Acid Reflux And Lifestyle Make A Great Combination
Millions of Americans suffer from flare-ups of acid reflux every day, and many of those flare-ups could be avoided, simply by making a few, basic lifestyle changes.
Basically, these changes can be divided into changes which have a direct impact on dietary choices, and those changes which involve habits other than diet.
Dietary lifestyle changes
Avoid foods that are known to cause acid reflux, and limit those foods which can cause the condition to occur. In general, foods high in fat or spices and those which are deep-fried should be avoided, as well as chocolate and caffeine.
But dietary considerations involve more than just what you eat and drink. An overly full stomach can also cause acid reflux to occur. Eat smaller, more frequent meals to avoid triggering the condition.Do not eat in the two-hour period before you go to bed to ensure that the stomach is empty, or nearly empty, when you lie down.
Dietary restrictions don’t end in your own dining room. When eating at restaurants, you have less control over the types of foods you’ll be eating. But you can still make smart choices that can help control your acid reflux. It’s still important to avoid foods that are known to cause acid reflux. Don’t give in to the temptation of French fries, gravies, or cream soups, and ask for meat or fish entrees to be grilled or broiled instead of fried. Choose vegetables that do not have butter or other sauces.
Alcohol can also cause acid reflux, increasing stomach acid and relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter. One drink may not cause a problem, but to be sure, try diluting your drink with water or club soda. When it comes to beer and wine, white wine is usually a better choice than red, and beer should generally be avoided.
Lose weight. When fatty tissue presses against the stomach, intra-abdominal pressure increases, which may cause the lower esophageal sphincter to weaken and malfunction, allowing acid to reflux. Even a small weight gain of 10 percent of your body weight can result in a significant improvement in acid reflux symptoms.
Non-dietary lifestyle changes
Smoking is a habit which has consistently been linked with acid reflux. If you cannot stop smoking entirely, at least consider cutting back, and avoid smoking during the three hours prior to sleep.
Stress is also associated with an overproduction of stomach acid, and can also slow the digestive process, resulting in acid remaining in the stomach for a longer period of time. Stress management techniques, such as meditation, yoga, and regular but gentle exercise can help reduce stress. Select a stress management program that suits your own lifestyle.
Wear loose-fitting clothes that do not press on or constrict the abdomen. Tight belts and waistbands can prevent food from clearing from the stomach, and can cause pressure to build up against the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid to reflux.
Traveling to new and unknown locations is great, but it can present its own challenges for individuals who suffer from acid reflux. Even though it can be an exciting adventure, traveling still involves a certain amount of stress. A new environment, possibly with a strange language and different customs, as well as new and different foods, can cause stress, one of the better known triggers of acid reflux. In addition, all those strange foods and exotic tastes can also involve an unknown risk of acid reflux. However, while certain foods may be unknown quantities as far as acid reflux is concerned, it’s still important to avoid foods that are fried or highly spiced.
Most importantly, whether traveling or at home, keep an acid reflux journal. By noting which foods, beverages, and activities cause or precede acid reflux attacks, you can determine the types of changes you should make in your lifestyle to prevent the occurrence of acid reflux and the pain and burning it can cause.