Are you tired of eating antacids like candy? Do you “feel the burn” even when you’re not in the gym? If so, you are probably suffering from acid reflux. Medical types have now named it GERD, or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.

No matter what you call it, it can be a painful and disruptive condition and is an indication from the body that your digestive system is not functioning properly. Since good digestion and nutrition are the foundation of good health, it is important to listen to this message and heal the underlying problem, rather than cover up the symptoms with prescription or OTC drugs.

I Had The Worst Acid Reflux EVER

Before I learned how to care for my digestive system, I suffered from a great number of health problems related to poor digestion and nutritional deficiency. Acid reflux was a constant, painful sign that I needed to heal, but at the time I did not recognize the message.

At that time, I would not have dreamt of going to bed without my nightly Gaviscon and swigged Pepto as if it were Snapple. Sometimes the bouts of acid reflux were so severe, I would have to sleep sitting up in a chair or be awakened by the burning in my chest and throat. It was no fun!

Thankfully, I healed my digestive issues with a combination of strategies, including:

1. Re-acidifying my stomach (sounds counter-intuitive, but stay with me on this)
2. Consuming probiotic foods and fermented beverages like kombucha and kefir
3. Eliminating gluten from my diet
4. Addressing chronic stress and my emotional health

Do you want to learn how to cure your acid reflux naturally like I did? Read on for the details.

What Are The Symptoms of Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux tends to cause a burning sensation in the esophagus, pain in the stomach and a sour taste in the mouth. The symptoms tend to get worse when you lie down. Though it can be very uncomfortable, acid reflux is not an incurable disease; it is a condition that is easily reversed with simple changes in your diet and lifestyle.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

One of the main causes of acid reflux is a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the ring of muscle that keeps the stomach contents in the stomach. When this sphincter is too weak to close properly, acid and partially digested food in your stomach backs up or 'refluxes' into the esophagus, creating the telltale burn.

Another surprising cause of acid reflux is a lack of stomach acid. You heard correctly; acid reflux can be caused by a LACK of stomach acid!

How is that possible, you ask? You may be surprised to learn this, but the stomach is supposed to be a very acidic environment, with fluid ranging in pH from about 1.5 to 3.5. Unfortunately, stomach acid production drops off with age and can be blocked at any time by certain foods and medications.

In fact, many people suffer from chronic hypochlorhydria, or low stomach acid, and don’t even know it. Even worse, they may assume that they are experiencing digestive discomfort because they have too much, and then take medications that block or reduce stomach acid, greatly exacerbating the problem.

Without enough acid, your stomach cannot properly break down your meals and so the food stays in your stomach too long, triggering digestive issues such as acid reflux and a wide variety of other health problems.

Why is Stomach Acid So Important?

Stomach acid is vital for breaking down foods and deriving nutrients from them. It is particularly important for the digestion of protein foods and a lack of acid can cause some people to lose the taste for meat because they simply cannot digest it.

Besides ensuring the absorption of nutrients from your food, stomach acid also kills off unwanted bacteria and parasites in the food you eat. If you don’t have enough acid, disease-causing bacteria such as h. pylori can survive and grow in the GI tract. If h. pylori is given a favorable environment (low acid), it can set up shop in your stomach and cause the protective mucous lining to thin, eventually bringing pain, burning or even an ulcer.

You may now see that the pain and discomfort in your belly may not be from excess acid; you may simply be lacking the protective mucous lining your stomach needs.

How Can I Get Rid of Acid Reflux Naturally?

Like any health condition, acid reflux is a messenger that something has gone awry with your diet and/or lifestyle. Don’t shoot the messenger! Heed what it has to say and address the root of the problem rather than covering the symptoms with medications.

Here are 10 tips on how to cure acid reflux naturally:

1. Drink a glass of water 1/2 hour before your meals. Your stomach needs adequate water to create the mucosal lining that protects it from its own acid. If you are dehydrated, the mucous thins and you feel the pain.

2. Take ACV. If you get acid reflux daily, add 2-3 teaspoons of Bragg's organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) to your pre-meal glass of water. It will help acidify your stomach and fight off h. pylori bacteria.

3. Lay off the bread. Gluten in wheat products inhibits stomach acid production and is a favorite food of disease-causing bacteria. Whether you are allergic to gluten or not, it can still interfere with digestion.

4. Put down the Rolaids. OTC or prescription antacids may temporarily block symptoms, but they only make the root problem worse in the long run as they over-alkalize the stomach, inviting an h. pylori infection and interfering with digestion.

5. Balance your bacteria. Beneficial bacteria known as probiotics can actively fight off pathogenic bacteria such as h. pylori and greatly aid digestion. Good ways to get more probiotics are to eat cultured vegetables like kimchee and miso and drink fermented beverages such as kombucha and kefir. I have found probiotic foods and drinks to be much more effective than most probiotic pills.

6. Stop smoking. As if there weren't already 100 good reasons to quit, nicotine weakens the muscle tone of your LES, setting you up for endless acid reflux regardless of other dietary changes.

7. Avoid triggers. Certain trigger foods and beverages, including chocolate, peppermint, fried foods, coffee or alcoholic beverages, may weaken the LES. While you are healing your condition, avoid triggers until you feel your acid reflux has resolved, then slowly add them back to your diet one at a time (if desired). If your symptoms return, you will need to avoid that particular trigger food or beverage for a while longer, perhaps indefinitely.

8. Skip the mealtime beverages. Drinking a big glass of liquid with a meal dilutes your stomach acid and digestive enzymes, setting you up for acid reflux and other digestive woes. The best time to drink your water is 30 minutes before a meal. Limit your mealtime liquid consumption to about 4 ounces and make it a fermented beverage, if possible.

9. Take a deep breath. The human stress response shunts blood away from the digestive tract to the limbs in preparation for “fight or flight”. Though we don't usually have to fight or flee from lions and tigers and bears anymore, our bodies still shift into this same mode in response to the chronic stress many of us experience each day. When we sit down for a meal in this stressed state, digestion is greatly impaired. Taking deep, slow belly breaths at mealtime shifts your nervous system into "rest and digest" mode, thus redirecting blood flow to the digestive tract where it is needed most.

10. Pop a pill. A Betaine Hydrochloride (Betaine HCl) pill, that is. This cheap and readily available supplement helps to bolster the acid level in your stomach. If your digestion has been out of balance for a long time, you may benefit from taking Betaine HCl with meals containing heavy protein foods. I personally used an HCl supplement to help balance my system when I first went gluten-free and found it very helpful.

These simple, natural cures for acid reflux can begin to bring symptomatic relief immediately. Over time, these healthy habits will help your GI tract heal and function more optimally, bringing many benefits in all facets of your health.

Author's Bio: 

Carisa Holmes is a holistic health advocate, Reiki practitioner and author based in the Powell area of Columbus, Ohio. Carisa has worked in the holistic health and natural beauty fields for nearly 10 years.

Through overcoming a plethora of personal health issues and working with clients, Carisa has developed a clear understanding of the functions of the physical body as well as the more subtle layers of the human energy field.

In her practice, Carisa helps empower people to move toward higher levels of wellness. Using tools such as whole food, natural skin care and powerful yet gentle Reiki energy healing, Carisa helps clients lose weight without starving themselves, heal sickness and injury, increase energy levels and feel more calm, happy and alive.

Carisa is very grateful for the many things she has learned and is eager to share them with others. Carisa writes a health and wellness column for GrapeVine Columbus Diversity News Source and maintains a private practice in the Powell/Columbus, Ohio area.

To contact Carisa about how you can heal yourself naturally, visit or email directly at