We all love to eat delicious food. Be it fast-food from a nearby restaurant or processed food that you can easily make and enjoy. Even canned or packaged food for our daily munching needs. For the modern generation, everything goes along as it satisfies the taste buds and gives pleasure.
With the growth of food delivery options, the unmetered increase of restaurants and cheap dine-in options coupled with heavy discounts and multiple offers, the modern trend of preferring tasty food over healthy food is not going anywhere soon. This trend is growing so much that there is an actual competition to come up with new, innovative, and delicious dishes and recipes to attract more people.
Although, there is no debate around the fact that the modern diet is extremely satisfying to the taste buds, but is it equally satisfying for the rest of the body? The answer is a glaring no. Somewhere deep within, we all realize this.
Junk diet lacks the nutrition and minerals that the body needs, and without those essential supplies, there is an impact on the functionality of the body. These foods are highly acidic and irritate the gut when digested. This leads to multiple issues that are very common in today’s world.
Issues such as acid reflux, gas build-up, heartburn, bowel irritation, and gut infections are increasing with each passing day. It even leads to many serious problems if not stopped or tackled promptly. Now if you are here reading this, chances are you are facing some of these acid-related issues. But worry not, as we will explain to you what acid reflux is, and 4 great ways to get it under control.
What is Acid Reflux? Why do we feel heartburn?
Our stomach is highly acidic and its’ pH level ranges from 2 to 3. Acid Reflux refers to a situation when the acid from the stomach moves up to the esophagus. This further causes symptoms, like heartburn, nausea, and chest pain amongst others.
It usually gets better within some time, but if you face these issues multiple times, then you might be suffering from acid reflux disease, widely known as GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
Heartburn, as discussed above is a symptom of acid reflux, and is known so since the esophagus is situated just behind the heart, where a burning sensation and sometimes pain is felt in case of acid reflux.
What are the Factors that cause Acid Reflux?
Acid Reflux can be caused by several factors. Some of the most common factors that can lead to acid reflux are:
- Eating large or heavy meals
- Immediately lying down after having a meal
- Eating processed or packaged food
- Eating spicy and fatty food
- Drinking aerated drinks, alcohol or beverages with caffeine
- Smoking regularly
- Taking certain medications for pain relief/muscle relaxation such as ibuprofen, aspirin, etc.
Besides these, multiple other factors such as obesity, lack of physical activity, fasting for long periods and regularly eating junk food too can trigger acid reflux.
What are the symptoms associated with Acid Reflux?
There are multiple common symptoms that you generally face if you suffer from Acid Reflux. These include:
- Heartburn – This is the primary symptom and happens to almost every person since the acid in the stomach moves up to the esophagus, which is located near your chest.
- Regurgitation – This refers to the sour or bitter taste in your mouth due to the backing up of stomach acid
- Bloating – This is the sound that comes from your stomach as acid moves around.
- Black/Bloody Stools – Another symptom of acid reflux is a sudden change in stool color to black, or blood coming out along with the stool.
- Burping – the passage of air from the digestive system through the mouth.
- Dysphagia – The sensation of the food being stuck in the mouth or throat
- Nausea – The sensation of vomiting.
- Dry Cough/Sore Throat – Hoarseness in the throat area along with cough. Most people associate it with the flu, but not many know that this can be caused due to acid reflux as well.
- Weight Loss – suddenly losing weight without any known reason is a big indicator of the acid reflux. It is not very common for most people but can happen to some.
How can you stop Acid Reflux?
There are multiple ways to Stop Acid Reflux. Many people rush into taking medications for it. Although medication helps to control the issues temporarily, but to avoid it altogether, you need to make adjustments in your lifestyle.
Here are 4 natural ways through which you can control acid reflux and avoid heartburn:
1. Control your weight and Exercise Regularly
Obesity and lack of physical activity are the most common reasons for acid reflux. In obese people, who tend to have extra fat on their body, the pressure on the abdomen is very high. As a result, the lower esophageal sphincter gets pushed upward and allows the stomach acid to move up into the esophagus.
It has been observed in various studies that extra fat in the abdominal region is a trigger for acid reflux and even GERD. As such, it should be your priority to cut the excess fat off your belly to stop the acid reflux.
To shed those extra kilos, maintain your physical shape, and release some pressure off your abdomen, you should exercise regularly and indulge in physical activities such as playing a sport, cycling, jogging or running, etc.
Exercising regularly will assist you in losing weight and control acid reflux. It will also bring a host of other benefits to your body such as improvement in energy levels, better skin health, lesser risk of chronic diseases, and overall improvement of mental health.
2. Drink Alkaline Water
Alkaline Water is widely regarded as a great remedy for controlling acid reflux. It manages the symptoms of acid reflux and provides long term relief.
Water has a neutral pH balance of 7, which means it is neither acidic nor alkaline. However, by increasing the pH balance of water, it can be converted into alkaline water. There are various ways to naturally make your water alkaline at home. These ways include adding lemon and Himalayan salt, using baking soda, using pH drops and strips, and even using ionizers in your regular water.
However, if you want instant access to alkaline water throughout the day, then you can try the DYLN Bottle. This bottle provides you alkaline water as and when you need it, and you can drink it throughout the day to control the balance in your body.
Alkaline water has been found to inactivate pepsin, a digestive enzyme in the stomach known to play a part in causing acid reflux. As such, alkaline water neutralizes the increased acidity in the digestive system and provides the right balance to avoid acid reflux, and eventually heartburn.
3. Eat Healthy Low Carb Food and Drink less Caffeine
What you eat and how much you eat has a major influence on your gut health. It is important to eat less but at regular intervals. Similarly, it is equally important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet at all times to have a healthy stomach and avoid issues like acid reflux.
It has been observed in various studies that most of the symptoms of acid reflux take place after a meal. If you eat large meals consistently, then these symptoms may worsen and cause major issues, even GERD.
Similarly, eating processed, packaged or high carb food can trigger acid reflux. On the other hand, there is growing evidence that eating food low on carbohydrates helps in relieving the symptoms of acid reflux. You should always aim to eat natural and alkaline food. Eat more vegetables, consume more fruits, and try to ensure that there is less gap within your meals.
Besides your diet, you should also keep a check on your beverage intake. You should stop consuming alcohol completely. Also, you should keep a check on your caffeine intake per day. Not only should you stop consuming carbonated drinks, but also give up on your coffee addiction.
Caffeine, according to this study, temporarily weakens the lower sphincter of the esophagus, and allows a constant flow of acid from the stomach, back to the esophagus. As such, you should definitely aim to reduce your coffee intake if you feel regular reflux symptoms.
4. Avoid lying down after meals and try sleeping in an elevated position
Almost every day, people make a common mistake, which is to lie down immediately after having a meal. It is a very bad practice and one of the major reasons behind acid reflux. By doing this, you take gravity in the equation and allow the acid to easily cross the esophageal sphincter and flow back into the esophagus.
If you have been unwittingly laying straight after your meals, then it's about time that you change that. After a meal, wait at least three hours before going to bed. Also, stroll around for a bit after the meal for the acid to settle down.
When you finally lay down to sleep, you should try to sleep in an elevated posture. Raising your head 6 to 8 inches from your feet can help in keeping the stomach acid down and avoiding acid reflux.
You should make sure that your entire upper body is elevated. Stacking pillows beneath your head might not be useful as it will only lift your head. You can probably use an extra foam sheet or wedge support beneath your upper body to achieve proper elevation, and as doing so, avoiding the esophageal acid reflux.
Acid Reflux is one of the most common issues amongst the millennials (more than 60 million people suffer from it at least once in a month) due to their poor lifestyles and irregular and bad eating habits. Most people tend to ignore it or take over the counter medications to solve it temporarily. However, these all are temporary solutions only, and to stop acid reflux on a long term and avoid diseases like GERD, significant changes in lifestyle are needed.
You can try the four methods discussed above that can aid you in stopping acid reflux. These are a bit difficult to follow, as these require significant and consistent efforts on your part. However, if you are strong in your resolve and want to have a better quality life, then you should bring these changes and avoid acid reflux completely.
One thing that won’t need a big effort from your side and bring you major benefits is shifting to alkaline water. As discussed above, it has multiple benefits for your body and creates a pH balance in your stomach. You can get a DYLN Bottle that can provide you alkaline water anytime you want. You can drink it throughout the day and keep a check on Acid Reflux, and eventually heartburn.