7 Common Causes Behind Acid Reflux & How to Treat It
Have you ever felt a burning sensation or discomfort that radiates through your stomach, your abdomen, or even your chest? That’s called Acid Reflux.
But before you get too concerned, know that it’s more common than you think. And, much like other conditions that affect your stomach’s wellbeing, most of the time it is directly related to what you consume.
So, what’s the science behind this condition?
Acid Reflux occurs when too much of your stomach contents come back up into your esophagus. It triggers that familiar yet painful sensation known as heartburn.
Gross, we know. But what causes it?
Because every person is different, there are tons of different factors that result in Acid Reflux. Some causes are so normalized and accepted as part of the day-to-day, that you may not even realize they can be the source of your pain.
So if you’ve ever suffered from this condition but you’re not sure why, we’re here to shed some light. Today we’ll be talking about 7 of the most common causes behind Acid Reflux, and give you a few tips on how to treat and prevent it!
Certain Foods & Beverages
Like we said, every discomfort your stomach has ever felt most likely correlates to what you eat and drink. Although what you consume may seem harmless, some of your favorite foods can be causing you discomfort.
Food can trigger Acid Reflux in two different ways: by relaxing your LES (lower esophageal sphincter, the valve between your esophagus and stomach), or by increasing the production of stomach acid.
Here are some foods associated with heartburn:
- Citrus fruits
- High-fat meats
- Greasy foods
- Caffeinated drinks like soft drinks and coffee
It may surprise you to know that when you eat can affect your stomach’s wellbeing nearly as much as what you eat.
One of the biggest ways that timing can affect your stomach is if you wait too long between meals. By the time you get around to having a meal, you might eat more than what your body needs, causing your stomach to expand and add pressure to your LES.
On the other hand, eating too quickly because you’re short on time can interrupt the proper functioning of your digestive system. Your body needs adequate time and nourishment to perform at its best.
If waiting too long between meals is bad, skipping meals altogether is worse. In these busy times, it’s normal to lose track of time and forget to eat. But even one skipped meal can result in Acid Reflux.
The truth is that even if your stomach has nothing to digest, it will produce digestive fluids like clockwork. This increased acid is enough to cause discomfort and even some pain.
We’d also like to add that your body cannot operate properly without nourishment. So even if skipping a meal doesn’t immediately result in Acid Reflux, it can lead to long-term effects.
This one seems out of our control, right? Pregnant people are more susceptible to Acid Reflux due to changes in their hormones. But as the baby grows and presses on the womb, it’s normal for the stomach to become more sensitive to irritation and discomfort.
Worry not, moms-to-be! We’ll be going over some simple and baby-safe ways to take back control and ease heartburn later in this article.
We know what you’re thinking. “Are our stomachs so delicate that even our medications can have painful effects?” Sometimes the answer (sadly) is yes. Whether they’re as specific as anti-anxiety medications or as generic as ibuprofen, certain medications are bound to irritate your stomach lining.
If your medication is the source of your Acid Reflux, don’t lose hope. We’ve got a list of treatments coming your way!
While smoking causes a lot more serious health issues, it can also lead to Acid Reflux and heart burn.
And while we want to spare you some of the more gruesome details, here are just a few ways smoking leads to stomachal discomfort:
- It reduces the production of saliva, which hinders the neutralization of refluxed acid
- It impairs the LES, making it easier for stomach contents to reflux into the esophagus
- And it can also directly damage your esophagus, increasing the risk of acid reflux and other more serious effects
When stress builds with no proper relief, it can manifest itself in all sorts of physical ways. These include migraines, loss of appetite, and abnormal sleep patterns.
This means you’re not following your usual schedule, and therefore choices you wouldn’t normally make surrounding what you eat and drink can trigger heart burn.
From the looks of it, there are many everyday lifestyle choices that can lead to pain and discomfort. The good news is that there are also tons of ways to treat it!
When dealing with triggers out of your control like pregnancy and medications, it’s important to increase your intake of alkaline water and foods with a higher pH level to offset the imbalance. Make sure you’re using your DYLN bottle to stay healthy and hydrated, and here’s a list of our favorite alkaline foods!
If smoking or stress levels are the root of your discomfort, start prioritizing your mental health. Meditation and exercise are both great ways to give you back the peace of mind you need to make healthier choices.
And finally, if your Acid Reflux is triggered by what you’re consuming, it’s time to listen to your body and find the right foods and eating schedule to give your body all the nutrients and none of the pain!