Using natural supplements to ease the pain of heartburn and acid reflux without the direct supervision of your GERD surgeon can be dangerous. Because supplements are not regulated by the FDA it is difficult to ensure what is in a product when you are taking it, and by using it you are exposing yourself to an increased risk of unfortunate side effects and even worsening the symptoms you are trying to resolve.
The best thing that you can do to overcome the incessant heartburn and acid reflux of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is to talk with your doctor about reflux surgery. However, with all the talk of supplements that provide reflux relief, it is best to know what is what when it comes to treating heartburn naturally.
What is Iberogast?
The majority of the research on treating heartburn with natural supplements has revolved around Iberogast. This is actually a concoction of nutrients that is associated with improvements in many different gastrointestinal concerns, including heartburn and acid reflux.
Exactly what is in Iberogast depends on who you get it from. The blend often includes the following herbs and nutrients:
- Caraway seed
- Clown’s mustard plant
- Lemon balm
- Milk thistle
How much of each and which of these nutrients is in any given dosage of Iberogast is impossible to say, as the product is not regulated by the FDA. Unfortunately, some of the items generally added to Iberogast can cause heartburn and acid reflux to worsen when introduced on their own, leaving the possibility for Iberogast to actually exacerbate—not alleviate—your GERD symptoms.
Iberogast is the most commonly used supplement blend for acid reflux. There are hundreds of other natural remedies that are said to alleviate heartburn, but none have shown any substantial evidence of actually doing just that. Certain environmental and lifestyle changes can naturally decrease the severity of your heartburn, like drinking more water, eating less, eating slower, quitting smoking and avoiding spicy, fattening and carbonated foods and drinks.
The bottom line is that natural supplements can sometimes help alleviate heartburn and acid reflux symptoms, but they never work as a substitute for medical treatment and can cause more harm than good if used unsupervised. Talk with your GERD surgeon before turning to any natural supplements, including Iberogast.