8 Things You Can Do to Prevent Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is accompanied by a burning sensation in the chest. Everyone has occasionally experienced this painful symptom. Among all the digestive conditions, the seriousness of heartburn can range from mild to severe. This is because acid reflux, in some cases, causes a problematic gastrointestinal condition known as GERD. GERD is caused by the acid which flows into the esophagus from the stomach. This acid causes heartburn and can damage the esophagus up to a significant severity.
The feeling of heartburn is very unpleasant. Therefore, people suffering from it take the assistance of certain medications for its treatment. We all know the ‘phrase prevention is better than cure, and the truth of this phrase also applies to our topic today. It is possible to prevent heartburn before it becomes a severe problem.
Here are the 8 things you can do to prevent heartburn
Sleep on your left side
Our digestive tract is structured in such a way the esophagus runs down the mouth and connects to the stomach from its right side. The door between the stomach and esophagus, which we call a sphincter, remains at a higher level when we sleep on the left side. On contrary, sleeping on the right side elevated the risk of acid reflux as this sphincter remains at the lower level.
There are more studies being made to support the reasoning of the fact that making a habit of sleeping on the left side decreases acid reflux and other digestive conditions by 69%.
Keep your head elevated while lying down
Scientific studies have shown that many people experience acid reflux only at night due to their position during sleep. This, not only causes heartburn but also makes falling asleep a difficult task. While there is no perfect posture of sleeping, keeping the head elevated during sleep has proven to decrease the number of people suffering from acid reflux at night only.
Increase the time between dinner and sleep
It is advised by all professional gastroenterologists to have dinner earlier before going to bed. This advice is given to prevent a wide range of digestive conditions and therefore, helps in reducing heartburn too. The reason for it being a simple one, which is that after a meal lying down, diminishes the quality of digestion.
The symptoms of GERD happen to be closely associated with people suffering from other health conditions such as diabetes. Therefore, it is also advised to the people with these conditions to follow the early dinner schedule.
Shift to piece meals diet plan
Acid reflux is generally caused after taking a meal. Sometimes, you may have experienced, having more than 2 big meals in a day exaggerates the symptom of heartburn. This is because when a person eats too much at a time, the workload on the lower esophageal sphincter is increased. This sphincter is weakened in people with acid reflux problems and increased withering of this muscle increases the risk of severity in acid reflux.
Cut down your body weight
There is a condition known as hiatal hernia which is commonly seen in people with obesity. In this condition, the amount of pressure on the esophageal sphincter created by belly fat increases to the point of pushing this sphincter up from the abdomen against the diaphragm. When this sphincter is not under the pressure of the diaphragm, its opening becomes easy and acid reflux with other digestive conditions is caused.
Lowering belly fat certainly helps in reducing GERD and diseases which may cause acid reflux at some point.
Reduce carbohydrate intake
Low carb diets, high protein diets may be the things you have heard in these years continually. This is because recent studies have shown that diets decrease the symptoms of heartburn.
There are speculations that some form of undigested carbohydrate may be the reason for the overgrowth of bacteria causing abnormal pressure on the sphincter. This can be one of the things that cause heartburn
Reduce your alcohol intake
It’s a no-brainer that drinking alcohol increases the risk and severity of acid reflux. Alcohol stimulates the acidity in the stomach and relaxes the lower esophagus sphincter. What more is needed to cause increased heartburn?
Drinking alcohol over a longer period of time exaggerates the mild acid reflux to become a more sere problem such as GERD
Limit your coffee intake
As coffee acts to relax muscles of the body, this applies to the esophagus sphincter too. This can cause heartburn. However, there are not enough studies to support that one cup of coffee per day worsens the symptoms of acid reflux.
The problem arises when the intake of coffee or caffeine is too high to eventually cause the impairment of the lower esophageal sphincter. In fact, researchers have found that people with acid reflux have greater damage in the esophagus due to the consumption of too much coffee.
To know more about acid reflux and other digestive conditions, Contact Alfa Gastro and Liver Care centre.