Heartburn forms part of gastroesophageal diseases (GERD) that cause irritation and swelling in the throat due to the stomach acids leaking into the esophageal cavity. Belching, nausea, bitter taste in your mouth or regurgitation are some o the common and noticeable symptoms of acid indigestion.
Lifestyle changes made over the course of time will help prevent the symptoms of acid indigestion and the condition itself. The following changes in your diet, activity, even clothing can help manage the symptoms effectively and prevent recurrent bouts of heartburn attacks in the future.
Gluten is a protein which many people cannot digest, usually found in grains like barley, rye, wheat. However, people who suffer from gluten intolerance cannot have foods and supplements that are gluten rich. Studies have also shown that gluten could aggravate the symptoms of a number of gastroesophageal diseases, one of them being heartburn. Switching to a gluten-free diet will gradually help with the condition and its inherent symptoms.
Loose fitting clothes
Sometimes tight-fitting clothing can put pressure on the stomach, which causes the stomach acid to be pushed up the esophageal cavity. Switching to loose fitting and relaxing clothes can relieve the pressure that is put on the lower esophageal sphincter causing the fluid to leak out.
Limiting alcohol intake
The digestive juices in your stomach that process food and extract nutrients are composed of a number of acidic components. Alcohol is acidic in nature which is why even low or moderate consumption of alcohol can lead to developing symptoms of acid indigestion. It is best to stop consuming alcohol once and for all to prevent the symptoms from flaring up.
There are certain types and classes of medications that can cause side effects resulting in heartburn or acid indigestion. The medications can relax the lower esophageal sphincter which causes the stomach acid to leak into the esophagus, thus causing irritation and discomfort. Some of the medications that should be avoided include NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs), calcium channel blockers which are used to treat high blood pressure, asthma medications, medicines that are used to treat seasonal allergies, and sedatives and painkillers. If you are taking any of these medications to treat associated symptoms of other medical conditions, it is best to discuss with your doctor and find alternatives as a preventive measure.
Kick the habit
Smoking can lead to a number of complications, some which can also be life-threatening. The use of nicotine patches to control the urge to smoke has side effects including relaxation of the muscles of the lower esophageal sphincter. This tiny valve is essential for controlling and making sure the stomach acid does not leak out into the esophageal cavity. Smoking also affects the production of saliva that can naturally neutralize the effects of stomach acid in your esophagus.
Sleeping or resting position
When you lie down, keep your head elevated, so the digestive juices don’t flow back up the esophageal cavity. This resting position is also optimal for your spine and back as the head support is proper with a nice cushion. Your back can be additionally supported pillows on your right side so that you can sleep on your left comfortably. In order to ensure the gastric juices don’t leak into the esophagus, sleeping on your left side is recommended.
There are a number of foods that cause the symptoms of acid indigestion including fatty foods, spicy foods, acidic foods, mint, chocolates, onions, caffeinated beverages, and an aerated drinks. It may be difficult to stop the consumption of your favorite foods and drinks, however limiting their use can help in the long run to prevent the symptoms.
How much you eat or how many times you eat doesn’t necessarily make much of a difference as opposed to what you eat that causes acid indigestion. The consumption of foods that are rich in fats, trans fats, carbohydrates are the leading causes of weight gain and obesity in most people in the country. The excess weight simply puts pressure on the stomach and causes the stomach acid to be forced into the cavity. Avoiding these foods and substituting the same with vegan or lean meat alternatives is the best way to regulate the food intake. It is also advisable to have meals in smaller and consistent portions as opposed to having large meals. The body needs time to process large volumes of food, which is why there is the excess production of digestive and acidic juices. The excess production of these juices indirectly leads to acid indigestion.