Acid reflux is a pretty nasty thing to suffer from – the searing pain, the rising bile, and even a niggling, throaty cough are all symptoms of acid reflux, or heartburn, as it’s colloquially known. Now, it’s important to stress that if you’re constantly suffering from acid reflux, it’s absolutely paramount that you get it seen to by a specialist as soon as possible. One or two days should be fine, but a week or more of acid reflux symptoms could hint at a much larger problem.
Regardless of whether or not you’re being seen to by a doctor, it’s still crucial to adapt your diet and lifestyle in order to ease the pain caused. As such, we’re going to list a few tips, tricks and techniques for those who suffer from acid reflux.
Know the Culprits
When it comes to acid reflux, everybody’s different. The foods that may cause it for one person, could have absolutely zero effect on another. Be aware of the foods you’re eating that cause heartburn, and avoid them wherever possible.
Fatty or acidic foods are a serious no-no if you’re looking to limit acid reflux. Fatty foods cause the lower oesophageal sphincter to work slowly, which in turn means it doesn’t close properly, allowing acid back into the gullet.
Your mother wasn’t just being polite when she told you to take your time and chew your food. Wolfing down your dinner is a guaranteed route to heartburn, as the stomach acids are working over-time to break the food down.
Quitting smoking is always a good idea – but even more so if you suffer heartburn. The smoke irritates the stomach acids and worsens the effects, as well as damaging the stomach lining. So stub it out and feel the benefit.
If you’re overweight, you’re far more likely to suffer from acid reflux, so it’s a fine idea to lose a little weight. The more fat you’re carrying, the more pressure you’re putting on your stomach muscles, and the worse your symptoms will be.
Exercise (But Not Too Much)
Directly linked to the above, it’s worth exercising – not just to lose weight, but also to aid the digestive fluids. That’s why walking is a great – you’re upright, allowing the acid to settle. Having said that, exercising too much, and too hard, can also cause acid reflux symptoms, so you’ll want to strike the right balance.
Ok, it doesn’t have to be gum. Anything that stimulates saliva is a great way of combating acid reflux, since it neutralises the stomach acids. So after meals, crack open the Wrigleys.
Give It Time to Lie Down
Don’t eat your dinner too late in the day, or night, even. Because after that, you’ll be heading to bed – and lying down can cause serious heartburn. It’s best to wait a good few hours after eating before lying down. Instead, sit upright, allowing gravity to take its course.
See a Professional
Yes, we’ve mentioned this before, but it bears worth repeating. If you’ve been suffering heartburn for an extended period of time, get yourself checked out by a doctor. Depending on the cause, simple medication could ease the acid reflux; however, the root cause may well be something far more serious – and obtaining advice from a professional is the best course of action.
Here at the London Gastroenterology Centre, we don’t just specialise in IBS treatment in London – we also offer professional, experienced support for those suffering from acid reflux. If you’d like a private consultation with one of our expert doctors about this issue, we urge you to contact us on 020 7183 7965 and we’ll be delighted to assist with all of your enquiries.
For more specialist dietary information please see our acid reflux diet page.