As one does when they write a book on a given subject, I did a significant amount of research for my 5-Ingredient Acid Reflux Cookbook.
The book is lovingly presented below, by the way:
Unfortunately due to word count constraints, not all of my research made it into the final version.
While that kind of is a shame for me as the author, it is awesome news for YOU because it means I get to share some of that cool stuff here today!
Alternative Approaches to GERD Management
Are you the type of person that is intrigued by emerging science or new approaches to old issues?
Well, this article is for you.
If you want to learn more about the conventional, tried, tested and true GERD management strategies – you’ll want to read my previous post here.
In today’s article we will be exploring five alternative GERD/acid reflux management approaches which are certainly not considered conventional, but for which there is at least some evidence to suggest they may be promising avenues for future research.
Let’s take a look at what I found:
#1 Melatonin – Often thought of as the sleep hormone, melatonin is actually also a powerful antioxidant that may play a role in protecting the esophagus from damage. There is preliminary evidence, as discussed in this 2010 BMC Gastroenterology paper, to suggest that melatonin supplementation may ease heartburn symptoms in GERD sufferers. If you are curious about melatonin’s efficacy as a sleep aid, I’ve got a whole article on that topic as well.
#2 Probiotics – Given the strong scientific fascination with all things gut bacteria, it should come as no surprise that probiotic supplementation has been explored as a potential GERD management strategy. While not traditionally considered a first-line defense against acid reflux, a recently published review out of the Nutrients journal found that several varieties of multi-strain probiotic supplements may offer a protective effect against GERD-related symptoms. If you want to learn more about probiotics and the types of issues they can help with, please do read my previous article on the subject.
#3 Relaxation Practices ( Meditation, Yoga) – Conventional and emerging wisdom tells us there is a strong connection between the mind and the digestive tract, which at least partially explains why anxiety is associated with worsening symptoms in GERD sufferers. As a result, there is an increasing interest around relaxation practices such as meditation and the relief of digestive health concerns, including IBS. I encourage you to read my extensive article on this topic.
#4 Psyllium Fibre – Psyllium fibre is a very well studied plant-based supplement and known to be helpful in the management of both constipation and diarrhea. It’s not unusual for acid reflux, GERD and other digestive ailments to overlap, so do not overlook the potential benefit of this product if you call in that category. Further to that point, I encountered a pair of studies published in the last several years that demonstrate psyllium supplementation may also be effective at reducing GERD/acid reflux symptoms ( 1, 2).
#5 CBD & THC –Although much more research will be required, some evidence suggests that Cannabinoid compounds like CBD and THC may have a unique and protective role to play in the esophageal health. Given the widespread use of CBD and recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, this may certainly become an increasingly studied area of interest in the world of GERD and acid reflux management.
Bonus Tip #1 – Chew Gum After Meals? Nothing definitive here, but I did encounter a few whispers in the literature suggesting some people may get reflux relief when they chew gum after a meal.
Bonus Tip #2 – Acupucture Check out my article on acupuncture as a potential management strategy in IBS & acid reflux.
Although the management strategies discussed above may not be traditionally employed in the GERD care process, there is a level of interest and intrigue around each that makes them appealing topics for future study.
If you want to learn more about all things GERD and acid reflux management, there are two things you can do.
#1 Read my previous article on my top 5 tips for managing acid reflux