Probiotics are rapidly becoming a commonly used tool for improving gut health, leading to questions about their effectiveness in combating acid reflux. This digestive disorder affects nearly one-third of U.S. adults each week.
Acid Reflux occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) - the valve forming the entrance to your stomach - doesn't entirely close after food passes through it. When the LES is open too long or too often, stomach acid can creep up into the esophagus, causing the symptoms of acid reflux.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux, and what - if any - probiotics can help? Let's take a look.
Related: How Many Probiotic Drinks Per Day Should I Take?
10 Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can be a disruptive disorder, so it's essential to recognize its associated signs so you can implement remedies as soon as possible. If these symptoms occur more than a couple of times a week, consult a physician because you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
This discomfort in the upper abdomen also referred to as dyspepsia, is indicated by feelings of fullness or abdominal pain that digestive disorders like acid reflux can often cause.
Sore throats aren't always symptoms of virus or illness; irritation from escaped stomach acid also causes them.
Feelings of heartburn
When stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, it can cause pain in the chest that typically occurs after eating. That pain can worsen while sleeping or laying down in a horizontal position.
Burning in the esophagus
Escaped stomach acid can irritate the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
The more stomach acid irritates your throat, the more likely you are to begin coughing as a result of that discomfort. It's an involuntary reflex that doesn't always indicate illness.
Need to clear the throat frequently
As the acid builds up in your esophagus, the irritation makes you feel like you need to clear whatever's bothering your throat. In reality, you want the acid to dissipate, not get expelled upward.
The more inflamed your throat and esophagus become due to acid irritation, the more difficult it can be to swallow. Consider your other symptoms before determining the cause of swallowing difficulties. If sinus or other infection indicators aren't present, but gastroenterological ones are, you probably have acid reflux.
Burping occurs when swallowed air escapes your upper GI tract. Because acid reflux causes you to swallow more frequently, even more air gets trapped that must escape.
Acid reflux can induce regurgitation of stomach contents which typically results in a sour taste that can cause people to feel nauseous.
Ulcers and bleeding
The backup of stomach acid into the esophagus can erode the esophagus lining and cause ulcer sores or bleeding. Esophageal bleeding can indicate other more severe issues, so be sure to see a doctor if these symptoms develop.
Looking for probiotics to combat symptoms of acid reflux? Check out the store at Sunny Culture for help!
5 Ways Probiotics Can Help Alleviate Acid Reflux
Probiotics improve digestive efficiency, which reduces the chances of acid reflux. Even when acid reflux occurs, they can help to minimize uncomfortable symptoms.
Enhances digestive system functioning
Probiotics balance the gut's microbiome and help break down food, making the digestive process easier and more efficient.
Aids discomfort from digestion
Certain probiotics decrease abdominal pain, nausea, and bloating, making the digestive process more comfortable.
Improves bowel operation
Probiotics can increase the frequency of — and speed of — bowel movements while also decreasing the chances of diarrhea.
Reduces upper GI symptoms
Probiotics improve dyspepsia, vomiting, and gastric acid build-up symptoms, reducing discomfort in your upper gastrointestinal tract.
Minimizes gas build-up
Probiotics reduce bloating, constipation, and gas production by improving digestive processes.
Related: Here’s How Many Probiotics Are In Kefir
6 Probiotics Proven to Aid Acid Reflux
Probiotics come in varying strains, and not every probiotic works the same. They can affect different processes or result in varying outcomes. You can even make your own probiotic drinks at home. But, which probiotics should you look for? Here are probiotic strains that can directly aid symptoms of acid reflux.
Current studies suggest the Bacillus subtilis probiotic strain can decrease bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine and alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal irritation.
This strain of Bifidobacterium - which aids the stomach and bowels - can reduce constipation, abdominal pain, and diarrhea symptoms.
Bifidobacterium lactis HN019
This strain is known for improving most belly discomfort symptoms while increasing the speed at which the contents of your stomach empty and work their way through your bowels.
This coveted strain can aid in the reduction of indigestion and subsequent acid reflux symptoms. It also reduces abdominal fat while shrinking your waistline.
The reuteri strain of lactobacillus is quite efficient for reducing nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain while increasing the frequency of your bowel moments which minimizes opportunities for constipation.
Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG
This strain is known for decreasing abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal swelling.
Excited by all the benefits of probiotics? Stay in the know with Sunny Culture’s Gut Health Blog!
4 Things To Consider When Purchasing Probiotics
From pills to kombucha to yogurts and more, probiotics come in many forms, and determining which to purchase can be a challenge. While everyone's preferences and needs are different, here are criteria to aid in your search for the best probiotic fit.
Look for Probiotics that Target Acid Reflux Symptoms
Here's where the preceding list of probiotic strains comes into play. Ensuring you obtain products containing these specific, research-supported probiotics is vital to your fight against acid reflux.
Look For the cGMP Stamp
cGMP stands for Certified Good Manufacturing Practices. Products with its seal undergo third-party verification that producers adhere to quality control guidelines.
Check Out Product Reviews
Avoid buyer's remorse by researching customer reviews. Choose products that tout specific acid reflux benefits and hold a 4.5 or above rating.
Make Sure to Choose Probiotic Options Without Allergens
Severe allergic reactions have been reported among consumers who intake probiotics with traces of dairy, egg, gluten, nut, or soy, especially among children. Play it safe and search out products free of allergens.
Looking for more information? Visit Sunny Culture for all things probiotics!
Whether you require an acid reflux aid or seek the many other health benefits that come from adding probiotics to your daily routine, Sunny Culture has you covered. They offer a tasting room Monday to Friday from Noon to 3pm. Click here for directions or reach out for more information!
Relief Is Possible
Research continues on the effectiveness of probiotics in improving total digestive health. But, the data already suggests several probiotic strains can be beneficial to the fight against acid reflux. Find the probiotics that best fit your wellness needs, and do your research to make sure you're acquiring products from trusted sources. Acid reflux isn't fun. Fortunately, help is available with probiotics that don't just target uncomfortable symptoms but that increase the efficiency of your gastric functioning, too.Related: Probiotics Drinks Benefits [Buyer’s Guide]