Eight Natural Ways To Reduce Heartburn and Acid Reflux
The heartburn-related unpleasant, burning sensation in the middle of the chest is something that most people are all too acquainted with.
In reality, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a prevalent ailment that causes heartburn, affects up to 28% of individuals in North America. Heartburn is caused by GERD, which happens when stomach acid is forced back up into the esophagus.
Although medicine is frequently used to treat heartburn and acid reflux, there are several lifestyle changes that can help you lessen symptoms and enhance your quality of life.
Eat Uninflammatory Meals
Eating an anti-inflammatory diet can be a powerful way to reduce the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. While medications like antacids can help temporarily, an anti-inflammatory diet is the best way to reduce symptoms in the long run. An anti-inflammatory diet consists of eating foods that promote whole body health, while avoiding those that trigger inflammation in the digestive tract.
I am a proponent of the Keto and Carnivore diests, which I have spoken about in other blogs. On this specific topic research has concluded that eating a keto or carnivore diet can be helpful in reducing heartburn and acid reflux. Keto and carnivore diets are both low-carbohydrate diets that eliminate many of the common triggers for heartburn. Achieving a state of ketosis, which is associated with keto diets, often helps reduce symptoms of acid reflux by decreasing the amount of acid in the digestive tract while also improving digestion. This is because fewer carbs lead to lower levels of stomach acid production. The lack of carbohydrates also means there is less food available to ferment in the gut, causing bloating and other symptoms related to indigestion such as heartburn.
In addition, carnivore diets eliminate most foods that contain fiber and have been shown to help improve digestion. Fiber slows down digestion, leading to a variety of gastrointestinal issues like heartburn, but by eliminating fiber from the diet altogether it can help speed up digestion and reduce symptoms associated with indigestion such as heartburn and acid reflux. Furthermore, protein-rich animal products like lean meats and fish can help soothe the lining of the esophagus that may become inflamed due to excessive stomach acids.
Losing weight is an effective way to reduce the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. This is because excess weight places additional pressure on the stomach, which can affect the closing mechanism between the stomach and esophagus. When this happens, food and stomach acid can travel back up into the esophagus, causing irritation and pain.
Weight loss also helps improve overall health by increasing energy levels and boosting metabolism. Additionally, research has shown that losing weight can minimize inflammation in the body which may be responsible for digestive issues such as heartburn or acid reflux. Regular moderate exercise such as walking on a daily basis can also help reduce abdominal fat which will ultimately lead to better digestive health.
Overall, if you’re overweight or obese it’s important to recognize how important it is for improving digestive health issues like heartburn & acid reflux. Taking steps towards creating healthier habits through nutritious eating plans along with physical activity will not only help support your digestive system but also improve other aspects of your overall wellbeing!
Stop Wearing Tight Clothing
Wearing tight clothing can have a significant impact on the body and can result in acid reflux and heartburn. When someone wears tight-fitting garments, such as jeans, skirts, or form-fitting tops, it prevents the body from properly expanding and restricts the movement of the diaphragm. As a result, this makes it harder for the body to take in oxygen and expel carbon dioxide. It also puts additional pressure on the stomach and digestive system; this extra pressure can lead to an increase in acid reflux symptoms, such as burning sensations or feelings of bloating. In addition to putting pressure on the stomach, tight clothing can also rub against sensitive skin on areas like the hips or waist which may cause irritation that further triggers acid reflux reactions.
For people with existing digestive issues like GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease), wearing tight-fitting garments could exacerbate their already heightened risk for heartburn or indigestion. The additional pressure on their abdomen could worsen the symptoms of these conditions by making it harder for any swallowed food or fluid to pass through the digestive system, resulting in prolonged discomfort.
Tight clothing also affects how quickly one’s body digests food and absorbs essential nutrients. If there is too much pressure on the stomach, it could compress its walls and prevent food from being broken down properly—which could lead to indigestion, acid reflux and even malnutrition over time. Additionally, compressed organs may affect blood flow in organs like the liver and pancreas, which are vital for proper digestion and nutrition absorption.
To help mitigate these effects, it is recommended that individuals with GERD or other similar disorders wear loose-fitted clothes rather than tight ones that may restrict movement of their abdominal organs during digestion. Lightweight fabrics with elastic waistbands are some of the best options as they are not constricting but still offer support around your midsection. It is also important to raise your upper body when you sleep so that gravity helps keep stomach contents away from your esophagus while you get restful sleep throughout night.
Stop Eating Or Drinking 2 Hours Prior To Sleeping
Eating and drinking close to bedtime can have a profound impact on one's quality of sleep, as well as their overall health. When it comes to heartburn and acid reflux, consuming food and beverages too soon before going to bed can be especially detrimental. Eating and drinking within two hours of sleeping can cause an increase in stomach acid production and irritation of the lining of the esophagus, resulting in uncomfortable symptoms such as heartburn.
It is important for those with GERD or frequent bouts of heartburn or acid reflux to adjust their schedule accordingly by avoiding eating within two hours prior to sleeping. Eating early dinner and healthy snacks throughout the day will provide more nutrients without putting additional strain on your digestive system at night. Additionally, practice behaviors that reduce stress like reading, listening to music, meditating, or taking a warm bath an hour before going to bed can all help create an environment conducive for restful sleep without having any adverse effects on digestion.
Elevate Your Bed Between Two to Four Inches
Elevating the head of your bed by propping it up between two to four inches can be a significant aid in reducing the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. Sleeping on an incline helps keep stomach acid down, allowing you to get a better night's rest without fear of waking up feeling uncomfortable or in pain. By utilizing this simple method, you're able to reduce the chances of experiencing indigestion throughout the night, providing an overall healthier sleeping experience.
The benefits don't stop there either! Propping your bed up with blocks or wedges may help reduce snoring as well as reduce nighttime coughing spells due to asthma or allergies. If you suffer from sleep apnea, elevating your head could improve your breathing patterns, allowing for a more restful night's sleep. Plus, if you tend to wake up with neck and shoulder pains due to improper sleep posture, propping up the bed can help alleviate that tension too.
When implementing this sleeping solution, there are lots of items to choose from - ranging from blocks stacked under the legs of your bed frame to adjustable beds that allow for electronic raising and lowering at just the click of a button. It's important that you check with your doctor before adjusting any part of your sleeping environment; however, if they give you the go-ahead then elevating your bed is both a simple and effective way to improve quality of life while reducing all sorts of symptoms associated with indigestion-related issues.
Quitting smoking can have a significant impact on reducing heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Smoking has long been known to be a major risk factor for the development of GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) and its associated symptoms, such as heartburn and acid reflux.
Studies have revealed that not only does smoking increase the risk of developing GERD, but it can also worsen existing symptoms. Nicotine from cigarettes relaxes the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), allowing stomach acid to travel up the esophagus more easily. This can cause irritation in the lining of the esophagus, resulting in painful heartburn or even acid reflux. Additionally, smoking has also been shown to reduce saliva production in the mouth which is essential for neutralizing acids produced by the stomach before they reach the lining of the esophagus.
When individuals quit smoking, their LES will start to regain its natural strength, causing less stomach acid to travel up into their esophagus. This results in fewer episodes of heartburn or acid reflux and decreased severity when they do occur. Furthermore, saliva production increases following cessation which helps further protect against acid-caused damage on its way up into your throat and mouth. Consequently, quitting smoking is one of the most effective strategies for reducing both new occurrences and worsening symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux that already exist.
Reduce Alcohol Consumption Prior To Sleeping
Drinking alcohol prior to sleeping can greatly increase the risk of heartburn and acid reflux. This is because when you drink alcohol, it relaxes the valve that separates your stomach from your esophagus (the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach). This means that more stomach acid can move up into the esophagus, leading to burning sensations in the chest and throat. As most people are prone to lying down after drinking alcohol, it gives gravity an extra edge in pushing the acid further up into the throat while lying flat on their back.
To reduce heartburn and acid reflux, it is best to reduce or avoid drinking alcoholic beverages prior to going to sleep. Doing so reduces the chances of any stomach acid moving up into the esophagus due to gravity and keeps symptoms at bay. It also helps prevent any irritation of the mucous membranes that line the throat, caused by acidic substances present in alcohol like citrus juices or vinegar. Drinking water with meals can also be beneficial as it helps break down food and flush out acids from the body more quickly.
Overall, reducing consumption of alcoholic beverages prior to sleeping is an effective way for those suffering from frequent heartburn or acid reflux symptoms. By paying attention not just quantity but also quality when selecting drinks prior turning in for the night will help ensure a restful sleep without disruptions caused by excess gastric acid production or irritation from certain beverage ingredients.
Reducing heartburn and acid reflux is a multi-faceted process, and it can take time to find the best solution for you. However, by making some of the changes I have mentioned in this blog can make a positive difference in reducing your symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.
While these tips may seem simple on the surface, they have been proven effective in many cases when used consistently over time. With the right plan in place and a little bit of effort, you can start feeling better and get back to enjoying life without the discomfort of heartburn and acid reflux.