but use caution, because it can also be a laxative.
*Melatonin – Taking this supplement can help protect the digestive tract.
Many home remedies are not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, so consult with your doctor before trying any of them.
Dr. Manny Alvarez serves as Fox News Channel's senior managing health editor. He also serves as chairman of the department of obstetrics/gynecology and reproductive science at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. Click here for more information on Dr. Manny's work with Hackensack University Medical Center. Visit AskDrManny.com for more.