Lifestyle Changes For Acid Reflux
For the first article in this series, we examined in-depth what acid reflux is. In the second article, we looked at changes you can make to your diet which can help you prevent and control acid reflux symptoms. In this third article, we will take a look at lifestyle changes you can make today which can have a big impact on the symptoms you suffer from acid reflux.
Learning to live with acid reflux means you really need to take a hard look at some of your lifestyle choices. You may find that some of them are really things you know you should do anyway. The reality is that making some changes to your lifestyle may mean the difference between suffering in constant pain and being able to live with the disease.
Let’s take a look at some lifestyle changes you can start making today that can have a huge impact on how you deal with acid reflux.
- Smaller Meals– Eating more frequent, smaller meals instead of a few large meals can help you avoid the pain of acid reflux. Break up your meals into more frequent, smaller meals and you will not only be eating healthier, but you will also help your digestive system overall. Smaller meals will help you to feel full while at the same time not filling your stomach to capacity so that acid can back up into the esophagus more easily
- Don’t Lie Down After A Meal– Don’t lie down to nap or crawl into bed to sleep within 2 hours after eating a meal. Remaining upright after a meal helps prevent acid from backing up into the esophagus and also aids in the digestive process. Lying down after a meal puts more pressure on a weakened esophageal sphincter and allows the acid in your stomach to back up, causing the familiar heartburn symptoms.
- Stop Smoking– Smoking causes your stomach to produce acid. So quitting smoking is one thing you can do to immediately decrease your symptoms. It will also make you healthier and you will feel better. Second-hand smoke can aggravate your symptoms too. But stopping smoking now is one of the best things you can do to reduce your acid reflux symptoms.
- Limit Alcohol Intake– Limiting your alcohol consumption is another easy way to reduce your acid reflux symptoms. If you must drink alcohol then choose clear alcohol such as white wine or vodka. Those are less likely to aggravate your symptoms.
- Avoid Stress– In life these days it can be very hard to avoid stress entirely. However, learning to deal with stress can help you limit the symptoms of acid reflux. Learn to relax. You can use stress reduction techniques, yoga, exercise or even aromatherapy. Stress and anger can really trigger acid production in the stomach. Learning to deal with stress can be one of the best things to do for your acid reflux and your overall health in general.
- Raise Your Head When You Sleep– Using an extra pillow or even raising the head of your bed can help keep stomach acid in its place while you sleep. Preventing acid from backing up into the esophagus while you sleep can prevent more serious health issues such as esophageal cancer as well.
- Keep A Healthy Weight– Keeping your weight to a healthy level is another way you can help reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux. Extra weight around the midsection can cause more pressure on the stomach and increase the chances of acid backing up into the esophagus. This is especially true when you lie down. So if you have extra weight you should begin an exercise program such as walking. Eat a healthy low-fat diet and lose the weight. You will probably find that your symptoms decrease as the weight comes off.
- Eat A Healthy Diet– As we talked about in the previous post, a healthy diet can help decrease the symptoms of acid reflux. A healthy diet will also help you with weight loss if that is something you need to do as well.
- Taking Supplements– A supplement such as Marshmallow Root can help protect your stomach and the lining of your esophagus. You can read more about marshmallow root supplements here.
Making some or even all of these lifestyle changes for acid reflux can have a big effect on your symptoms. As you make these changes you may not only see that your acid reflux symptoms improve, but you feel better as your overall health improves.