top of page

Treating GERD Naturally

Updated: Dec 15, 2023

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. GERD is characterized by the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Beyond physical discomfort, GERD can significantly impact individuals' lives, affecting their daily activities, emotional well-being, and overall quality of life.

This article aims to raise awareness about GERD by shedding light on its symptoms, complications, and the challenges faced by those living with the condition. Recognizing the impact of GERD is crucial in promoting understanding, empathy, and support for individuals seeking relief and improved digestive health.

The Symptoms of GERD

GERD presents a range of symptoms that can vary in intensity among individuals. Common symptoms include:

- Heartburn: A burning sensation in the chest or throat.

- Regurgitation: Sour or bitter taste in the mouth due to the backflow of stomach acid.

- Dysphagia: Difficulty swallowing, often accompanied by a feeling of food getting stuck.

- Chronic Cough: A persistent cough that may worsen at night or upon lying down.

- Hoarseness: Changes in the voice, characterized by a rough or raspy tone.

- Chest Pain: Discomfort in the chest, often mistaken for a heart-related issue.

The impact of GERD on daily activities

GERD can significantly disrupt daily activities, making even simple tasks challenging for those affected. Common ways GERD impacts lives include:

- Sleep Disturbances: Nighttime acid reflux can disrupt sleep patterns, leading to fatigue and decreased productivity during the day.

- Dietary Restrictions: Individuals often have to limit or avoid trigger foods, which can be socially isolating and restrict culinary enjoyment.

- Impaired Productivity: GERD symptoms can interfere with work or academic performance due to reduced focus, discomfort, or frequent breaks.

- Social Limitations: Attending social gatherings, eating out, or participating in activities can become stressful due to concerns about triggering symptoms.

The effect of GERD on mental health

Living with GERD can take a toll on an individual's emotional well-being and mental health:

- Anxiety and Stress: The fear of experiencing symptoms or exacerbating them can lead to heightened anxiety and stress levels.

- Depression: The chronic nature of GERD and its impact on daily life can contribute to feelings of sadness, frustration, and depression.

- Reduced Quality of Life: GERD's persistent symptoms and limitations can diminish overall life satisfaction and hinder participation in enjoyable activities.

Conventional treatments for GERD

Conventional treatments for GERD, such as medications like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers, can be effective in managing symptoms and reducing the production of stomach acid. However, there are several reasons why these treatments may not be enough for certain individuals or may not provide long-term relief:

1. Symptom Management vs. Addressing the Root Cause: Conventional treatments primarily focus on symptom relief by reducing stomach acid production. While this approach can provide temporary relief, it does not address the underlying factors contributing to GERD, such as weakened esophageal sphincter, hiatal hernia, or poor digestive function. As a result, symptoms may recur once the medication is discontinued.

2. Side Effects and Dependency: Medications like PPIs can have potential side effects, including nutrient deficiencies, increased risk of bone fractures, and rebound acid hypersecretion when discontinued. Prolonged reliance on these medications may lead to dependency and make it challenging to taper off or find alternative approaches.

3. Incomplete Relief: Some individuals may find that conventional treatments only partially alleviate their symptoms or do not provide complete relief. This can be due to individual variations in response to medication, the severity of GERD, or the presence of other underlying factors that contribute to symptoms.

4. Lifestyle Factors and Triggers: Conventional treatments often do not address the impact of lifestyle factors and trigger foods on GERD symptoms. Modifying diet, managing stress, and adopting healthy lifestyle habits are essential components of managing GERD effectively, and these aspects are not typically addressed in conventional treatment approaches.

5. Individualized Approach: GERD is a complex condition, and its causes and triggers can vary from person to person. Conventional treatments may not account for the unique needs and underlying factors specific to each individual. Tailoring treatment plans based on an individual's specific triggers, lifestyle factors, and overall health can lead to more effective and personalized outcomes.

GERD natural treatment

While conventional treatments are available, many individuals seek natural alternatives to manage their GERD symptoms. As a Naturopath specializing in digestive health it is important to me to raise awareness about this condition and the natural approaches for treating GERD, focusing on lifestyle modifications, dietary changes, food supplements and herbal remedies. By adopting a holistic approach, individuals can improve their digestive health and find relief from GERD symptoms, with or without combining conventional treatments.

Consulting with a Naturopath specializing in digestive health (like myself), can help individuals explore these alternative options and develop a personalized treatment plan.

Meanwhile, here are some useful pieces of advice that will help you manage your GERD symptoms and encourage recovery:

1. Lifestyle Modifications:

a) Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight can increase pressure on the stomach, leading to acid reflux. Engaging in regular physical exercise and adopting a balanced diet can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce GERD symptoms.

b) Elevate the Head of the Bed: By raising the head of the bed by 6 to 8 inches, gravity can assist in preventing the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus while sleeping.

c) Avoid Trigger Foods and Beverages: Certain foods and beverages can trigger GERD symptoms. Common culprits include spicy and fatty foods, citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate, coffee, alcohol, and carbonated beverages. Identifying and avoiding personal trigger foods can significantly alleviate symptoms.

2. Dietary Changes:

a) Eat Smaller, Frequent Meals: Consuming smaller, more frequent meals instead of large meals helps prevent excess pressure on the stomach and reduces the likelihood of acid reflux.

b) Chew Thoroughly and Eat Mindfully: Slow and mindful eating aids digestion and reduces the chances of overeating, which can contribute to GERD symptoms.

c) Incorporate Anti-inflammatory Foods: Including anti-inflammatory foods such as leafy greens, ginger, turmeric, and omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and promote a healthy digestive system.

d) Consider Elimination Diets: In some cases, certain food intolerances or sensitivities may trigger GERD symptoms. Experimenting with an elimination diet under the guidance of a healthcare professional can help identify problematic foods.

3. Herbal Remedies:

a) Aloe Vera Juice: Aloe vera has soothing properties that may help alleviate GERD symptoms. Consuming a small amount of aloe vera juice before meals may provide relief.

b) Slippery Elm: Slippery elm forms a protective layer in the esophagus, reducing inflammation and discomfort. It is available in supplement or tea form and can be beneficial for GERD.

c) Licorice Root: DGL (deglycyrrhizinated licorice) is a form of licorice that can help soothe the digestive tract and alleviate symptoms of GERD. It is available as a supplement and should be used under professional guidance.

4. Alternative Therapies:

a) Acupuncture: Acupuncture has shown promising results in managing GERD symptoms by promoting relaxation, reducing inflammation, and improving digestive function. Seek a qualified acupuncturist for personalized treatment.

b) Stress Reduction Techniques: Chronic stress can exacerbate GERD symptoms. Incorporating stress reduction techniques such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing exercises, or mindfulness practices can have a positive impact on digestive health.


While GERD can significantly impact an individual's quality of life, the naturopathic approach offers a complementary and holistic way to manage symptoms. By adopting lifestyle modifications, making dietary changes, utilizing herbal remedies, and applying stress reduction techniques, you can improve your quality of life and treat GERD naturally. If you are suffering from GERD or any other digestive disorder, I encourage you to make the first step toward your recovery and schedule a consultation call with me.

treating GERD naturally


bottom of page