Many of the causes of Acid Reflux are related to one’s diet and lifestyle. Of course, more severe cases of Acid Reflux require immediate medical attention and supervision, however those with less severe cases often find that they can easily manage their symptoms by making a few diet and lifestyle changes. The symptoms of Acid Reflux include heartburn, regurgitation, bloating, nausea and pain in the abdomen. These symptoms can be very uncomfortable and can have a significant impact on your quality of life. If you are overweight, smoke or indulge in fatty, spicy or heavy meals, there are certain changes you can make to your diet and lifestyle in order to help you manage the symptoms of Acid Reflux.
Certain foods and drinks can cause and worsen the symptoms of Acid Reflux. These include fizzy and alcoholic beverages, coffee and tea, acidic foods and citrus fruits, chocolate, spicy and fatty foods. If you suffer from Acid Reflux, avoiding these in your day-to-day life will certainly help to ease your symptoms; however, there are extra diet changes you can make to further help to combat Acid Reflux.
Overall, patients suffering from Acid Reflux are often told to stick to a low-fat, high-protein diet. There are certain substitutions that can be made when changing your diet in order to improve the symptoms of Acid Reflux. For example, you can substitute caffeinated tea and coffee with weak herbal teas that will aid digestion, and replace chocolate with less acidic fruits such as pears, bananas and apples. It is also important to replace large, heavy meals with healthier alternatives, such as baked potato, broccoli, carrots and green beans. Introducing these changes into your diet, as well as cutting down on fizzy and alcoholic beverages and increasing the amount of water you drink, will work to significantly combat Acid Reflux symptoms, as well as improving your general health.
Adjusting your meal and snacking times can also help to reduce the symptoms of Acid Reflux. It is recommended that those suffering from Acid Reflux should eat smaller meals more often, as this aids healthy, gradual digestion and prevents certain symptoms of Acid Reflux immediately after eating. Avoiding eating 2 to 3 hours before going to bed can help to ease symptoms of Acid Reflux while sleeping, ensuring a good night’s rest, and avoiding lying down immediately after eating can also have this effect throughout the day.
- Smaller meals more often
- Stop eating 2 to 3 hours before bed
- Avoid fatty, spicy and acidic foods
- Replace fizzy and alcoholic beverages with still water
- Avoid caffeinated drinks such as tea and coffee
There are many lifestyle changes that can be made in order to prevent the symptoms of Acid Reflux. As well as changing to a healthier diet, overweight sufferers can ease symptoms by engaging in low-intensity exercise in order to promote weight loss, and therefore work to ease their symptoms in the long term. As well as this, it is recommended that, where possible, sufferers avoid tight, restricting clothing, as this can make it more difficult for the body to digest food and therefore worsen Acid Reflux symptoms. For smokers, quitting smoking will significantly reduce the symptoms of Acid Reflux, as smoking can increase the amount of acid in the stomach and cause heartburn, and will worsen your overall health. Some studies have shown that lowering stress can help to relieve the symptoms of Acid Reflux, and although you cannot completely eradicate stress, working to reduce your stress levels through methods such as meditation will also help to combat symptoms.
Another lifestyle change that can be made is to remain seated or standing upright as much as possible. This means that, when resting during the day, it is important to avoid lying completely flat, as this helps acid to stay down. If you suffer badly at night, try elevating the head of the bed or using extra pillows for the same effect.
- Lose weight with low-intensity exercise alongside a healthy diet
- Quit smoking
- Keep stress to a minimum
- Remain upright where possible, and elevate yourself when sleeping
- Wear loose fitting clothing
Please remember to consult your GP or a medical professional before making significant diet and lifestyle changes. If you require Acid Reflux treatment, contact us for a private consultation on 020 7183 7965.
For more specialist dietary information please see our acid reflux diet page.