What is your current activity level?
🧍‍♂️Sedentary
🚶 Moderately active
🏃 Very active
This will help us personalize your experience
Blog
>

How Long Does Acid Reflux Take To Heal? Tips For Fast Relief

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Acid reflux is a common source of digestive discomfort that can cause pain behind the chest bone and sometimes acid regurgitation in the throat.
  • Healing from acid reflux takes time and involves making some dietary and lifestyle changes.
  • A dietitian can help you pinpoint which foods are triggering your heartburn and suggest a plan to start the healing process.

Acid reflux is a common digestive concern that happens when a surge of acid from your stomach enters the esophagus. 

Several remedies as well as diet and lifestyle changes can help reduce acid indigestion and promote healing.

How long this takes depends on the severity of your acid reflux and your ability to make these changes.

Explore how long acid reflux takes to heal, factors that affect healing time, as well as remedies and other tips for finding relief.

{{splash}}

How Long Does Acid Reflux Take to Heal?

Acid reflux is a less severe form of gastroesophageal disease (GERD), a long-lasting condition that can lead to complications over time.

Complications can include bleeding or ulcers in the esophagus, difficulty swallowing, hoarse voice, and increased risk for cancer.

Because of the potential for acid reflux to progress into GERD, it’s a good idea to consider making changes right away to reverse it.

Several factors, such as lifestyle choices, medical interventions, and individual differences influence the time it takes for you to heal. 

Factors That Affect Healing Time

Several factors affect how long it takes for your esophagus to heal once you start treatment.

  • Dietary changes: To start healing, it’s important to cut out foods that increase stomach acid, such as acidic foods, alcohol, caffeine, high-fat foods, and carbonated beverages.
  • Weight management: Being overweight greatly increases the risk of frequent heartburn and the potential for GERD.
  • Smoking cessation: Smoking cigarettes is a known risk factor for acid reflux. 
  • Meal portions and timing: Rather than eating three larger meals daily, eat smaller meals throughout the day and avoid eating three hours before lying down for bed.
  • Medications: If your acid reflux is severe, your health provider may prescribe medications, such as H2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), to reduce stomach acid.
  • Underlying conditions: There may be underlying conditions causing the acid reflux that you and your healthcare provider need to address.

Remedies for Fast Relief from Acid Reflux Symptoms

The classic symptoms of acid reflux include heartburn and regurgitation. 

Heartburn is a painful, burning feeling in the chest that sometimes radiates to the neck.

Regurgitation is when stomach acid travels up your esophagus into your throat, causing a burning feeling and bad taste.

Other symptoms of acid reflux may include:

  • Nausea.
  • Painful or difficult swallowing.
  • Hoarse voice.
  • Chronic cough. 

If you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, here are some remedies to try for fast relief.

Antacids

Antacids can help with mild symptoms but are not meant for severe ones.

These medications help neutralize stomach acid and are available over the counter.

However, they’re not indicated for daily use. If you need antacids frequently, consider talking to your healthcare provider about your symptoms.

Examples of antacids include:

  • Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide).
  • Tums (calcium carbonate).
  • Gaviscon (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium trisilicate).
  • Mylanta (aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone).

Common side effects of antacids include diarrhea of constipation.

Ginger

Ginger is a spice used in herbal medicine for thousands of years. It contains many compounds that benefit multiple areas of health. 

For the digestive system, and more specifically related to acid reflux, ginger is known to help relieve:

  • Indigestion.
  • Burping.
  • Upper stomach discomfort.
  • Bloating.
  • Nausea.
  • Inflammation.

You can take ginger as a supplement in capsule form or try adding it to your cooking. Ginger tastes great in stir fry and many Asian dishes. 

You can also make ginger tea by steeping several fresh slices of ginger in hot water for a few minutes. For a bit of sweetness, try adding some honey.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, works as an antacid to help relieve heartburn.

If you’re experiencing heartburn symptoms, dissolve baking soda in at least four ounces of water and drink one to two hours after eating.

Follow the instructions on the packaging or talk to your pharmacist or healthcare provider for directions on how much sodium bicarbonate to dissolve.

It’s not good to use baking soda for more than two weeks.

If you notice you are still experiencing symptoms after two weeks, consider talking with your healthcare provider.  

{{local}}

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a gel-like liquid made from the flesh of the aloe vera plant. It can be made into a healthy juice by mixing it with water.

Several studies found that aloe vera juice worked just as well as or better than conventional medications for heartburn. 

Aloe contains compounds that help decrease inflammation and may help heal the gastrointestinal lining. 

Other Tips for Fast Relief of Acid Reflux

Along with the above remedies, here are some helpful tips for relieving heartburn. 

Elevate Your Head While Sleeping

Elevating the head of your bed about six to eight inches can help reduce acid reflux into your esophagus.

Try using a wedge foam pillow or put bricks or blocks under the head of your bed to raise your mattress.  

Practice Mindful Eating

Mindful eating encourages eating habits that may help reduce acid reflux.

  • Making better food choices: Take the time to plan meals around avoiding foods that trigger your heartburn and incorporate foods that benefit your overall health (fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains).
  • Be mindful of portion sizes: Focus on eating several small meals throughout the day to decrease the pressure in your stomach. 
  • Slow down and savor each bite: Taking the time to savor and thoroughly chew each bite can help your digestive system process food efficiently and minimize the likelihood of overeating. 

Avoid Eating Before Bed

Plan to have your last meal of the day at least three hours before bedtime.

This gives your stomach time to digest the food and empty before you lie down. 

Laying down too soon after eating increases the pressure in your stomach and can cause heartburn symptoms. 

Avoid Trigger Foods

Some people have certain foods that trigger their heartburn symptoms.

According to several studies, the following foods tend to be the most common foods that trigger acid reflux. 

  • Acidic foods (tomatoes, lemons, oranges, limes, grapefruit).
  • High-fat foods (fried foods, ice cream, whole milk, desserts, baked goods, whole-fat cheese, sausage, hot dogs, bacon, ribs).
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Chocolate.
  • Coffee and other caffeinated beverages.
  • Mint.
  • Onions and garlic.
  • Carbonated beverages.

Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco

Alcohol and tobacco can trigger acid reflux symptoms in some people. Some people may get heartburn from inhaling secondhand smoke as well. 

Limit Caffeine Intake

Caffeine, found in coffee, tea, or carbonated beverages, can cause some people to have heartburn symptoms. 

Caffeine increases acid production in the stomach, which may be the cause of acid reflux discomfort for some people. 

{{splash}}

Takeaway

Acid reflux is a common but bothersome digestive concern.

Because of the possibility of it causing long-term damage and developing into GERD, it’s recommended to address your symptoms early by identifying (and avoiding) triggers, and making other changes that promote healing. 

Several remedies, such as, antacids, baking soda, ginger, and aloe vera, can help ease heartburn symptoms.

Also, applying lifestyle tips such as elevating the head of your bed, practicing mindful eating, and learning what triggers your discomfort can help. 

How a Dietitian Can Help

A dietitian specializing in acid reflux can help you discover which foods are aggravating your heartburn.

Through learning your triggers and dietary preferences they can develop a meal plan that will allow your body to heal and reduce heartburn symptoms. 

Find a dietitian who accepts insurance through Nourish. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my acid reflux is healing?

When your acid reflux starts healing, you’ll have fewer symptoms of heartburn.

You may notice not having pain in your chest and having less acid regurgitation.

Does acid reflux go away on its own?

By making lifestyle adjustments and avoiding foods that trigger your heartburn, your body can start to heal itself.

How long does acid reflux last?

How long acid reflux lasts varies from person to person and depends on the severity of the heartburn.

References

View all references
Nourish has strict sourcing policies and prioritizes primary sources, including medical organizations, governmental agencies, academic institutions, and peer-reviewed scientific journals. Learn more about our medical review process and editorial guidelines.

See a Registered Dietitian with Nourish

  • Covered by insurance
  • Virtual sessions
  • Personalized care
Schedule an appointment

Frequently asked questions

No items found.

Find a virtual dietitian in {State}

Find a dietitian near you

Covered by insurance.
Question 1

Are you more thirsty than usual?

Question 1

Are you urinating more than usual?

Question 1

Is your blood sugar level consistently high?

Question 1

Do you experience extreme hunger or fatigue?

Question 1

Do you have blurry vision or numbness and tingling in your hands and feet?

Question 1

Do you experience frequent infections or slow-healing wounds?

Question 1

Do you have a family history of diabetes?

Your Result

Your results are in!

While you don’t seem to be at risk for prediabetes or type 2 diabetes based on this quiz, please contact your healthcare provider with any concerns. If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Your Result

Your results are in!

You should seek guidance from your healthcare provider about the possibility of prediabetes or type 2 diabetes.

If you want to learn more about diet and lifestyle changes with diabetes, find a registered dietitian covered by insurance with Nourish.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Test
OR
Oregon
38.547134, -122.816383
Charleston
SC
South Carolina
32.7884363, -79.9399309
Paterson
NJ
New Jersey
40.916611, -74.172188
Palmdale
CA
California
34.576469, -118.116096
Lancaster
CA
California
34.697472, -118.144524
Murfreesboro
TN
Tennessee
35.845619, -86.390266
Santa Rosa
CA
California
38.547134, -122.816383
Eugene
OR
Oregon
44.052151, -123.091187
Shreveport
LA
Louisiana
32.523659, -93.763504
Clarksville
TN
Tennessee
36.527279, -87.360336
Cary
NC
North Carolina
35.7882893, -78.7812081
Salem
OR
Oregon
44.944099, -123.040283
Newport News
VA
Virginia
37.087082, -76.473015
Chattanooga
TN
Tennessee
35.0457219, -85.3094883
Akron
OH
Ohio
41.0842496, -81.6777863
Providence
RI
Rhode Island
41.823990, -71.412834
Tallahassee
FL
Florida
30.438255, -84.280731
Peoria
AZ
Arizona
33.7528919, -112.4902079
Sioux Falls
SD
South Dakota
43.536388, -96.731667
Yonkers
NY
New York
40.930790, -73.898293
Fayetteville
NC
North Carolina
35.052666, -78.878357
Rochester
NY
New York
43.156578, -77.608849
McKinney
TX
Texas
33.214561, -96.614456
Moreno Valley
CA
California
33.920891, -117.261162
Fremont
CA
California
37.548271, -121.988571
Frisco
TX
Texas
33.150673, -96.823608
Spokane
WA
Washington
47.658779, -117.426048
Boise
ID
Idaho
43.6008183, -116.2421086
Port St. Lucie
FL
Florida
27.273270, -80.342148
Irving
TX
Texas
32.814018, -96.948891
Winston-Salem
NC
North Carolina
36.096260, -80.243736
St. Petersburg
FL
Florida
27.773056, -82.639999
Laredo
TX
Texas
27.507130, -99.507500
Jersey City
NJ
New Jersey
,
Buffalo
NY
New York
42.8867166, -78.8783922
St. Louis
MO
Missouri
38.627003, -90.199402
Chandler
AZ
Arizona
33.3062031, -111.841185
Durham
NC
North Carolina
35.994034, -78.898621
Lincoln
NE
Nebraska
40.806862, -96.681679
Pittsburgh
PA
Pennsylvania
40.440624, -79.995888
Greensboro
NC
North Carolina
36.072701, -79.793900
St. Paul
MN
Minnesota
44.954445, -93.091301
Newark
NJ
New Jersey
40.735657, -74.172363
Lexington
KY
Kentucky
38.040585, -84.503716
Stockton
CA
California
37.957703, -121.290779
Honolulu
HI
Hawaii
21.306944, -157.858337
Cleveland
OH
Ohio
41.499321, -81.694359
Arlington
TX
Texas
32.7355816, -97.1071186
Oakland
CA
California
37.804363, -122.271111
Long Beach
CA
California
33.770050, -118.193741
Raleigh
NC
North Carolina
35.779591, -78.638176
Omaha
NE
Nebraska
41.256538, -95.934502
Colorado Springs
CO
Colorado
38.833881, -104.821365
Fresno
CA
California
36.737797, -119.787125
Albuquerque
NM
New Mexico
35.084385, -106.650421
Memphis
TN
Tennessee
35.117500, -89.971107
Washington DC
WA DC
Washington, DC
38.889805, -77.009056
Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.169941, -115.139832
Seattle
WA
Washington
47.606209, -122.332069
Charlotte
NC
North Carolina
35.2272086, -80.8430827
Sacramento
CA
California
38.590576, -121.489906
Richmond
VA
Virginia
37.540726, -77.436050
Surprise
AZ
Arizona
33.629002, -112.330170
Mesa
AZ
Arizona
33.415184, -111.831474
Louisville
KY
Kentucky
38.252666, -85.758453
Des Moines
IA
Iowa
41.586834, -93.624962
Lakewood
CO
Colorado
39.704708, -105.081375
Kansas City
KS
Kansas
39.112701, -94.626801
Reno
NV
Nevada
39.529633, -119.813805
Tacoma
WA
Washington
47.258728, -122.465973
Aurora
CO
Colorado
39.7405111, -104.830994
Oxnard
CA
California
34.197659, -119.175949
Amarillo
TX
Texas
35.221996, -101.831299
Henderson
NV
Nevada
36.039524, -114.981720
Vancouver
WA
Washington
45.633331, -122.599998
Gilbert
AZ
Arizona
33.352825, -111.789024
San Bernardino
CA
California
34.115784, -117.302399
Columbus
GA
Georgia
27.800583, -97.396378
Hayward
CA
California
37.668819, -122.080795
Milwaukee
WI
Wisconsin
43.038902, -87.906471
Lubbock
TX
Texas
33.576698, -101.855072
Norfolk
VA
Virginia
36.850769, -76.285873
Tulsa
OK
Oklahoma
36.153980, -95.992775
Garland
TX
Texas
32.914341, -96.636559
Fort Lauderdale
FL
Florida
26.124161, -80.143593
Tucson
AZ
Arizona
32.248814, -110.987419
Salt Lake City
UT
Utah
40.760780, -111.891045
Corona
CA
California
33.875670, -117.568840
Madison
WI
Wisconsin
43.073051, -89.401230
Huntsville
AL
Alabama
34.7014286, -86.6597495
Kansas City
MO
Missouri
39.099728, -94.578568
Irvine
CA
California
33.684566, -117.826508
Chula Vista
CA
California
32.640072, -117.084038
Denton
TX
Texas
33.215530, -97.132446
Aurora
IL
Illinois
41.7571701, -88.3147539
Baton Rouge
LA
Louisiana
30.4494155, -91.1869659
Columbus
OH
Ohio
39.961178, -82.998795
Baltimore
MD
Maryland
39.2908816, -76.610759
Detroit
MI
Michigan
42.331429, -83.045753
Chesapeake
VA
Virginia
36.7183708, -76.2466798
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Birmingham
AL
Alabama
33.5206824, -86.8024326
Scottsdale
AZ
Arizona
33.501324, -111.925278
Cincinnati
OH
Ohio
39.103700, -84.513610
North Las Vegas
NV
Nevada
36.201946, -115.120216
Riverside
CA
California
33.980602, -117.375496
Plano
TX
Texas
33.019844, -96.698883
Minneapolis
MN
Minnesota
44.977753, -93.265015
Salinas
CA
California
,
Anaheim
CA
California
33.836594, -117.914299
Springfield
MO
Missouri
37.208958, -93.292297
Fort Wayne
IN
Indiana
41.077469, -85.137489
Phoenix
AZ
Arizona
33.448376, -112.074036
Bakersfield
CA
California
35.3738712, -119.0194639
Garden Grove
CA
California
33.774269, -117.937996
Anchorage
AK
Alaska
61.2163129, -149.894852
Indianapolis
IN
Indiana
39.768402, -86.158066
Nashville
TN
Tennessee
36.162663, -86.781601
Tempe
AZ
Arizona
33.425522, -111.941254
Mobile
AL
Alabama
30.695366, -88.039894
New Orleans
LA
Louisiana
29.951065, -90.071533
Knoxville
TN
Tennessee
35.960636, -83.920738
Grand Rapids
MI
Michigan
42.963360, -85.668083
Fontana
CA
California
34.102890, -117.435760
Elk Grove
CA
California
38.418129, -121.393257
Cape Coral
FL
Florida
26.5625742, -81.9438802
Grand Prairie
TX
Texas
32.745499, -97.003532
Fort Collins
CO
Colorado
40.588970, -105.082458
Killeen
TX
Texas
31.117119, -97.727798
Modesto
CA
California
37.639095, -120.996880
Oklahoma City
OK
Oklahoma
35.468491, -97.521263
Santa Ana
CA
California
33.745571, -117.867836
Ontario
CA
California
34.063343, -117.650887
Brownsville
TX
Texas
25.9015688, -97.4984005
Montgomery
AL
Alabama
32.379223, -86.307739
Hialeah
FL
Florida
25.857595, -80.278107
Springfield
MA
Massachusetts
42.102051, -72.585762
Toledo
OH
Ohio
41.652805, -83.537865
Pembroke Pines
FL
Florida
26.007765, -80.296257
Overland Park
KS
Kansas
38.974819, -94.683601
Little Rock
AR
Arkansas
34.746483, -92.289597
Glendale
CA
California
34.142509, -118.255074
Roseville
CA
California
38.752125, -121.288010
Wichita
KS
Kansas
37.687176, -97.330055
Huntington Beach
CA
California
33.659485, -117.998802
Augusta
GA
Georgia
33.4709714, -81.9748429
Worcester
MA
Massachusetts
42.271389, -71.798889
Virginia Beach
VA
Virginia
36.852924, -75.977982
Oceanside
CA
California
33.1958696, -117.3794834
Santa Clarita
CA
California
34.456043, -118.571335
Philadelphia
PA
Pennsylvania
39.952583, -75.165222
Corpus Christi
TX
Texas
27.800583, -97.396378
Portland
OR
Oregon
45.512230, -122.658722
Denver
CO
Colorado
39.739235, -104.990250
Boston
MA
Massachusetts
42.3554334, -71.060511
Atlanta
GA
Georgia
33.7489924, -84.3902644
Chicago
IL
Illinois
41.8755616, -87.6244212
Orlando
FL
Florida
28.538336, -81.379234
Jacksonville
FL
Florida
30.332184, -81.655647
Tampa
FL
Florida
27.950575, -82.457176
Long Island
NY
New York
40.757801, -73.940033
Queens
NY
New York
40.728226, -73.794853
Bronx
NY
New York
40.8466508, -73.8785937
Staten Island
NY
New York
40.643501, -74.076202
Brooklyn
NY
New York
40.6526006, -73.9497211
New York
NY
New York
40.712776, -74.005974
San Jose
CA
California
37.342205, -121.851990
San Francisco
CA
California
37.774929, -122.419418
San Diego
CA
California
32.834686, -117.130775
Los Angeles
CA
California
34.052235, -118.243683
El Paso
TX
Texas
31.761877, -106.485023
San Antonio
TX
Texas
29.387428, -98.496574
Dallas
TX
Texas
32.776665, -96.796989
Fort Worth
TX
Texas
32.755489, -97.330765
Houston
TX
Texas
29.760427, -95.369804
Austin
TX
Texas
30.2711286, -97.7436995

Book an appointment with a {category} dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Book an appointment with an online dietitian

Covered by insurance.

Find a

dietitian covered by insurance

No items found.
Disordered eating
Weight loss medication
Mental Health