Kill the Burn: Lifestyle Modifications to Manage Your Acid Reflux

You have heartburn. It’s awful, but it’s not a fatal disease. Fortunately, this can be almost totally managed, and even cured, through diet and lifestyle changes. However, it’s not effort-free. You will have to make some changes and some of those might be very tough.

Heartburn, or acid reflux, is a condition where a painful burning sensation occurs just below or behind the breastbone. It’s caused by acid from your stomach splashing up or rising up into your chest, burning your lower, middle, or even upper esophagus. Here’s what you need to do to take control over the issue.

Cutting Down On Coffee, Tea, and Alcohol

If you’re a big coffee drinker, this is going to hurt. Coffee is usually pretty acidic, especially the cheap kind you buy in the grocery store. But, even gourmet coffee can be acidic enough to trigger an episode.

Tea is a little milder on the tummy, but it’s still acidic enough to contribute to acid reflux and heartburn.

Finally, if you’re an alcohol drinker, now’s the time to stop. Alcohol is one of those substances that’s easy to get addicted to, but it’s acidifying nature makes it terrible for your heartburn or acid reflux. Maybe you’re not addicted, per se, but you do have a habit of doing it regularly. Programs like specialize in alternative methods of helping you reduce or eliminate your habit, without resorting to extreme measures like AA.

Quit Smoking

Lifestyle Modifications to Manage Your Acid RefluxSmoking creates a lot of oxidative stress in the body. It can also increase your risk for heartburn if you don’t have it already. It may also increase the amount of acid that’s secreted by your stomach and interfere with the function of the muscles that keep acid from backing up into your throat.

Loosen Up

Don’t wear tight clothing. It can exacerbate existing problems. Opt for clothes that fit, but that aren’t overly restrictive. If you are overweight, take steps to lose weight. Get out and get some more exercise, switch to a whole foods-base diet, try the whole 30 challenge, and speak to your local gym about starting a barbell weight training program to build muscle.

If you’ve tried all that, and you’re still not losing weight, it might be because you have hormonal issues. Have your doctor order a full metabolic panel that includes RBC electrolyte testing, a full thyroid panel including THS, Free T3, Free T4 and TPO (most doctors don’t order this standard, even if they tell you that they do, so make sure yours does), and gender-specific hormone tests like PSA for men and a 30-day female hormone panel for women that tracks changes in your menstrual cycle.

Resort To Medication

If all else fails, you can always turn to the little purple pill – Prevacid. It’s not a perfect solution, but it’s there to help you until or unless you can fix this through diet and lifestyle. Keep in mind that GERD is a fully manageable illness through diet and lifestyle, though it make take some time before a full resolution happens.

Steve Tucker enjoys helping his patients find simple ways to manage common ailments. From allergy symptoms to arthritis to digestive issues, he often writes about basic ways to take control of one’s health.

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