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My Hubby’s Home Remedy for Heartburn/Acid Reflux

My husband has suffered from awful acid reflux for years. It was actually an allergist that discovered that his constant coughing was largely caused by acid irritating his throat (combined with post nasal drip.) He had tried all of the over-the counter remedies like Tums, Rolaids, Zantac, Prilosec, Prevacid etc. Zantac took the edge off a little, but the only thing that really worked was prescription Nexium. With all of the OTC alternatives available, our insurance at the time refused to cover it. At $150 for 30 pills, he only took that for a month!!

Anyhoo, when I was pregnant with my son, I had horrible, horrible acid reflux that gave me new found sympathy for my husband. I have no idea how he ever lived with that. He has found that when he’s not as overweight, eating a healthier diet, exercising and avoiding alcohol (ha, like that happens) it isn’t as bad. Unfortunately for me, the only thing that “fixed” it was giving birth!

The acid isn’t quite as bad this time. With my son, I was trying to sleep sitting up, since the acid was too terrible if I was reclined, but then my neck ended up all scrunched up and I woke myself up snoring. As you recall, I went to an OB and gave birth to him in the hospital. The OB told me to take 150 mg of Zantac 2x daily preventatively, and it was combined with 40 mg of prescription Prilosec when that wasn’t enough towards the end. Even then, it wasn’t enough to make it go away; it was just enough to make me able to get through the day. Anything & everything exacerbated it, no matter what I did or didn’t eat or drink. I was absolutely assured that it was 100% safe, only to recently discover that Prilosec is associated with fetal heart defects (I saw that on one of those junky TV/internet class action lawsuit commercials, so I don’t know how valid it is.)

It’s not as constant this time, but at times I feel like (TMI) I have acid right in my throat that I will vomit at any moment. Heaven forbid I have to bend over to get something, I feel like I will leave a puddle of acid on the floor.

So as my hubby has watched me suffer, he keeps saying “I’m telling you, just use my trick and it will be gone.” His trick is about 1/2 of a tablespoon of baking soda dissolved in a little bit of water. He told me it was nasty, but you’d let out a big belch and feel all better within a few minutes. Uhm, no.

Eventually, I was having such a miserable, acid-filled evening, that I gave in. He was right, it was disgusting. I dissolved the baking soda in just enough water, downed it, and had another glass of water ready to chug. It tasted like a mouth full of ocean water. (note: given that a teaspoon of baking soda has 51% the RDA of sodium, I seriously doubt this is a good/healthy thing to be doing regularly, LOL.)

We sat down on the couch and every time I shifted, he looked at me expectantly. I told him that if I bubbled over like an elementary school volcano science experiment, it was his fault and he was cleaning it up! Eventually a burp snuck up on me and the acid was somewhat relieved, but it was by no means gone. I’ll not be doing that again, LOL.

Has anyone ever told you a bizarre or unusual home remedy (for heartburn or whatever else) that they swore by?


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Maria Moser
Maria is the mother of 3, writing about cloth diapers & going green. You'll often find her juggling her preschooler and typing 1-handed in between sips of cold coffee. Maria works with many companies within the cloth diaper industry and beyond, providing social media management, product development and other services.
14 Comments
  • October 27, 2011 at 2:40 pm
    Reply

    I was all excited because I thought he was gonna have a fix, so darn it! Too funny how you described this though. 🙂

    • October 27, 2011 at 2:48 pm
      Reply

      I just tried the apple cider vinegar. It was pretty gross, not that bad though. But so far it hasn’t helped. 🙁

  • C Hulsey
    October 27, 2011 at 12:52 am
    Reply

    Taking fiber pills (psyllium husk) always keeps acid reflux/heartburn away for me.

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:24 am
      Reply

      That’s a good idea too. I can’t do insoluble fiber (unless it’s with a greater amount of soluble fiber) because of IBS symptoms.

  • October 26, 2011 at 10:54 pm
    Reply

    Mine hasn’t been severe, just constant. Papaya Enzymes (which come in chewable tablets) seem to help though.

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:23 am
      Reply

      I need to get some digestive enzymes. I use ReNew life probiotics & I’ve looked at their enzymes and stuff but I didn’t want to spend the $. If I am going to have to use Zantac every day, the enzymes might be worth it. I know Zantac is “safe” but I’m still trying not to use it unless I am totally desperate & can’t take another minute.

  • October 26, 2011 at 6:15 pm
    Reply

    My best friend swears by Apple Cider Vinegar … but you have to get the one that says “with mother” on it. That’s the magic ingredient I guess. I have yet to try it since my acid reflux hasn’t been that bad this time around, but she says it works great. I think she just adds it to water … she might add the honey like Lolli stated also.

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:22 am
      Reply

      What in the world does with mother mean? LOL!

  • October 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm
    Reply

    I use Apple Cider Vinegar and I also like to use a tsp of honey! The honey works for me almost every time!

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:22 am
      Reply

      All roads are leading to ACV. 🙂

  • October 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm
    Reply

    My Husband has suffered with acid reflux/GERD for several years. He had to have a medical procedure to stretch his esophagus due to scar tissue. That being said, tell your husband to stick with what works because continued erosion can lead to some unpleasant procedures.

    We are currently working toward finding him some more natural methods. It is true that the body overcompensates for a lack of acidity by producing more, which is why taking apple cider vinegar is so often helpful. I cannot convince my husband to take it regularly, too nasty for him. I have also done some reasearch about increasing the amylase enzyme. We’ll see.

    I never found much relief for acid reflux while pregnant. Other than not eating right before bed, a Zantac usually fixed the severe cases for me. You might try apple cider vinegar!

    • October 27, 2011 at 9:21 am
      Reply

      I will have to try ACV. HAS to be less unpleasant/painful than the last time it was recommended as a “home remedy” LOL (that’s a “TMI” story.)

  • October 26, 2011 at 9:49 am
    Reply

    I’ve seen some suggestions to try a tablespoon of vinegar in half a cup or so of water. Tastes nasty, for sure. This one is based on the theory that indigestion is caused by a lack of acid in the stomach, so, add acid! Kind of the opposite of the baking soda suggestion, where the idea is to neutralize an over-production of acid.

    Unfortunately for us preggo ladies, the heartburn that we experience has more to do with a squashed stomach from baby taking up space, and relaxed sphincters (good for birth, bad for reflux). Changing the amount of acid in the stomach won’t necessarily change things for us, since the contents will still get out of the stomach. It just might burn less. My only solution this time around is to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, and definitely to avoid eating or drinking liquids in quantity in the hours before bedtime. That’s especially hard for me because I’m thirsty all the time! Our digestion slows down during pregnancy, so it takes even longer than normal for things to pass through our system.

    • October 26, 2011 at 9:58 am
      Reply

      Unfortunately for me, all the usual suggestions (small, frequent meals etc.) just didn’t work! I could eat or drink anything or nothing, and it was still awful. *sigh* I’ve never hear the vinegar (ewww!)/lack of acid theory before though!

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