Stomach acids shooting up the esophagus after a meal can be painful and erosive.
Drugs called proton pump inhibitors suppress the acids, bringing relief. But those acids are there for a purpose, one of which is creating a harsh environment for pathogens. Bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and duodenum results from less acidity.
Clostridium difficile infections are up and widespread acid suppression is thought to be one reason.
Natural methods to quell discomfort after a meal?
First line of attack should be the following:
Eat meals at least two to three hours before going to bed; eat slowly; lose weight; stop smoking; avoid alcohol; avoid heartburn triggers including: peppermint, chocolate, caffeine, citrus fruits or juices, tomatoes, and fatty foods.
Probiotics help by fending off harmful bacteria and maintaining integrity of mucosa exposed to excess acid. And to protect against bacterial overgrowth caused by the popular drugs used reduce acid? A study from Italy showed that probiotics helped reduce overgrowth of pathogens.
Further reading on gastroesophageal reflux disease and probiotics:
The innovative potential of Lactobacillus rhamnosus LR06, Lactobacillus pentosus LPS01, Lactobacillus plantarum LP01, and Lactobacillus delbrueckii Subsp. delbrueckii LDD01 to restore the “gastric barrier effect” in patients chronically treated with PPI: a pilot study.