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Acid reflux is a painful condition experienced by millions of people every year. In fact, many feel the incidence of acid reflux is on the rise and attribute the increase to the modern high fat, high sugar diet and relatively sedentary lifestyle. Acid reflux is basically severe, recurring heartburn, generally believed to result from increased abdominal pressure. This pressure prohibits the esophageal sphincter muscle from closing off the stomach, and stomach contents (including strong stomach acids) wash up into the esophagus, causing intense pain.
Numerous over the counter and prescription remedies for acid reflux exist, but not all sufferers find relief from medication. Additionally, the side effects of some medications, as well as their expense make them unattractive choices for some afflicted with acid reflux disease. Many people are constantly searching for a more natural, homemade remedy for this issue.
Acid Reflux and Vinegar: A Potential Homeopathic Cure but Proceed with Caution
One natural remedy that has many proponents is apple cider vinegar. Numerous success stories can be found on nearly any acid reflux message board. Yet there seems to be no clear reason why acid reflux and vinegar should be related in any positive way – if anything adding more acid to the stomach (in the form of vinegar, which is acidic) should complicate acid reflux symptoms.
One hypothesis about why acid reflux and vinegar might be related is a controversial one – specifically, that acid reflux can sometimes be caused by too little stomach acid. not too much stomach acid. This theory holds that undigested food ferments in the stomach in the absence of appropriate levels of stomach acid. Adding vinegar aids digestion and reduces symptoms. Note that no one has tested this particular idea about acid reflux and vinegar.
Another common explanation for the relationship between acid reflux and vinegar is the placebo effect; people feel better because they expect to feel better. This effect is termed placebo because that’s the name for the decoy drug used in drug trials. Participants in the placebo group receive a fake drug (either a sugar pill or other pharmaceutical filler) to study the impact of expectations of medication on actual symptoms.
Some sufferers don’t particularly care why acid reflux and vinegar are related – as long as they are. Feeling better is the end goal for most with acid reflux disease and many are willing to try anything once. The good news is that vinegar is unlikely to be harmful to people when consumed in reasonable quantities. Some acid reflux sufferers have indicated that acid reflux and vinegar don’t mix well; they report intense increases in pain when ingesting vinegar.