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Adopt 10 Lifestyle Habits To Reduce Acid Reflux Symptoms

Aug 18, 2007
If you have been experiencing acid reflux symptoms, then you should pay attention to how you are living and make some important changes. Acid reflux sufferers generally find that they can reduce their symptoms when they adopt specific lifestyle habits. Here is a brief summary of 10 these habits that you should consider making:

1. Have small meals at frequent intervals. Consuming large meals causes your stomach to expand and this increases the pressure in the esophageal sphincter. When this happens, your lower esophageal sphincter (LES) finds it difficult to stay closed. When you eat less at a meal and more frequently, the risk of getting acid reflux is reduced.

2. Make food choices that are most helpful to you. You should consume more foods that rarely cause heartburn and avoid those that cause heartburn. Proper selection of food would differ from person to person. Also, try to limit the amount of acid stimulating foods and beverages. Removing coffee, tea, caffeinated and carbonated beverages, spices, onions, pepper, tomatoes and tomato based products, citrus fruits, fried and fatty foods, chocolate and peppermint from your diet is also helpful.

3. Do not lie down until at least three hours after each meal. The acid breaking down the food may flow down upwards, if you lie down sooner than three hours. Lying down just right after a meal tends to trigger acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn. Hence, make plans for regular early dinners and try not to eat late night suppers or snacks.

4. Work towards to a reasonable and healthy weight. Obesity is known to create abdominal pressure, which pushes stomach contents into the esophagus. In fact, experts say that even a 10 percent drop in weight will improve many people's heartburn symptoms significantly.

5. Elevate your head while sleeping. The fourth lifestyle change to keep your head elevated a few inches while sleeping. By laying down flat, you put pressure on the stomach's contents against the LES. Elevating the head a few inches results in higher gravity that helps reduce this pressure.

6. Give up smoking. Another lifestyle change is to stop smoking. This is especially if you suffer from severe heartburn symptoms. Cigarette smoke increases saliva production and lowers the amounts of bicarbonates in the saliva, which help to neutralize stomach acid. Therefore, the longer you smoke, the more your body will be unable to keep down the stomach acid.

7. Refrain from alcohol. You should not be drinking alcohol if you suffer from acid reflux symptoms. However if you still want an alcoholic beverage, then limit yourself to rare occasions.

8. De-stress and relax. Simply resting your body and mind can help ease heartburn symptoms. Although, stress is not directly related to heartburn, it can lead to bodily reactions that trigger heartburn. When you are under stress, you may not stick to your regular eating and exercise plan.

9. Select clothes that are loose fitting. Try not to wear belts or clothes that are tight fitting around the waist. This will squeeze the stomach and force food up against the LES causing food to reflux into the esophagus.

10. Maintain an acid reflux journal. It is suggested that you keep a record about your acid reflux symptoms. Maintaining a journal will help. In your journal, keep a log of what and when you eat. Then record down what triggers your acid reflux symptoms and their severity. Observe your own bodily reactions and what you do to find help. Very importantly, when you visit your doctor, bring your journal with you so that you can plan on making appropriate lifestyle changes with his assistance.
About the Author
It is possible to treat acid reflux symptoms with diet and lifestyle changes. Visit http://www.treat-acid-reflux.com for more information on how you can help yourself.
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