Top 11 Lifestyle Tips to Combat Acid Reflux

by Amit Kumar

woman with heartburnAlso known as heartburn, acid reflux is a condition that involves your digestive system and not your heart.

The burning, discomfort and pain felt in the chest region generated from an acid reflux is due to the faulty coordination between gastric acids and the partially digested food, arising in the esophagus.

It is a common condition caused by overeating and making poor choices in food, including holiday drinks and foods, also an ideal platter for an ulcer.

Apart from the burning sensations in the lower region of the chest, additional symptoms of heartburn are: difficulty in swallowing, sore throat, dry cough or chronic hoarseness, and sometimes even bad breath.

Heartburn is very much treatable, but if it becomes chronic, severe conditions like esophagus cancer can develop.

You can follow certain things to avoid acid reflux, and the foremost idea is to make some effective changes in lifestyle. Refer the following tips to prevent its occurrence:

1. Mind Your Body Position.

It is important to maintain an upright posture after a meal because gravity is the only thing that keeps the surge of acid reflux away from the esophagus.

Keep from lying down for at least an hour or two. Meanwhile, your stomach will carry out digestion and down-streaming towards the intestines will take place. Once your body has gotten one to two hours into the digestive process, it’s difficult for the acid to come back up and cause acid reflux.

2. Head of the bed elevation.

In case you have heartburn during night time then elevate the bed’s head by 5-6 inches. If there is no feasible provision for that, insert a few blocks of wood under the legs of the bed at the head or a sturdy foam wedge snuck under the mattress will do.

According to a study, “Are lifestyle measures effective in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease? An evidence-based approach”, head-elevation leads the pH level of esophagus to be more than 4.0.

3. Eat Papaya

Papaya has been known for many years as the fruit that cures acid reflux. It contains papain, which is an enzyme that is known for reducing the amount of acid reflux that occurs within the body.

When you eat papaya, it has a variety of positive effects on digestive health, which helps prevent acid reflux from occurring.

The Proteolytic enzymes within the fruit actually work to break down digestive acids within the body, which are the number one cause of acid reflux.

By eating papaya on a regular basis, the body rids itself of the acid that causes the acid reflux in the first place.

4. Don’t Exercise After a Meal

If you have heartburn problems then avoid practicing any kind of sport after a meal. Contractions of the abdominal muscles can cause the ingested food to come back up on the esophagus.

And along with them the gastric acids secreted during the food-intake will also move to the esophagus, all the way eroding it.

Exercise should be carried out in one to two hours after eating.

5. Avoid Antacids.

Antacids may seem to provide temporary relief from heartburn symptoms but they also force the stomach to secrete more acids to combat their alkalinity. This leads to a downward spiral in which as you go on taking more antacids to combat the increase in acidity, the stomach secretes even more acids to overcome the increase in antacids.

Additionally, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, people taking antacids for a long time are more prone to hip fracture, thus proving susceptible to osteoporosis.

6. The GGS (Glowing Green Smoothie).

Glowing Green Smoothie is a potential miracle dunked in a glass.

A medical study How to Reduce Acid Reflux by the NYU Medical Center/School of Medicine cites the reason behind this miracle cure as during an acid reflux, you are lodging a powerful alkaline drink which can potentially neutralize any kind of acids and assists in maintaining the pH levels of your body.

7. Eat Proper Food

Avoid eatables that are likely to give rise to heart burns (whole milk, peppermint, saturated fats and oils, tomato, creamed soups, orange and grape juice etc), instead eat foods like fish, turkey meat, bread, vegetables, cereals, low-fat milk etc that carry low fat content.

8. Chew on a Basil Leaf.

It is an herbal remedy which soothes your digestive tract greatly.

According to a clinical study conducted in 2007 by the Journal of Medicinal Food, food scientists tested for the medicinal effectiveness of basil leaves in rats.

For a 300mg dosage per kg of body weight, the basil leaves significantly reduced the oxidation of both fats and proteins thereby working as an antioxidant and increased healthy enzymatic activity significantly.

9. Avoid smoking.

As much as a slight addiction to something is desired by everyone, try to shift your focus to something else from cigarettes which generate massive acid reflux.

A study done in 1995, Effect of cigarette smoking on gastroesophageal reflux measured by 24-h ambulatory esophageal pH monitoring, conducted by the Brooke Army Medical Center,  proved that those who gave up smoking for a while not only faced reduced risks of acid reflux but their entire health status also improved significantly.

10. Weight loss.

Nurses’ Health Study provides solid evidence that weight loss reduces susceptibility to heartburns, a study published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

It demonstrated that a 10-15 pounds weight gain by a woman having normal weight is prone to increase in risks of acid-reflux symptoms by 40% approximately.

And for those who were obese at baseline the risk of heartburn increases 2-3 fold.

11. Avoid Overeating

When you sit down to have a mean, try to chew each bite thoroughly to prevent overeating. When you eat quickly, your body becomes full before your brain is able to register it. This often causes people to overeat, which is a common cause of acid reflux.

When your body has more food than it needs, it takes longer for it to start breaking down the food in your stomach and moving in through your digestive tract.

People who eat more than their body needs will be more likely to suffer from acid reflux than someone who eats smaller portions that satisfy their hunger.

(As someone who has dealt with acid reflux throughout their life, Amit Kumar turned around his way of living, which led him to find some effective and interesting ways to combat illness with natural remedies. He has found success in riding his body of acid reflux through healthy lifestyle practices, herbs and fresh vegetables. He writes for betterhealthliving.org and strives to provide others with the information he has gained throughout his research and experience.)

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