Many people have discovered the value of sugar free chewing gum. The idea is simple. Straight after eating is the time that most acid reflux occurs. If you chew gum, you make saliva. This is a natural way of neutralising acid. As you swallow your saliva, you stop the acid burning your oesophagus because you push the saliva back down into the stomach.
Drinking a Glass of Milk
How about a nice simple idea? If you get reflux, drink a glass of milk. This will push the acid back down into the stomach where it belongs. It will also buffer and neutralise it at the same time. It is a good trick if you wake in the middle of the night and have nothing else to hand. It certainly works quickly and is generally better than a glass of water.
You are better off with fat-free skimmed milk. This is because fat slows down stomach emptying. Fat free milk does not. After eating, it is better for the stomach not to be too full. The fuller it is, the more the acid reflux will occur.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Some people still like to take bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate). This remedy has been around for many years and works to simply buffer the acid in your stomach. It fizzes and helps people to burp. Some people claim that burping makes them feel better.
There is an interesting piece of research on using Melatonin. Melatonin is a naturally produced hormone which helps people sleep. You can buy it as a food supplement.
Curiously, some people claim that it helps relieve heartburn. There is really very little research on this, but we have certainly met people who are absolutely certain that it has helped them. If you want to try melatonin, be aware that in some people has side effects and it might interact with other medicines you are already taking. (always read the label before taking any medicine or food supplement and discuss it with your doctor).
There are other home remedies available. Please go to our Facebook page and suggest the ones that work best for you. Or for more specialist dietary information please see our acid reflux diet page.