Many people all around the world go through the acid reflux and heartburn. The most commonly utilized treatment includes commercial drugs, like omeprazole. Whereas, lifestyle changes can also be efficient. The symptoms of this acid reflux can be considerably decreased easily by altering your dietary habits or the manner in which you sleep.
Before we talk about the treatments let’s have a look at what Acid Reflux is and that are its symptoms.
Acid reflux and symptoms
When your stomach gets pushed up into the esophagus, which is a tube that transports the drink and food from mouth to the stomach, acid reflux occurs. This reflux occurring irregularly is completely harmless and normal, generally, no symptoms are observed in this case. However, when it occurs frequently, this means that it burns the inside of the esophagus. As per the estimations, it was found that 14 to 20% of all adults in the US experience reflux of one form or another. The most general type of reflux is heartburn, where there the person feels burning and painful sensation in his throat or chest. It has been estimated by the researchers 7% of the Americans go through heartburn every day.
Among those who experience heartburn every day, 20-40% are identified as having gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is the most dangerous kind of acid reflux. In the US gastroesophageal reflux disease is the most common digestive disorder.
Along with the heartburn, typical symptoms of reflux involve an acidic taste at the back of the mouth and not being able to swallow the food. Tooth erosion, cough, inflammation in the sinuses, and asthma are some other symptoms of heartburn. There are several ways to decrease your heartburn and acid reflux, all the reasons that we are going to discuss are backed by medical research.
Keep a tab on you eating
There is a ring like a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter, where the esophagus opens into the stomach. It functions as a valve and is supposed to avoid acidic components of the stomach from going up into the esophagus. It usually opens when we swallow, vomit, or belch. In any other case, this remains closed. Persons who are suffering from acid reflux, this muscle is dysfunctional or weakened. Also when there is too much pressure on the muscle, which causes the acid to squeeze through the opening, acid reflux can occur.
As well known, the symptoms of the reflux are observed after a meal. Also, it has been by consuming larger meals, the reflux symptoms can get worst.
A muscle that is situated above your stomach is known as the diaphragm. The lower esophageal sphincter is strengthened usually by the diaphragm in healthy people. As discussed earlier, this muscle makes sure that the excessive amounts of stomach acid don’t leak up into the esophagus. Whereas, if a person has too much belly fat, the pressure on the abdomen might become so high that the lower esophageal sphincter gets pushed upward, away from the diaphragm’s support. This is known as hiatus hernia.
Obese people and pregnant women are at an enhanced risk of reflux and heartburn, because of hiatus hernia. The risk of reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease increases with extra pounds in the abdominal area, as per many observational types of research.
This is the reason why it is advisable to lose weight which can reduce the reflux symptoms and regulated studies support this. If a person is suffering from acid reflux, it is advisable to lose weight and make it a priority.
It has been observed from several studies that acid reflux can be alleviated by the low-carb diet. A scientist has reason to believe that bacterial overgrowth is caused because of undigested carbs and also the pressure is increased inside the abdomen. It has also been presumed that this might be one of the most common causes of acid reflux.
Because of the impaired carb digestion and absorption, bacterial overgrowth is caused as per certain studies. Persons get gassy and bloated if they have too many undigested carbs in their digestive system. A fell small studies suggest that low-carb diets enhance reflux symptoms, assisting this belief. Further, antibiotic therapy might considerably decrease acid reflux, possibly by reducing the number of gas-generating bacteria.
In research, the patients were given with gastroesophageal reflux disease prebiotic fiber additives which enhanced the growth of gas-generating bacteria. As a consequence, the patient’s symptoms of the reflux became worse.
Restricting alcohol intake
The seriousness of the acid reflux and heartburn can get worse by drinking alcohol. It intensifies the symptoms by increasing the acid in the stomach, relaxing the esophageal sphincter, and damaging the capability of the esophagus itself of acid. In healthy individuals, even mild consumption of alcohol might cause reflux symptoms. When contrasted to drinking plain water, it has been observed as per some regulated studies that drinking wine or beer enhances the symptoms of reflux.
Reduce the amount of coffee
The lower esophageal sphincter is temporarily weakened by the coffee as per certain studies, enhancing the risk of acid reflux. Caffeine can be considered as a possible reason for this. In the same manner as coffee, caffeine weakens the lower esophageal sphincter. Further, the reflux can be reduced to drinking decaffeinated coffee when contrasted to regular coffee. Whereas, in one research that gave patients caffeine in water was unable to identify any effects of caffeine on reflux, although the symptoms became worse.
These discoveries suggest that components other than caffeine might play a part in coffee’s outcomes on acid reflux.
Prevent eating raw onion
Eating a meal having raw onion considerably enhanced heartburn in people with reflux as per a study. Also when compared with an identical meal that doesn’t have raw onion, the heartburn, acid reflux, and belching increased in people who had a meal with onion.
Belching is a more constant manner indicates that more gas is being generated because of the high amounts of fermentable fibers in onion. The lining of the esophagus is also disturbed by the raw onions, which leads to worsened heartburn. If by eating a raw onion, your symptoms are getting worse, we would advise against it.
Decrease the consumption of carbonated beverages
People suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease are suggested not to use or decrease their consumption of carbonated beverages. Acid reflux symptoms were increased and they were related to the carbonated soft drinks as per observational research. It has also been observed that having cola or carbonated water temporarily weakens the lower esophageal sphincter when contrasted to the drinking plain water.
There is carbon dioxide gas in carbonated beverages, which is the main reason which leads to belching in people more frequently, an outcome that can enhance the amount of acid getting into the esophagus.
Reduce the intake of citrus juice
A study was conducted on 400 gastroesophageal reflux disease patients and the symptoms of acid reflux became worse with the orange or grapefruit. Also, acidity is not the only factor which is worsening the symptoms of acid reflux. The symptoms intensified also with the orange juice with a neutral PH.
It is probable that some of its elements irritate the lining of the esophagus because citrus juice doesn’t weaken the lower esophageal sphincter. In people who are already suffering from heartburn, the citrus juice can worsen the symptoms for a temporary. However, people who consume normally, this doesn’t cause acid reflux.
Having fewer amounts of chocolate
People suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease are recommended by their doctors to restrict their intake of chocolate. Whereas, there is less evidence to prove this fact. Unregulated research observed that drinking chocolate beverage enhanced the quantity of acid in the esophagus when contrasted with the placebo. However, before getting into any conclusions regarding the effects of the chocolate on reflux symptoms, additional studies are required.
Prevent using mint
The most usual herbs utilized to flavor mouthwash, toothpaste, and candy are spearmint and peppermint. Also in herbal teas, these are the most common elements. However, in a regulated study conducted, it has been found that in people with gastroesophageal reflux disease, there was no effect of spearmint on the lower esophageal sphincter. However, the research revealed that increased dosage of spearmint might make worse acid reflux symptoms, probably by irritating the inside of the esophagus. It is advisable to stop using the mint if by consuming it makes your heartburn worse.
Rest your head on elevated areas while sleeping
Some people go through the acid reflux symptoms during the night. This might disturb their sleep and it becomes difficult for them to sleep. In a study conducted, it has been observed that people who keep their heads on elevated areas while sleeping had considerable decreased acid reflux symptoms and occurrences when compared to those who are sleeping without keeping their head on higher platforms.
Further, it has been concluded from an examination of regulated studies that it is an efficient strategy to decrease the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn at night by placing the head on the elevated platforms.
In the end, there are various precautions and remedies to treat the acid reflux, they include, not having food three hours before going to bed and also while sleeping to avoid sleeping on the right side of the bed.
Certain medical experts hold the view that the dietary aspects are the main fundamental reasons for acid reflux. However, one must keep in mind that additional studies are required to prove these claims. However, research shows that basic alterations in the diet and the lifestyle can considerably reduce the acid reflux symptoms.