How Long Will It Take to Heal Acid Reflux?
It’s important to treat your acid reflux before it causes serious complications. However, the type of treatment and how long it takes for acid reflux to heal varies from person to person. That means you need to find the right treatment option that works for you.
Everyone responds differently to treatment, depending on how severe their GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) condition is and how their body responds to the treatment. So what works for one may not work for the other. Likewise, curing acid reflux depends on how well a person responds to treatment and the severity of GERD. Therefore, for many sufferers, finding the most appropriate treatment for their specific needs is often an elimination process and may lead to a combination of treatments.
There are many different types of treatment options. Below is a breakdown of the most common methods:
change lifestyle – This is the most recommended treatment when it comes to curing acid reflux as it is simply about changing habits to prevent acid reflux e.g avoid eating before bed etc.
Traditional medicine – There are three main types of medications used to treat and prevent acid reflux and they include:
- Antacids (e.g. Tums, Gaviscon, etc.) – they work by neutralizing stomach acid and may be beneficial for those who experience occasional heartburn.
H2-receptor antagonists (e.g. Zantac, Pepcid, etc.) – neutralize acid by preventing the stomach cells from producing acid and are more potent than antacids. Tends to help GERD patients who do not suffer from additional complications such as ulcers and Barrett’s Esophagus.
Proton Pump Inhibitors (e.g. Prilosec, Nexium, etc.) – Highly effective in stopping acid production and also helps heal an inflamed esophagus. They are ideal for GERD sufferers who have complications.
It is difficult to determine how long it will take to cure acid reflux when it comes to traditional medicine, as many of these drugs are not intended for long-term treatment.
alternative medicine – There are several alternative medications, but three are commonly used to treat GERD:
- Traditional Chinese Medicine. Chief among these are the ancient practices of acupressure and acupuncture. Both techniques involve the manipulation of specific acupuncture points in the body, as prescribed by ancient Chinese medicine. By applying pressure or inserting needles into the specific acupuncture points associated with the symptoms being experienced, it is believed that the meridian system known in the body as yin, yang and qi can be rebalanced, allowing the body to do so itself heal. The techniques are virtually the same, except that acupuncture uses thin needles, while acupressure uses fingers, knuckles, and elbows to apply pressure to acupuncture points.
Homeopathy. This alternative therapy works to treat a person based on their mental, physical, and personal characteristics. A GERD sufferer is treated based on their specific symptoms, not their condition. Therefore, no GERD patient is prescribed the same treatment. Homeopathic remedies are made from natural plant, animal and mineral substances.
Herbal remedies. This is an alternative treatment that uses various plants and parts of plants for medicinal purposes. Popular herbal remedies for GERD include:
Herbs are commonly taken in the form of tea, but can be sold fresh, dried, or in powder, tablet, and pill form. They can usually be found at health food stores or sold by an herbalist.
When seeking alternative treatment, it is imperative that you find a qualified and experienced professional in the specific treatment you are seeking. Also, if you’re wondering how long it will take to cure acid reflux with an alternative remedy, it depends on the specific symptoms you’re having.
Keep in mind that healing from acid reflux requires patience as it takes time, often months, to see any real improvement. Additionally, the cure is about preventing acid reflux from reoccurring. There is no treatment that will cure GERD indefinitely; Heartburn can still occur if you don’t keep up your prevention methods.
Finally, no matter what treatment method you use, you should first consult your doctor to get professional advice on how long it will take for acid reflux to heal and so that he/she can monitor your progress or suggest new treatment ideas to you if you are having difficulties have to find an effective treatment.
Thanks to Kathryn Whittaker