Heartburn and other symptoms of acid reflux are experienced by most people once in a while because of production of acids inside the stomach naturally for the digestion of food items. But when these symptoms become frequent and severe, doctors diagnose individuals as patients of acid reflux or GERD. Millions of men and women around the country suffer from heartburn caused by reverse flow of food items and stomach acids into the esophagus. Situation becomes so difficult for these victims of acid reflux that they dread eating at parties and hotels. However, it is possible to keep control over symptoms of acid reflux by making some changes in the lifestyle and also by eating a healthy diet.
What is acid reflux?
The environment inside the stomach of a person suffering from acid reflux becomes so acidic that it hovers around 2 or even higher. Whenever such individual eats anything spicy, his stomach starts to produce even more acids. But this individual suffers heartburn when these stomach acids and other food content starts to flow back into the esophagus. He gets a bad taste in the mouth because of these acidic fluids. So the best way to avoid formation of more acids inside the stomach is to adopt a healthy diet that is not spicy and very flavorful.
Food habits and lifestyle changes are recommended by the doctor
If you go to a doctor complaining of symptoms caused by acid reflux, he will prescribe some medications to you but also advise to avoid certain food items in your diet. As stomach acids are your problem, he will definitely ask you to stay away from alcohol, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and even milk as its calcium leads to formation of more acids inside the stomach. He will ask you stay away from fried and spicy food outside and also at home. Chinese foods and Indian curries are notorious for being very hot and spicy. You would do well to stay away from hot and spicy food items.
Stay away from the following list of food items and everages
Being obese adds to the risk of acid reflux. Doctors advise overweight people to lose their weight to get relief from the symptoms of acid reflux. Smoking is another habit that weakens a group of muscles of the esophagus. This weakening of lower esopheageal sphincter means that the food contents and the stomach acids start to flow back into the esophagus. The following is a list of food and beverages that weaken lower esophagus.
• Alcoholic drinks
• Coffee and tea
• Fried foods, chips
• Citrus fruits
• Mint and products flavored with mint
• Foods containing tomatoes (pizza, salsa, sauces)
• Onions, garlic
In addition to consuming a healthy diet, one can also make certain lifestyle changes to avoid symptoms of acid reflux. These lifestyle changes are as follows.
• Wear loose fitting apparels to avoid pressure on abdomen
• Lose weight
• Give up drinking and smoking
• Keep your head raised while sleeping
• Eat more number of meals
• Avoid spicy foods
How you eat makes a lot of different in the symptoms of acid reflux. Always sit upright while eating so that there is no chance of stomach acids backing up into the esophagus. Remember what you ate a few minutes or hours ago whenever you start to experience heartburn. Write down the name of the food item. This diary will help you in making a list of food items that you need to avoid to keep the symptoms of acid reflux at bay. Most people go to sleep within an hour of eating their dinner in the evening. This means that their stomachs are still making acids when they ie down on their bed, trying to sleep. Make sure that you do not retire on your bed at least 2.5 hours after eating your dinner.
Eat less food but increase the number of meals in a day
If you start to eat less amount of food in every meal but increase the number of meals, you direct your stomach to produce lesser quantity of hydrochloric acid for dissolving this food. When the production of acid itself goes down, chances of symptoms of acid reflux causing heartburn does not arise. Now you know why eating more and suffering from acid reflux is a vicious cycle. Not only do these people put on weight, they also produce large quantities of acids to suffer from heartburn vry frequently. Eating your food while lying down on the couch and watching television is the worst enemy of any individual. When you eat small meals, lesser food remains in your stomach. This means your stomach does not produce too much of acid to digest this food.
Make these lifestyle changes and avoid foods mentioned in this article to find great relief in your acid reflux symptoms.