Acid reflux or heartburn affects about 60% of adults in America at some point in their lives, with 20-30% experiencing symptoms every single day. This is extremely uncomfortable and can be a symptom of a more complex problem.
What is acid reflux?
Reflux is caused by the sphincter at the entrance of your stomach not closing all the way after you eat. This causes acid to seep out, causing some symptoms that mimic a heart attack. Acid reflux is often called heartburn because it can make one feel chest pain in the heart area. However, it has nothing to do with your heart and everything to do with your digestive system.
- Burping and regurgitation
- Chronic hiccups
- Sore throat
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty swallowing
- Blood in stools or vomit
Not only is this issue uncomfortable, but it can cause a precursor to cancer called Barrett’s esophagus.
Common causes of acid reflux are:
- Hiatal hernia
- Overweight or obesity
- Eating certain foods or drinking specific beverages
- Lying or leaning down after a meal
- Taking certain medications
Resolutions for Acid Reflux
There are a few resolutions for heartburn, the most common of which are related to diet and stress. However, if the reflux is being caused by something like smoking or medication, those issues need their own solutions.
Stress eating and choosing the wrong foods can all lead to reflux. Here at Flow Natural Health Care, we help people discover the right diet for them and provide stress solutions to assist in reducing and even resolving acid reflux. Here are just a few ways you can reduce your acid reflux:
- Cut down on simple carbohydrates
This is particularly hard to do over the holiday season, but cutting down on baked goods can really help reduce your acid reflux symptoms.
- Try apple cider vinegar
On days when you just have to have that pie, drinking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar about 10-15 minutes before your meal can help keep your stomach acid under control. You can also try drinking some ginger or chamomile tea twenty minutes before your meal. This can help soothe any inflammation you are experiencing. However, these are stop-gap measures and shouldn’t be considered permanent solutions for your reflux.
- Reduce your intake of processed foods
Processed meats, packaged foods, and soda can all contribute to your acid reflux. Try snacking on whole foods and adding more of these foods to your diet. For example, eat a salad with every meal, snack on carrot sticks, or enjoy a bowl of rolled oats for breakfast. Adding more healthy, whole foods to your diet can help ease the burden on your stomach.
- Take probiotics
You can eat foods that are packed with probiotics like kimchi, kefir, yogurt, or kombucha – or you can choose to take a probiotic supplement. Adding more probiotics to your diet will enhance your digestion and help you feel better overall.
- Go gluten-free
Even those who do not have Celiac disease can benefit from a gluten-free diet. Reducing or removing gluten can ease the stress on your gut, allowing easier digestion.
If you get acid reflux, you may have a hard time avoiding this uncomfortable problem over the holiday season. Try to use our five tips as much as you can this winter – and be sure to come in for an individual assessment. We want to help you kick your heartburn for good!