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Make Lifestyle Changes To Help With Acid Reflux — an article on the Smart Living Network
February 24, 2008 at 1:45 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Make Lifestyle Changes To Help With Acid Reflux


How Acid Reflux Works

When a person eats too much during mealtime, or eats too quickly, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) will relax at the wrong time, making strong stomach juices build up and overflow in the esophagus. This causes the burning sensation known as "heartburn", or "acid reflux". Acid reflux is what is known as a chronic condition. Without proper medical treatment, the resulting symptoms can lead to more serious medical complications. While the effects of acid reflux are difficult and frustrating, acid reflux can become a tolerable and manageable condition through certain lifestyle changes.

Making a Change through Diet

There are certain adjustments that can be made to compensate for the effects of acid reflux. The first steps are to look at an individual's diet, weight, personal habits, and resting patterns. The first aspect to consider is an individual's weight and eating habits. If a person is overweight, then a regimen of diet and exercise will help to shed those excess pounds. It is important to regulate a person's diet, from meal portions to the types of food to eat. There is a less chance for acid reflux if smaller meals are eaten, and not eaten in a hurry. Completely chewed food is easier to digest. Eat more fruits, vegetables and high protein, low fat foods. Avoid sodas, alcoholic beverages and high carbonation drinks. If the foods are fatty or fried, it is best to stay away.

Making a Change through Sleep

After eating a meal, do not lie down immediately after eating. It is best to wait two to three hours so that the acid in the stomach does not have a chance to work its way back up. It is best to rest on the left side of the body while keeping the head elevated six to eight inches. Foam pillows can help to alleviate pressure. It is important to support the body at the correct angle. Otherwise the effects of acid reflux could get worse and cause problems during sleep.

Making a Change through Personal Habits

All kinds of tobacco, whether it is cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco or snuff relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and can push stomach acid up into a person's esophagus. Nicotine is also known to increase the production of stomach acid. It also helps to wear loose-fitted clothing. Fitting into a tight pair of pants can put extra pressure on the stomach and can force the rise of stomach acid. Other articles of clothing to avoid include tight belts, waistbands and panty hose. Take extra precautions when lifting and bending. Bending over can increase stomach acid production, so when lifting an object, be sure to bend at the knees.

Recognize Your Condition.

There is no set textbook definition for an individual's acid reflux symptoms as it can vary from person to person. Be aware of personal limits based on age, height, weight, and tolerances to certain foods. If performing a certain action cause's discomfort, then it is better to limit its use or simply avoid altogether.


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