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Prevent Your Heartburn by Making Lifestyle Changes

Jan 21, 2008
Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease, happens when the esophagus allows the contents of the stomach to back up toward the mouth. This makes it very painful and often a burning sensation occurs. If acid reflux disease is not treated as soon as possible, the esophagus can sustain permanent damage. There are certain medications that will help stop or relieve some of the discomfort caused by acid reflux disease. To get the best out of acid reflux treatment and medication, the afflicted individual needs to make lifestyle changes.

Loosing Weight

It is still not yet fully known why overweight and obese people have higher risk of developing acid reflux disease than people who maintain a normal weight. It has been found that people who are able to lose approximately 10% of their body weight experience a reduction in symptoms of acid reflux disease.

No Smoking or Drinking

Nicotine and alcohol tend to weaken the muscle ring known as the esophageal sphincter. The esophageal sphincter is a rim of muscle located at the bottom of the esophagus, which allows the food to go to the stomach. When this muscle ring gets weak, it does not close all the way and the contents of the stomach can rise back up. Alcohol also causes a higher production of stomach acid.

No Lying Down After Meals: The 45 Minutes Rule

The stomach fills up with acid right after eating to digest the food consumed. Lying down right after a meal will likely cause the acid to come back up from the stomach. Standing and sitting for about 45 minutes after eating helps to keep the stomach acid down.

Eating Smaller, More Frequent Meals

The more food eaten at a time, the more acid is produced in the stomach in order to digest it. Symptoms of acid reflux disease can be reduced by eating smaller meals more than three times a day.

No Tight Fitting Clothing

Tight clothing, especially those that are tight around the waist, can cause the food and acid to rise up. If the esophageal sphincter does not work the way it should, the food will come back up to the mouth.

Avoiding Fast Foods

Fast foods are very high in fat. High fat foods need to be avoided to help cure acid reflux disease. High fats cause more stomach acid to be produced, not to mention contribute to weight gain.

Following Doctor's Medication Prescriptions

Medication won't work if it is not taken how the doctor has prescribed it to be taken. If a doctor prescribes that acid medication be taken every day then it must be taken every day. Medication must be taken whether or not there are symptoms of acid reflux. Medications for acid reflux disease must be taken for the entire duration as prescribed by a doctor.
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