Acidity: 15 useful ways to manage acid reflux ( acidity )
Updated: Jun 10
Acid reflux is a condition characterized by heartburn felt around the lower chest area and is caused by the stomach acid flowing back up into the food pipe.
According to study conducted by NIH ( National Library Of Medicine), the prevalence of acidity in India ranges from 7.6 to 30% .
Three factors contribute to acid reflux says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a professor of medicine at Harvard Business School which are as follows:
1. Too much acid in the stomach
2. Delayed stomach emptying
3. Poor clearance of food
Symptoms of acid reflux disease:
Heartburn: A burning pain which moves from your stomach to your chest and sometimes up into your throat
Regurgitation: A bitter tasting acid backing up into your mouth.
Bloating: A feeling of fulness in the abdomen
Nausea & vomiting: It is the act of forcible emptying of stomach
Burping: Excess wind in the stomach released from the mouth
Dysphagia: the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
Dry cough, sore throat or wheezing
Constipation: Uncomfortable or infrequent bowel movements
Bad breath: An unpleasant odour in exhaled breath
Causes of acidity
1. Excessive consumption of certain foods such as spicy food, coffee, tea, fast food such as pizza, burger etc. and carbonated drinks.
2. Unhealthy eating behavior such as overeating, eating meals at irregular
3. A diet low in dietary fiber.
Read our article "Importance Of Dietary Fibre" for more information
4. Low levels of physical activity
6. Excessive stress
7. Consumption of alcohol and smoking
8. Certain medications such as antibiotics, sedatives, antidepressants etc.
Solutions to manage acid reflux
Maintain your weight
Obesity generally raises abdominal pressure thereby boosting the chances that stomach acid will be forced up into the esophagus. Research shows having excess visceral fat may be associated with a higher risk of acid reflux. Losing weight is the best solution to reduce acid reflux. Read our article "3 Promising Scientific Steps to Lose Weight at Home Naturally" for more information.
Eat smaller more frequent meals
Larger meals expand the stomach and can raise pressure on lower esophageal sphincter and can further aggravate symptoms. Thus, it is advisable to consume smaller meals.
Work with a health coach
It is important to consult a health coach if you have chronic symptoms of acid reflux. A health coach can provide you a good understanding of the food which triggers you and will help in creating a healthy diet plan suited to your requirements. A health care professional can best examine the situation, help to determine the potential cause and thus recommend treatment.
Over the counter medicines such as antacids can bring temporary relief. However, maybe of limited effectiveness. Proton pump inhibitors try to minimize acid production in the stomach but they can have side effects. Hence, it is strongly suggested to consult a doctor before taking them.
Wear loose fitting clothes
It is recommended not to wear tight clothing's, belts which can push the food back up into the esophagus.
Maintain a record of your symptoms
Monitor what triggered your acidity ( duration, symptoms and severity), what brought relief and whether symptoms interfered with regular activities. This information can serve as a guideline to help the doctor in identifying the diagnosis and determining whether the suggested treatment decreased your symptoms.
Avoiding certain foods
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) states that certain food triggers acid reflux. It is best to avoid carbonated beverages, fried fatty foods, acidic vegetables such as tomatoes and citrus foods such as orange, chocolate and alcoholic drinks.
Consume dinner earlier
Nutritionists often advise Individuals with acid reflux to avoid eating within 3 hours before they go to bed. The reason is because lying horizontally after eating a meal makes digestion more difficult thus further worsening the acid reflux symptoms. Hence, it is advisable to eat dinner early.
Relaxation is the key
Stress can cause visceral sensations such as feeling of fullness and pain and can trigger heartburn. It is thus advisable to get enough sound sleep, consume a balanced diet and learn some breathing and meditation techniques which can help in relaxation.
Sleep on your left side
According to study conducted by sleep foundation, sleeping on the left side is an excellent position for people with acidity. It helps in decreasing reflux episodes and exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid.
Eating low carbohydrate diet
Research suggests that undigested carbohydrates can cause bacteria overgrowth and thus raised pressure inside the abdomen which may cause gas, burping etc. Hence, it is recommended to consume low carb food.
Consume Alkaline foods
Modifying your diet is the most efficient solution to prevent acid reflux. Alkaline foods helps to neutralize the acidic contents of your stomach and decrease the backflow of acid into your esophagus. Consume foods such as spinach, cucumber, carrots, beans and nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds etc. It is essential to incorporate colorful nutritious salad to your meal.
Hydration is a must
Research has shown that consuming water reduces the symptoms of acid reflux. It helps to dilute the acids in the stomach which can help relieve the acid reflux symptoms.
Adopt a mindful eating pattern
Eating quickly and in excess are connected to acid reflux. It is thus essential to practice mindful eating techniques may help to help with acid reflux symptoms and heartburn.
Chew each bite completely and thoroughly
Pause before every meal: Take a look at your meal and observe what is on the plate and take a moment to observe how hungry you are.
Remove distractions during mealtime such as watching television or reading etc.
Elevate the head of your bed
According to a study published in the journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, individuals with night reflux were found to have decreased acid reflux when the head was elevated with a 20cm block.
Acidity is a medical condition which can be treated through lifestyle modifications, healthy diet approach.
It is best to seek treatment for chronic acidity if symptoms persists even after preventing other recognized triggers.
Disclaimer: Blog is generated for informative purposes. Views expressed in the blog are personal and belong to the author of the blog. Lifetrons is just publishing it on behalf of the author.