If you are really upset about the annoying heartburn in your chest and its taking a toll on your daily life by putting you in uncomfortable situation every now and then, here is a good news for you that I want to share, that will comfort you a bit!
It’s the fact that you can cure and get rid of this ailment completely, just by making some simple yet key changes to your lifestyle. These lifestyle changes will not only take care of your heartburn issues, but it will reflect on your life positively as a whole too, as it will make you feel better and look good. You will be a healthier and happier person, as you make these little changes to your daily routine.
Here are the 5 major lifestyle changes that will help you to keep your acid reflux problems at bay and thereby live a normal healthy life!
1.Taking Care of your Eating Habits: As they say, “You Are What You Eat”. This is absolutely true.
As far as acid reflux is concern, your food habits are one of the major factors. Your food habits consist of 3 aspects: What you Eat, When you Eat and How Much you Eat!
You should be well aware of what the foods to be avoided, that trigger your heartburn and what the foods to be included in your diet, that are heartburn friendly. We have discussed it in good details in the following articles!
- Food that causes heartburn and what to avoid!
- Acid-reflux friendly foods that help you curing heartburn!
Also you should be avoiding giant meals as it puts a lot of pressure on your stomach and the LES (lower esophageal sphincter). Whenever you eat, your stomach has to expand to accommodate the food you bring in. So, the more you eat, the more it needs to expand, putting even more pressure to your stomach walls. This in turn exerts more pressure in the LES muscles, the valve responsible for preventing the stomach acid to flow back to the esophagus. This pressure makes the LES weak, thus letting the acid reflux back in to the food-pipe, causing you the heartburn. This is the reason why most people suffer reflux symptoms after having a hefty meal. Doctors and nutritionists recommend eating 5 to 6 small meals a day at regular interval, rather than the traditional regular 3 meals a day habit. This also helps you in keeping a check in your blood sugar level. This will make you less hungry, thus preventing you to get into that bingeing mode, which is not at all healthy for you.
So, smaller meal means less stress on the stomach and the LES, thus less heartburn.
Also never eat just before you lying on the couch or going to the bed. This will definitely set off your acid reflux. If you lie down with 2 hours of eating a meal, the horizontal position allows the stomach acid to flow back to the food-pipe from the stomach through the LES, thus quickly turning your delicious feast into a irritating catalyst for suffering. Schedule your meals well before you plan to go to bed. Walking or moving around for a while will reduce the chances of you experiencing heartburn. Also avoid late night snacks.
Remember, when eaten in a large amount and at wrong timings, even the reflux-friendly foods can trigger your heartburn problems.
Here are few videos that will give you some good idea of a healthy eating habit:
2. Shred those extra pounds: Though anyone of any size is prone to suffer the troublesome burn of acid reflux, excess weight does increase the chances of developing heartburn or can make it worse, if you are already suffering from it. Research shows that even gaining that few extra 10-20 pounds can act as the catalyst for heartburn, making your three times more likely to suffer from acid reflux.
So shedding those extra pounds of weight can definitely help you reduce the risk of acid reflux. This will not only help you with your heartburn, but also reduces to risk of many other serious ailments like heart diseases and diabetes. Losing weight will make you feel good about yourself and make you much more active in your daily life too. Regular exercise, cutting calories off your diet and going for healthier options can help you with this.
Here are few videos below that will give you some great ideas and tips on how to loss those extra pounds and become healthier!
3. Breaking The Nicotine Habit: Stop smoking! Any form of tobacco, whether its cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chew or snuff, can definitely trigger acid reflux. Smoking reduces the production of saliva (an important ingredient in our digestive process), stimulates the production of acid in the stomach, relaxes the LES muscles and irritates the protective muscle of the esophagus and the stomach, thus making you highly susceptible to acid reflux problem and its consequences.
As we all know, smoking is quite a reason for whole lot of complicated health problems like cancer, lung diseases to heart problems, making I one of the major contributors to our ill health and serious complications. Just stop this hazardous habit as soon as possible for your own good. Go for options like patches or gum, and get started on your journey to quitting smoking altogether!
4. Handling Your Stress Well: If you may have noticed, you may feel that your acid reflux problems aggravate just before that big meeting you are getting ready for or just when you are trying to go to sleep the night before the big speech you are preparing for. Well. This is because of the fact that Stress triggers heartburn.
Stress not only affects your mind but also causes many physiological changes in our body. When in stressful situations, our body’s defense mechanism goes up, and being unable to differentiate between external or internal threats, it reacts the same way when being intimidated by some eternal attack. There is a adrenaline rush throughout your body, thus rising the blood pressure and making the heart pump even faster. This procedure when repeated in a regular basis over a long period of time, have many ill effects in our body, one of them being heartburn.
Like smoking, stress brings a bunch of health issues with itself. It affects us on emotional, physical and mental level. Anything can cause stress, right from positives changes like a new job, getting married or becoming a parent to negative changes like losing someone nearer and dearer to us, losing your job or constant job pressure etc.
Research show that prolonged stress over a six months period can lead to a significant increase in the acid reflux symptoms. Many others problems like anxiety & depression, memory loss, insomnia, high blood pressure, heart attacks and strokes are also associated with high level of stress.
Activities like practicing Yoga or meditation, listening to music, taking a break from your daily routine, getting involved with something creative like painting or music, or even getting some good regular sleep can help you manage your stress.
Here are few videos for you that will help you getting de-stressed and lead a happy healthy life!
5. Drink lots of Water & Stay Fit: Keeps yourself well hydrated. You should also drink more water while eating as it will neutralize the acid. Exercise a lot. Be active. Take long walks, run, do Yoga. Try to remain happy and keep away from things that put you in too much of pressure or stress.
For many nighttime suffers, chronic acid reflux can disturb normal sleeping patterns, thus resulting in loss of sleep. To avoid this, try changing your sleeping positions. Try going to sleep lying on your left side, as it prevents the stomach acid from flowing back to the esophagus. You can also try raising your head or your shoulders a bit by placing a pillow underneath the mattress or by using wedge pillow. This can relief you off your irritating nighttime acid reflux.
So with these simple lifestyle changes, you will be able to get relief from your heartburn pretty quickly. You may find it bit difficult to instill these changes to your usual habituated lifestyle, but gradually, by starting with one change at a time, introduce them into your life and you will soon feel the difference. Remember the old saying, “If you keep doing what you are doing, you are going to keep getting what you have got”. So it’s you who have to make the right choices if you really want to get rid of your heartburn and lead a happy and healthy life.
Talk to you soon again. Till then, take good care of yourself! 🙂