Many people find that traditional treatment methods for GERD don't help their symptoms, or even make them worse. If you've been having trouble with your acid reflux symptoms, supplementing your diet and prescribed treatments with vitamins may help you.
Keep reading to get more information on vitamins for acid reflux and heartburn relief.
Acid reflux is also known as GERD, GER, heartburn, and acid indigestion. It refers to when the contents of the stomach, including stomach acid, flows backward and up your esophagus.
The most common symptoms of acid reflux and acid reflux disease is heartburn. Some people experience heartburn without having acid reflux or acid reflux disease, though. It helps to think of heartburn as a symptom, and of long-lasting, chronic heartburn as the disease itself.
Those suffering from GERD may also experience:
If left untreated, acid reflux disease can potentially lead to cancer. When the stomach acid burns the esophagus, this can lead to a condition called Barret's esophagus. Up to 10% of GERD patients end up with this condition, which can lead to esophageal cancer.
Untreated or uncontrolled GERD can also lead to esophageal damage, ulcers, and the narrowing of the esophagus.
There are a few steps you can take to help control and limit acid reflux and GERD symptoms.
Some medications can help acid reflux. The most common type is called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
These work by reducing the overall amount of stomach acid you produce, which can then reduce GERD symptoms. However, there are some risks with prolonged use including kidney damage, infection, and digestion issues.
Another common treatment involves changing your diet and lifestyle. Obesity and being overweight are risk factors for GERD that can make symptoms worse. Getting to a healthier weight can reduce symptoms.
Besides eating healthier, there are some foods you should avoid to help reduce symptoms. Stay away from acidic foods like tomatoes and citrus fruits. You should also try to avoid, or at least limit foods like:
Try to eat smaller meals more often instead of larger meals, as this can also trigger acid reflux symptoms. You should also avoid laying down after a meal.
Dietary choices have been shown to be as effective as medication for treating acid reflux and GERD patients.
Continuing with dietary changes, we have supplements and vitamins. Adding certain vitamins to your diet may help reduce symptoms of acid reflux and strengthen your body to overcome aspects of the disease.
One of the most studied supplements for acid reflux is vitamin B.
One research study took two groups of acid reflux patients. One group was given a supplement containing all of the major B vitamins (folic acid (vitamin B-9), vitamin B-12, vitamin B-6) and the other group was given a commonly prescribed PPI medication.
The study found that every patient in the B vitamin group stated their symptoms had faded, or completely gone away, after just 40 days taking the supplement. They also experience no adverse side effects.
The group taking the PPI didn't have the same success. Only 65% of them reported the same faded symptoms in the same time span, and many also reported significant side effects.
It's believed that one of the causes of GERD and acid reflux is because of the LES not working properly. What's the LES? LES stands for lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle is positioned where the stomach meets the esophagus.
When working properly, it opens to allow food into the stomach but shuts tight otherwise to keep the stomach acid contained. It's believed that acid reflux and GERD symptoms occur when the LES relaxes at the wrong times, which allows stomach acid to be regurgitated up the esophagus.
Taking supplements to strengthen LES muscles can help prevent the improper relaxation to prevent acid reflux. Vitamin D is one such supplement that can help to strengthen the LES.
What does this have to do with acid reflux? Cellular damage and stress caused by oxidation and free radicals can make acid reflux symptoms worse.
Studies where GERD patients take vitamins A and C supplements show that they can help manage and reduce overall symptoms.
Vitamin C is commonly found in citrus fruits, which should mostly be avoided by those suffering from acid reflux. The good news is vitamins C and A can both be consumed via vitamin supplements.
You can also get vitamin A from broccoli, egg yolks, kale, sweet potato, and other food sources.
Vitamin E, like vitamins A and C, is another powerful antioxidant. Another study showed that patients taking vitamin E supplements saw a reduction in their acid reflux symptoms.
You can either get vitamin E through a vitamin supplement, or you can consume it in dark green vegetables, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Chronic disorders like acid reflux and GERD can take a huge mental and physical toll on your life. Many other treatment methods don't work for everyone, and they can have some nasty side effects.
Supplementing your diet with vitamins for acid reflux can significantly reduce your symptoms. This can help you lead a more normal life without having to deal with constant discomfort, nausea, and pain that usually comes with acid reflux disease.
Need a reliable place to purchase vitamins and supplements? Check out our online store. We have a wide selection of all the vitamins you need to control your acid reflux symptoms.
Have questions? Want to share your experience with a particular vitamin, mineral, or other supplements? Feel free to leave a comment below!
* This information has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice or medical care of qualified healthcare professionals. The material provided herein is for educational purposes only. Results may vary by individual. You may not experience the potential benefits described in this blog.