- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Acid Reflux: Help Minimize the Burning
I suffer heart burn ___ days a week
Do you suffer from Acid Reflux?
If you answered yes then I can give you some pointers on how to help control it. This may not be perfect, but it helped me. Also, it may never actually go away completely without seeking full medical treatment. But I personally have been able to minimize my attacks by changing a few of my daily habits. In turn, helping to reduce the amount of money I spend on over-the-counter medications every month, because we all know it can get expensive.
I have been suffering from acid reflux for about 8 years now. I used to take over-the-counter medication every day to control the acid levels in my stomach. I was tired of taking daily pills. What I have found to be the biggest culprit of acid indigestion was over-eating. Your stomach fills up completely expanding it to the point it feels as if it is into your chest cavity. Stop it! Only eat a fair amount of food to take your hunger away.
Timing is Key
Some other issues resulted from bedtime eating/snacking. One thing I learned about this is when I eat 3 hours prior to going to bed (didn’t matter what I ate), it helped eliminate my need for the over-the-counter medication. This gives your body time to react to the food and digest and reduces the amount of weight gain as well. In eliminating these couple things, when and how much I eat, I noticed I lost a couple of pounds along the way. However, when I was only 20lbs overweight, I would wake up every night to indigestion or acid reflux. This had to stop. Between the expensive meds and the pain I suffered I had enough. Sometimes even the steps above didn't help, but I kept with it without getting discouraged.
I know a lot of us don’t want to hear this next part, but it does help along with the above mentioned steps; EXERCISE. Exercising helps your metabolism, in turn, helps your acid buildup minimize its amount that is produced within your stomach. I am not saying to go to the gym, but instead keep your body moving during the day. Go for a walk during your morning or afternoon breaks, don’t be a couch potato. Instead of using an elevator or escalator, use the stairs. Anything to boost your heart rate and metabolism. Just changing a few of your daily habits will go along way not only with your acid build up but with your overall health. Now, I am not a medical doctor by any means, but these couple of things has helped me without having to pay a couple hundred dollars on medications and doctor visits over the last couple of years.
In conclusion, by following these steps I got to the point in my life where I am only taking over-the-counter medication about 3-4 times per month. I like that better than every day. So, if you stop over-eating, not eat after the 3 hour marker to bed time, and exercise, this will help reduce the amount of attacks that you may have especially during the nighttime hours. As I stated previously, these simple steps have helped me and I hope they can help you.
Just as a side note; I do smoke and I eat a lot of greasy, spicy foods (I love hot wings). I can’t get away from it, but now I do it following the above steps. And yes, sometimes I mess up and I pay the price, but I still enjoy that spicy food.
If these tips don't seem to help, resorting to medication isn't always that bad, since you can eat what you want and when you want it. Sometimes I do resort to them myself when I cheat my own tips.
I do recommend consulting your doctor for his/her recommendation if you can't seem to control it yourself within a few days, especially if it is an ongoing issue. Acid build up could result in other future medical conditions if left untreated. I do recommed goind for a consult if your indigestion or heart burn is lasting a few days a week. This is not necessarily a normal occurrence. These above couple of steps are just what I found works for me.