Best Natural Remedies for Healing Esophagus Damage After Acid Reflux

Hydrochloric acid is produced inside the stomach to aid in digestion, a process through which the food you eat is broken down into the different component nutrients. However, some people suffer from recurrent acid reflux where stomach acids travel up to the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. While some conventional treatments are recommended for this condition, it is advisable to seek for a long term solution. Besides medical treatment, why not also try natural treatment options. This discussion explores ways how to heal esophagus naturally.

How Acid Reflux Damages the Esophagus and Possible Complications

How GERD May Damage the Esophagus

The acid regurgitation (the burning sensation you feel during heartburn) can lead to a condition called esophagitis. Esophagitis is characterized by inflammation of the esophagus that often leads to ulcers, scar tissue, erosions, and difficulty in swallowing that cause pain and discomfort and even more acid regurgitation.

The condition can be diagnosed by your doctor by conducting an upper endoscopy and biopsy. Treatment begins immediately once the diagnosis is conclusive and you test positive for esophagitis.

Complications of Untreated GERD and Esophagitis

GERD should be treated immediately it is suspected. When left untreated GERD and esophagitis will corrode the esophagus further causing damage such as:

  • Esophageal stricture – this is narrowing of the esophagus caused by scar tissues from the effects of GERD. This constriction causes a great deal of pain and difficulty in swallowing and sometimes food is caught in the throat. This poses a great health risk and needs treatment as soon as possible.
  • Esophageal rings–these are rings formed from abnormal folding of the tissue in the lining of the esophagus. These rings can constrict the esophagus causing difficulty in swallowing.
  • Barrett’s esophagus–this is a condition resulting from damage of the cells in the esophagus overtime. This damage causes the cells in the esophagus to become similar to the cells in the stomach lining. The condition usually has no symptoms and poses a risk of esophageal cancer.

The above conditions can be prevented through treatment of GERD.

How to Heal Esophagus After Acid Reflux

Losing Weight

You may wonder what body weight has to do with the esophagus. Well, excess weight puts pressure on the abdomen and can cause release of excess stomach acids (leakage). It also increases the likelihood of acid regurgitation. Tight pieces of clothing also have the same effect on the stomach and it is recommend wearing loose fitting clothing and avoiding sitting positions that can put pressure on the belly. Aim to lose excess body weight to avoid this problem.

Raising the Head of Your Bed

Another way how to heal esophagus naturally is by elevating your upper body by upto eight inches when lying down. This position helps to keep the stomach acids down and prevents acid reflux. Also avoid eating just before going to bed. Leave a time allowance of at least three hours between your last meal of the day and bedtime.

Watching What You Take and Stop Smoking

There are certain foods that trigger acid reflux and should therefore be avoided. To help you find your trigger, it may help to keep a food diary. Fatty foods, spicy foods, dairy products, chocolate and fizzy drinks are known to trigger acid regurgitation and is best to avoid them when treating esophagitis.

NSAID drugs such as ibuprofen, aspirin and naxopren also lead to acid reflux and should be avoided altogether. Smoking should be avoided completely because it weakens the lower sphincter muscles of the esophagus which may lead to GERD.

Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPIs aid in the healing of GERD related symptoms by inhibiting the secretion of stomach acids. PPIs can be acquired over the counter at pharmacies at recommended dosage of once-a-day administration for up to two weeks. PPIs can be found with familiar brand names such as lansoprazole, esomeprazole and esomeprazole. Please note that prolonged use of PPIs is discouraged because it may lead to depletion of magnesium, causing bone fractures, convulsions and irregular heartbeats.

Other Medications

There are other medications that help alleviate the problem of acid reflux. Such drugs include H2 inhibitors which help neutralize histamine (a chemical that facilitates acid secretion). H2 inhibitors can be bought over-the-counter and have familiar brand names such as Zantac and Pepcid. H2 inhibitors are cheaper than PPIs and effective against mild cases of GERD. Pregnant women should only take H2 inhibitors following consultations with their doctors. Anti-acids also help with acid reflux and are a good option for how to heal esophagus naturally.

Surgery

Surgery is an option for treatment for GERD when other methods fail to resolve the issue. The Nissen Fundoplication is a surgery that involves coiling the top of the abdomen on the lower section of esophagus so as to prevent acid reflux. This surgery is recommended for patients with constricted esophagus, inflamed esophagus and children who have difficulty in gaining or maintaining their weight.

Some Natural Remedies You Can Try

Try Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to balance acid production in the stomach in addition to neutralizing the stomach acid. This is because acetic acid is much weaker than hydrochloric acid. Therefore don’t worry about aggravating the situation.

  • Mix one teaspoon of honey, one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and a glass of water and drink preferably half an hour to one hour before meals.
  • Use apple cider vinegar as a natural salad dressing and enjoy the fantastic taste.

Drink Water Mixed with Baking Soda

Another method how to heal esophagus naturally, is to use baking soda. Because baking soda is a base, it neutralizes the acidity in the belly. Mix half a teaspoon of baking soda with a glass of water and drink the mixture. Avoid consuming too much of it because it contains a high amount of sodium which is ultimately not good for acid reflux.

Try Aloe Vera Juice

Aloe vera juice is one of the few natural remedies approved by the FDA for treating esophagus naturally. Aloe vera contains glycoproteins which help reduce irritation and inflammation on the esophagus. It also contains polysaccharides which help in tissue repair on the esophagus walls.

  • Drink aloe vera juice thirty minutes before meals on an empty stomach.
  • Be cautioned that aloe vera juice is also a known laxative.

Drink Ginger Tea with Honey

Ginger tea with honey will help relieve symptoms of GERD because ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory while honey will protect the esophagus from irritation.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Chewing on sugar free gum will increase the production of saliva and help neutralize the stomach acids. This will also aid in excreting the excess acid.

Try Licorice

For hundreds of years, the root of licorice has been used in food and for its medicinal properties. Use of licorice is another method to heal esophagus naturally. Besides the root, licorice is found it tablet form that is chewed for about half an hour to protect the lining of the stomach walls and prevent acid reflux. Licorice also helps improve blood circulation in the gastrointestinal tract as well as stimulate secretion of mucous to protect the stomach lining.

 
 
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