Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Acid Reflux
Acid reflux problems are a warning sign from the body that lifestyle changes are in order. While sporadic bouts of heartburn aren't really anything to worry about, a persistent problem that has overcome your ability to enjoy mealtimes, or sleep, is something that should be looked at immediately. Untreated acid reflux can lead to maladies such as narrowing of the esophagus, ulcers and in some cases, cancer of the esophagus. Heartburn occurs when the contents of the stomach are moved upwards into the esophagus; bile from the stomach is what causes the burning sensation. Luckily, people who suffer from acid reflux and its resulting complications can keep these at bay by taking the medication prescribed by their doctors and by make lifestyle changes such as the ones illustrated below:
Drop Some Weight
Excess pounds will increase abdominal pressure, which explains why nearly 40 per cent of overweight people suffer from some of the symptoms of acid reflux. Losing weight is a sure way to relieve uncomfortable symptoms; even a 10 per cent decrease in body weight will have noticeable results.
Why would smoking have anything to do with acid reflux? It produces excess stomach acid, relaxes and weakens the esophageal sphincter and slows down the body's production of saliva. Saliva is essential for neutralizing acid, keeping the esophagus from drying up and washing unwanted acids down.
Be Mindful About Sleep
When you're lying down horizontally, it's easy for stomach acid to travel into the esophagus. This is why you should always wait at least 2-3 hours after eating before lying down. Propping your head up with an extra pillow while you sleep will help to prevent symptoms of acid reflux at night.
Keep a Record of Your Triggers
It's well known that spicy foods, fried foods and excessively fattening foods are a nightmare for someone with an acid reflux condition. However, everyone is different, and there may be certain triggers (besides the most common ones) that affect you specifically. Keeping an acid reflux journal will increase your awareness of your problem, enabling you to discover patterns in the foods you eat and activities you perform.
Wear Comfortable, Loose-Fitting Clothing
Tight clothing, belts and girdles share a similar effect with obesity: they push the stomach's contents upward.
Many medical professionals believe that stress is a huge factor in acid reflux and stomach-related issues. To de-stress, try deep-breathing or meditation techniques, or simply get outside for a long walk.
In conclusion, acid reflux is a message from the body that your current habits are doing you more harm than good. Follow the steps above for natural relief, and see your doctor about your options for proton pump inhibitor medications such as generic Prevacid.
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