It is important to treat your acid reflux before it causes any serious complications. However, the type of treatment and how long will it take to heal acid reflux varies from person to person. Meaning you need to find the right treatment option that will work for you.
Everyone responds differently to treatment based on how severe their GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) condition is, and how their body reacts to treatment. So, what works for one individual may not for another. Likewise, how long will it take to heal acid reflux depends on how well a person responds to treatment and the severity of GERD. Therefore, for many acid reflux sufferers, discovering the treatment best suited to their specific needs is often a process of elimination, and may result in a combination of treatments.
There are many different types of treatment options. The following is a breakdown of the most common methods:
Lifestyle change – This is the most recommended treatment when it comes to healing acid reflux because it is simply a matter of changing habits to prevent acid reflux such as avoiding foods that trigger acid reflux, improving eating habits, maintaining a healthy weight through regular exercise, reducing stress, avoid eating before bed, etc.
Traditional medicine – There are three main medication types used to treat and prevent acid reflux and they include:
1. Antacids (I.E. Tums, Gaviscon, etc.) – they work by neutralizing stomach acid and can be beneficial for those who suffer from occasional eartburn.
2. H2–receptor antagonists (I.E. Zantac, Pepcid, etc.) – neutralize acid by preventing stomach cells from producing acid and is stronger than an antacid. Tends to benefit GERD sufferers who do not suffer from additional complications such as ulcers and Barrett’s esophagus.
3. Proton Pump Inhibitors (I.E. Prilosec, Nexium, etc.) – Highly effective at stopping the production of stomach acid, and also helps to heal an inflamed esophagus. They are ideal for short term use in GERD sufferers who have complications.
It’s difficult to determine how long will it take to heal acid reflux when it comes to traditional medicine, because many of these medications are not meant to be taken for long-term treatment.
Alternative medicine – There are various alternative medicines, but three commonly used to treat GERD are:
1. Traditional Chinese Medicine. This primarily includes the ancient practices of acupressure and acupuncture. Both techniques involve manipulating specific acupoints in the body as prescribed by ancient Chinese medicine. By applying pressure or inserting needles in to the specific acupoints that are connected to the symptoms one is experiencing, it is believed that the meridian system that exists within the body known as Yin, Yang and Qi can be brought into alignment and allow the body to heal itself. The techniques are virtually the same, except that acupuncture uses thin needles, while fingers, knuckles and elbows are used to apply pressure to acupoints in acupressure.
2. Homeopathy. This alternative therapy works to treat an individual based on their mental, physical, and personal characteristics. A GERD sufferer will be treated based on their specific symptoms, not their condition. Therefore, no two GERD sufferers will be prescribed the same course of treatment. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural plant, animal and mineral substances.
3. Herbal remedies. This is an alternative treatment that uses various plant and plant parts for medicinal purposes. Popular herbal remedies for GERD include, but are not limited to:
- Ginger root
Herbs are commonly ingested in the form of tea but can be sold fresh, dried, or in powder, tablet, and pill form. They can usually be found in health food stores or sold from an herbalist.
When pursuing alternative treatment it is imperative that you find a qualified and experienced professional for the specific treatment you are seeking. Furthermore, if you are wondering how long will it take to heal acid reflux with an alternative remedy, it depends on the specific symptoms you are experiencing.
Remember, you must be patient when healing acid reflux, as it can take time to see improvement. Furthermore, healing is all about preventing the recurrence of acid reflux. There is no treatment that cures GERD indefinitely; acid reflux can continue to occur if you do not maintain your methods of prevention.
Finally, regardless of the treatment method you use, you should first consult your doctor to receive professional advice and so he/she can monitor your progress or provide you with new treatment ideas if you have trouble finding treatment that works.