Top 10 Ways to Avoid Heartburn and Acid Reflux
Do you suffer from the painful effects of heartburn or acid reflux or live with someone who does? If so, you know how those issues can affect nighttime sleep. Easy Rest adjustable beds is a recliner beds manufacturer that can help. In fact, countless Easy Rest customers lovingly refer to their adjustable bed as their acid reflux bed.
There are a number of steps you can take to prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter, which over time can damage the esophageal lining and can lead to a host of issues. However, what will help one person avoid symptoms might not necessarily help another. So with a tip of the hat to David Letterman, here is our Top 10 list of ways to avoid heartburn and acid reflux.
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10. Stop smoking
From excess saliva production to excess stomach acid, nicotine can also relax the muscles of your esophageal sphincter and really contribute to heartburn and acid reflux. In fact, it can even slow your digestion. So if you can, quit smoking. And if you can’t, at least try to cut back. It can lead to a more comfortable existence when it comes to suffering from heartburn.
9. Reduce your alcohol intake
Alcohol has a direct effect on your mouth, throat, esophagus and stomach, so it’s not surprising that it directly affects heartburn too. It aggravates the lining of the digestive tract and can be quite acidic (especially when paired with sugary, fizzy, or acidic mixers) so cutting back or cutting out specific drinks is a good idea.
8. Maintain a healthy weight
Heartburn is more common in those who are overweight or obese. In the US, researchers who analyzed 10,000 women in the Nurse’s Health Study found that weight gain of 10-20 pounds was associated with a threefold increase in heartburn symptoms.
7. Review your medications.
There are a number of medications that can increase your risk of heartburn or acid reflux either by relaxing your lower esophageal sphincter, interfering with the digestive process, or further irritating an already inflamed esophagus. Take a list of your medications into your doctor or pharmacist and ask if any of them might be causing or contributing to your problems.
6. Don’t lie down after eating.
Wait at least three hours before you lie down after a meal. Gravity normally helps keep acid reflux from happening. When you eat a meal and then stretch out for a nap, you’re taking gravity out of the equation. As a result, acid more easily presses against the lower esophageal sphincter and flows right up into your throat.
5. Don’t eat late at night.
We can’t emphasize this enough – those who live with frequent heartburn should know the golden rule – eat three to four hours before bedtime in order to allow the stomach to digest the meal that’s in there. And remember, that timing includes snacks too!
4. Avoid spicy, fatty and acidic foods.
Though heartburn triggers can vary from person to person, certain foods and drinks are more prone to allowing stomach acid to wash up into your throat. The most common triggers are spicy, fatty and acidic foods. Try cutting out the following foods and see if you find relief from your symptoms: Fried foods, chocolate, orange juice, lemonade, grapefruit juice, lemon, tomatoes and tomato sauces.
3. Reduce your tea and coffee intake.
A cup of coffee a day probably won’t start a problem but if you’re someone who drinks regular coffee all day long you might want to rethink that. Consider switching to decaf or herbal teas to help.
2. Listen to your stomach! If something upsets it, cut it out.
Keep notes of what triggers your heartburn because it can be different for everyone. Try keeping a food and symptom journal for one month to see if you can find a pattern or particular food item that might be causing you distress.
And the number one thing you can do to help manage your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms…
1. Sleep elevated.
The aim with heartburn is to keep stomach acid where it belongs – in the stomach, where the lining is thick enough for it to go unnoticed. Help yourself by utilizing gravity with an adjustable bed, often referred to by people who suffer from heartburn and acid reflux as their “reflux bed”.
Doctors across the country recommend sleeping with your head and torso in an elevated position when you suffer from the painful and detrimental effects of heartburn and acid reflux. If you count yourself as one of the millions of American’s who suffer from these issues you may find great benefit from an Easy Rest adjustable bed. We have heard from many customers that sleeping with their head elevated helped their symptoms.
If you are tired of suffering in pain and having your sleep interrupted by the horrible effects of acid washing up your esophagus in the middle of the night do yourself a favor and click on the orange “Request Information” button in the upper left hand corner of the page to download our free Color Catalog and Better Sleep Guide. Do it now, you’ll be glad you did.