You experience acid reflux when the acid in your stomach travels back into the esophagus. Consequently, it might result in reflux or heartburn symptoms. It is possible to overcome reflux symptoms by simply lifestyle changes.
However, in some people, the condition is grave and might require medications. Both prescription and OTC medications can work well to cure acid reflux. However, some lifestyle changes can prove to be extremely helpful. Let us address these changes one by one.
Do not overeat
At the point wherein the esophagus opens into the stomach, there is a lower esophageal sphincter. It is a ring-like muscle and functions as a valve. The muscle is designed to curtail the acidic contents in the stomach to travel back to the esophagus.
However, it opens up naturally when you vomit, spew, or swallow, but all the other times, it stays shut. The problem is in someone who has acid reflux, the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weak or does not function as well. Acid reflux might also occur when there is increased pressure on the muscle, as that can make the acid squeeze through the opening.
There is no surprise element because usually, the reflux symptoms occur after a meal. When you consume more extensive meals, it only aggravates the reflux symptoms. So, one sure-shot way to minimize the reflux flare-ups is by stopping your consumption of large meals.
‘Earlier, I used to eat three giant meals – breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In one of these meals, I was constantly experiencing acid reflux symptoms. Now, I have made a dietary change and started consuming five smaller meals instead, and that has reduced my reflux flare-ups,’ shares Jessie, an online reviewer who did the goatee trimmers review for Razorhood.
Do not eat before bedtime.
You should avoid snacking at least two or even three hours before you head to sleep. As you lie down on the bed, gravity pulls everything in your stomach towards the esophagus. When you have just eaten and you lie down, the distance between the food in the stomach and esophagus is less. On the other hand, when you have eaten a few hours ahead, there is less food in the stomach to travel back and leads to GERD symptoms.
Elevate your bed’s head
‘One of the simplest ways to avoid heartburn or any other GERD symptom is by putting the chest and the head above your stomach. This can prevent gravity from pushing back what’s in your stomach into the esophagus,’ comments Nadia, an online reviewer who did the best flushing toilets review.
What Nadia suggested can be incredibly helpful, but do not back up the pillows as that might bend your body and unnecessarily add pressure onto the stomach. So, what you can do is use a foam wedge underneath your mattress.
Alternatively, you can even use cement or wood blocks underneath your bed’s foot. It will raise the bed’s head end up about six to nine inches. This elevation can ensure that what’s inside your stomach stays inside your stomach.
Reduce you alcohol consumption
Consuming a lot of alcohol in your daily routine can heighten the severity and frequency of heartburn and acid reflux. Further, it can even aggravate the symptoms by heightening the degree of stomach acid. More so, alcohol tends to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, thereby damaging its ability to keep the stomach outside from traveling back.
There are several studies that suggest that consuming alcohol in moderation can lower the reflux symptoms. Further, there is enough evidence that compared to water, beer and wine can trigger reflux symptoms.
Shed some weight
‘I am a little on the heavier side, and my acid reflux flare-ups have been quite persistent. So, when I spoke to my doctor, he advised me to shed some weight. I have been trying to be physically active and maintain a healthy diet for the same. Hopefully, that should help me keep my symptoms in check,’ comments Harry, an online reviewer who did the best spinning reels under 100 review.
Well, yes, Harry, obesity is indeed one of the top acid reflux causes or risk factors. However, it is not obesity in general, but that extra fat around the abdomen region can be quite problematic. It tends to put pressure on the abdomen and pushes back the gastric juices into the esophagus, causing reflux flare-ups.
So, if you are on the heavier side, you can consider shedding some weight. If not, try to maintain your body weight.
Reduce the consumption of soda or carbonated drinks
In someone who is quite likely to experience reflux symptoms, it is advisable to limit the consumption of carbonated drinks. A study suggests that carbonated beverages can aggravate the acid levels in the stomach and trigger reflux symptoms.
Further, some controlled studies suggest that drinking cola or carbonated water can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, just like alcohol. This happens because of the presence of carbon dioxide in these soda-filled drinks that can make people belch.
There are more than a few reasons you should cut tobacco out of your life, and heartburn and acid reflux is only one such reason. In addition, cigarette has nicotine in them, which can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. So, to prevent flare-ups, you can consider quitting.
‘I have stopped getting acid-reflux flare-ups ever since I quit smoking and started eating smaller meals,’ comments Jerry, who shared her experience over best fertilizers for citrus trees.
Limit consumption of citrus juice
A study involving four hundred GERD patients concluded that seventy-two percent of them reported a worsening in their reflux symptoms following grapefruit or orange juice consumption. It is not the acidity of the citrus fruits alone that can add to the acid reflux symptoms. Even orange juice with a neutral pH can trigger the symptoms.
However, it is vital to know that citrus fruits do not weaken the lower esophageal sphincter, but there are certain constituents in the citrus fruits, which may irritate the esophagus lining.
So, even when citrus juices do not trigger acid reflux, they can make existing acid reflux or heartburn worse.