Have you ever felt a burning sensation in the center of your chest? When stomach acids move up into your esophagus, this is normally the feeling you get. It’s called acid reflux. Sure, it can be managed with medicine, but adopting some simple lifestyle changes can help you to reduce and even prevent it.
Today we’ll focus on some effective natural remedies that relieve acid reflux. Is it a good idea to wear loose clothes? What about chewing gum? We’ll talk about all this AND more…
For starters, following a low carb diet can calm the burning sensation.
It’s alarming to know that 28% of individuals in North America suffer from acid reflux.
You don’t have to rely on medicines to treat it. Dietary changes are a reliable and natural way to identify the root cause of your heartburn.
Sure, a low carb diet will help you shed those extra pounds, but down the road, you’ll also enjoy eating again. Your chest isn’t going to hurt as much after.
To put things simply, we eat a lot of carbs. I’m not just talking about fast food. I’m talking about regular things we eat around the house. Things you’ve grown up eating you never knew were bad for you. Think about all that bread you eat with those sandwiches. That just turns into sugar.
Undigested carbs lead to acid reflux by causing bacterial overgrowth and increased pressure inside your abdomen. Gas, bloating, and burping are also some of the common difficulties you may have to deal with due to these foods sitting in your intestine.
Cutting carbs is a proven technique for providing immediate relief from acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Eat a ripe banana to keep your stomach happy.
Now don’t get your hopes up. This won’t get rid of acid reflux as a whole. But, adding a ripe banana can cure acid reflux symptoms like dry cough, burning, and vomiting.
Bananas are low-acid fruit that neutralizes the stomach acid by coating the irritated esophageal (ess-off-oh-jeel) lining. The high potassium content and fibrous nature of this fruit will create a smooth flow of food through the digestive tract. It also makes you feel fuller for a longer period, reducing your chances of overeating.
Not only this, but bananas also help you to maintain a healthy weight and improve blood sugar levels. Just make sure your bananas are ripe. This is only because an unripe one will make your symptoms worse.
What do you think about chewing gum to prevent the burning sensation?
Chewing gum has so many terrific benefits you never even knew about. You may have heard it can keep your breath fresh and improve your memory. But, did you know it also helps with acid reflux?
Chewing gum balances out the acidity in your mouth and allows it to clear faster by boosting saliva production. This allows you to swallow more. It can also get rid of stomach acid and avoid the burning sensation of reflux.
If you want a better option, go for bicarbonate chewing gum. The bicarbonate neutralizes the acid to provide more relief.
Keep in mind that sugary gum chewing can be harmful to your teeth. It can damage your tooth enamel, making you more vulnerable to cavities. So, if you’re trying to chew gum to help with acid reflux, make sure it’s sugar-free.
Have an early dinner.
Given so many of our schedules, eating dinner at an early time is almost impossible. We’re sometimes so busy running around, we forget to eat at a reasonable hour. Well, you may want to try harder to eat earlier. Here’s why.
Laying down horizontally after eating a meal makes digestion difficult. This worsens the symptoms of acid reflux. If you’re having this problem a lot, it’s best to avoid eating at least three hours before bed. Try to have an early dinner, ideally around 7 p.m. This will prevent heartburn.
Research states that laying down right after a late-night meal can increase acid exposure by 5%. Also, if you’re diabetic, eating dinner late at night can increase the incidence of acid reflux.
Don’t go to sleep immediately after eating. Sit upright for at least three hours. You can also sit on a recliner positioned at a 45-degree angle or higher. This will prevent reflux. It’s even good to go for a walk after dinner.
Avoid certain exercises to relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.
Just so we’re clear, I’m not telling you to stay away from exercise. There’s no doubt that exercising is one of the best things you can do for your health, but if you suffer from heartburn you need to select your workouts carefully. Certain exercises can aggravate acid reflux symptoms, while others improve them.
Reflux can be triggered by any workout that requires you to lift heavy objects, bend in a specific way, or hold a position for a longer period.
High impact exercises like running, weightlifting, and cycling can reduce blood flow to your gastrointestinal tract and increase reflux symptoms. Also, if abs are your favorite muscle to work, you should know that stomach crunches and abdominal presses can cause heartburn.
Wait, this does not mean you need to cancel your gym membership. Just go for moderate, low-intensity activities like walking, yoga, or swimming. These workout options will not only help you to ease symptoms, but also help you lose weight.
Changing your sleeping position can minimize heartburn symptoms.
You may have your favorite sleeping position, but if acid reflux troubles you frequently, consider changing your sleep routine for the sake of your health.
Research has discovered that laying on your right side at night can intensify reflux symptoms. The muscle that joins the stomach with the esophagus and protects you against reflux relaxes when you sleep on your right side. Try sleeping on your left side instead. It’s been shown to minimize heartburn by as much as 71%.
Let’s understand the anatomy behind this. The esophagus enters the stomach when you lay on your right side. When you sleep on your left side, the lower esophageal sphincter rests above the level of stomach acid, decreasing the risk of heartburn.
I know resting on your left side all night may not be comfortable, but trust me, it’ll help you fall asleep easily.
Raising your bed slightly can also be a good idea.
Apart from sleeping on the left side, elevating the head of your bed can also help you deal with acid reflux symptoms.
For several people, the symptoms of reflux are triggered at night. This can influence their sleep quality and make falling asleep a challenge. Elevating the head of your bed can help to ease out acid reflux symptoms and enhance sleep quality.
Research states that those who slept with their upper body slightly elevated had less acid reflux than those who slept flat.
Here’s more! Small, frequent meals can help prevent heartburn.
There’s no surprise that a majority of reflux symptoms appear after you eat. Also, research proves that missing out on meals every day can trigger reflux symptoms. Larger meals are more challenging when trying to avoid heartburn. Go for smaller, more frequent meals to prevent and cure your condition.
The lower esophageal sphincter is weak or malfunctioning in people who suffer from acid reflux. Acid reflux can happen when this muscle is overworked, causing acid to squeeze through the opening.
Not only this but eating slowly can also help you to get rid of reflux.
If you devour your entire meal in under a minute, I’ve got some bad news for you. People who eat too quickly are more likely to experience reflux. It’s best to take your time chewing and swallowing your meal.
In one study, it was found that eating a 690-calorie lunch in five minutes rather than 30 minutes resulted in up to 50% more acid reflux episodes.
Naturally, you want to eat something as soon as possible when you’re hungry, but doing so can be quite harmful to your health. When you eat quickly, your digestive tract is packed with larger food particles and it gets overloaded, resulting in stomach acid. This can also lead to gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Sounds interesting, right? What if I told you that your clothing style can also hurt your health?
Even if your dietary habits aren’t giving you acid reflux, wearing tight clothes for more than 2 weeks can trigger it. Corsets, pencil skirts, a tight belt, or shapewear squeeze your stomach and put pressure on your abdominal area. This makes you feel that burning sensation in your chest.
Wearing loose, comfortable clothes not only makes you more relaxed, but also reduces the danger of getting acid reflux.
If you’re planning a late dinner, it’s not a good idea to wear something too tight. If you absolutely must wear tight clothes, go for smaller, less fatty meals. Try to loosen up your clothing after you’re done with your food. This will reduce the chances of reflux.
Stop having so much caffeine.
A cup of coffee to start your day, or a warm mug of tea to wind down in the evening can be the reason behind your elevated acid reflux symptoms. While it depends on the individual, you shouldn’t overdo coffee or tea to avoid the risk of acid reflux.
In one study, caffeine was seen as a possible reason for acid reflux. It relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. The bad news is that coffee, your daily fuel, has shown similar effects.
If coffee or caffeine-containing drinks give you heartburn, it’s better to avoid them. If you can’t, at least try drinking them in moderation. How about going for cold brew coffee instead. It contains less caffeine and may be less acidic, making it a better alternative if you suffer from GERD or heartburn.
There are so many different medicines and therapy options for acid reflux. But, a few easy dietary and lifestyle adjustments can also be helpful. At least you won’t be getting the side effects.