How To Manage Acid Reflux
Causes of acid reflux and how to manage it with simple lifestyle changes
Acid reflux, also known as gastric reflux, indigestion or heartburn, is caused as a result of stomach acid going up the oesophagus from the stomach. There are simple measures that can be taken that can reduce or alleviate the symptoms. These small changes in lifestyle can help create a big change in the amount and severity of acid reflux being experienced.
Find the trigger foods.
Spend some time noting which foods cause the reflux of acid. These can differ from one person to another though there are several common culprits. Fatty foods such as greasy burgers or ice-creams laden with fats and sugars may need to be avoided. Try replacing with grilled leaner meats instead of processed meat products and sorbets instead of ice-cream.
Tea, coffee and fizzy drinks should be reduced or eliminated or replaced with the many non caffeine varieties that are now readily available. Alcohol can cause the problem of indigestion and different drinks will affect different people. Acid foods such as fruits such as orange and lemons are another common cause. Maybe reduce the amounts of these consumed or replace with fruits that have less acidity.
It may not be the case that once found, these foods have to be removed from the diet, it may be more a case of limiting the amounts consumed and at what time.
Avoid eating before bed.
Some people find their symptoms are worse just before going to bed or during the night. The body needs time to process the food that's been consumed and it's best to give three to four hours from the last meal before going to bed in order for the stomach to be empty.
Raise the head of your bed.
To further reduce the chance of reflux at night or in the morning, raise the head of your bed. Laying down causes more pressure on your stomach and reduce the amount that gravity can help to prevent stomach acid from flowing in the right direction. Raising the head of the bed can be done by putting a couple of bricks under the legs at the top of the bed. This will use gravity to keep things flowing in the right direction and make it harder for the stomach acid to pass upwards into the oesophagus.
Don't drink while you eat.
Fluids can dilute stomach acid and enzymes and slow down the time it takes for the food to be processed in the stomach. Allow a couple of hours before and after meals before having drinks to reduce this from happening.
Eat smaller meals.
Rather than eating two or three large meals, have more frequent smaller meals. A full stomach is more likely to put pressure on the stomach and risk squeezing the contents the wrong way. Much better to have smaller meals that can be processed quicker and put less stress on the stomach.
Avoid tight clothes.
These put more pressure on the abdomen and can cause stomach acid to reflux up the oesophagus. Try to wear looser clothing and avoid using tight belts or wearing tops that are tight around the abdomen.
By taking these small steps and implementing them as lifestyle changes, the unpleasant experience of acid reflux can be brought under control, reducing and even eliminating it's negative affects and leaving you free to enjoy life without the discomfort and inconvenience it causes.
When do you suffer most?
- 5 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues
This time of year can be tough on our mental wellbeing, and I am one of the millions who find the short dark days difficult at times. Over the years I have found ways to make things easier and better cope with the winter months.
- How To Wake And Get Up Earlier In The Morning
Do you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning? Do you wish you could have a little more time in your day? Here are a few ideas to help you wake up earlier.
- Living With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), if left unchecked, can at times feel like it’s taken over your life, controlling all aspects of daily living and making simple things difficult or seemingly impossible. It doesn’t have to be like this...
- 6 Tips For Coping With Irritable Bowel Syndrome (ibs...
Travelling can be a rewarding experience. It broadens the mind, creates confidence and helps us to have a better understanding of the world. It can also be challenging; negotiating borders, communicating without a shared language, dealing with...