Last week we talked about what can cause acid reflux, and this week we want to talk about some natural treatment for acid reflux.
Last week we hinted at improving the digestive process by starting from the beginning. To do this we suggest practising mindful eating. This means eating small meals, chewing your food very thoroughly and stopping as soon as you feel full. By doing this you will give the acid in your stomach a chance to digest the food without feeling overwhelmed. We call this mindful eating because it means putting your focus on your food, chewing, and digestion, rather than watching tv, chatting with people, playing with your phone, etc. When first starting to practice mindful eating, we suggest eating your meals on your own without any distractions so that you can put all your attention on your meal. Once you form mindful eating habits, then it will be easier to eat at social outings without experiencing acid reflux. This is the starting point for natural treatment for acid reflux – improving digestion.
It can be very hard to break the habit of eating too fast, so here are a couple of helpful tips: 1) put down your knife and fork after you’ve taken a bite of food. This breaks habits and makes you focus on eating slowly; 2) focus on really enjoying the food – focus on the flavour, and eat for the love of eating, and not just for sustenance; 3) if you can’t slow down, eat in small waves. Eat a little bit. Stop, give your body 5 or 10 minutes to rest, and then eat a bit more; and 4) don’t allow yourself to get over-hungry. This is when we tend to eat too fast and make bad food decisions. Always have a snack on hand.
Next, investigate whether you have SIBO that’s producing gas and causing acid reflux. Our naturopathic doctor can do a physical exam to assess if this is a problem, and if so, he can give you a treatment plan to address the SIBO and acid reflux.
Another important factor for digestion is stress. As mentioned in our post last week, when we are under stress our stomach will produce less stomach acid. And this will ultimately affect our digestion. Stress can be difficult to manage for some people, and this is where our Toronto naturopath can help out. There are many natural options he can recommend to help your body cope with stress and encourage great digestion.