Acid reflux is described as being an uncomfortable sensation in the chest, throat, and mouth that occurs after a meal and often triggers a cough, hoarseness, or sore throat.
This is a definition of what acid reflux can feel like, and there are many thousands of people who understand that it is a prevalent problem. In fact, most people will experience this at least once during their lifetime.
And if you happen to be one of the millions of unfortunate people who suffer from acid reflux, then you know how utterly uncomfortable it can be.
This article discusses several common triggers for acid reflux and some ways to avoid them.
You’ll find helpful tips on identifying these triggers and some food recommendations that are safe for your stomach and may reduce the instances of acid reflux.
What is acid reflux?
There are many different symptoms of acid reflux, including heartburn and indigestion.
In most cases, acid reflux is caused by a change in the stomach’s muscle tension. When this occurs, the important muscles can no longer hold down the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing stomach acids to enter the esophagus. This causes irritation and inflammation of the tissue lining your throat and may lead to a sore throat or hoarseness.
If you’re experiencing these symptoms, it’s essential to see a doctor for diagnosis and treatment options.
Acid reflux treatment will often include lifestyle changes such as losing weight and eating smaller meals throughout the day.
It may also include medications or surgery options in extreme cases. You can prevent acid reflux from happening with lifestyle changes like avoiding food triggers and, where there is no natural relief option, taking medication for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
The most common lifestyle triggers for acid reflux are:
- Eating fatty foods before bedtime
- Drinking alcohol after eating fatty foods
- Eating spicy foods
- Large meals
- Tobacco use
- Sleeping on your stomach or on the right side of your body
Does acid reflux cause any long-term damage?
The answer is yes.
Although it may not cause any significant damage in the short term, acid reflux can manifest itself into other problems like GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), which can lead to more severe symptoms and complications.
For those who have acid reflux and have had it for a significant amount of time, you may be able to see some strong correlations between the reflux and their lifestyle choices.
Here are some common correlations between long term acid reflux and some common long term lifestyle habits:
The stimulating effects of caffeine can vary greatly from person to person. Still, the most common side effects include dry mouth, headache, irritability, and jitteriness.
And suppose you’re a frequent coffee drinker or a heavy coffee addict. In that case, it’s best to limit your intake of caffeine, as this will reduce your chances of developing acid reflux symptoms.
Alcohol is another trigger for acid reflux, so it’s important not to go over the recommended serving sizes as it is a gastric irritant.
And when drinking alcohol, avoid eating fatty foods at the same time because they can combine with the effects of alcohol to irritate your stomach lining even more.
Fried foods are dangerous because they contain high amounts of fat, which can lead to acid reflux symptoms.
Make sure you’re eating healthy options like grilled chicken instead of fried chicken because frying meat dries out the meat’s natural juices, which leads to an imbalance between acids in your stomach.
Chocolate contains lots of sugar, so it’s best to avoid this when experiencing acid reflux symptoms due to its changeable effect on blood sugar levels, leading to an imbalance between acids in your stomach that causes discomfort.
The bubbles in carbonated beverages expand, putting pressure on the sphincter and pushing stomach acid and contents back into the food pipe.
The 10 most common triggers for acid reflux
Of course, it’s not just the type of foods and drinks you consume that can trigger acid reflux.
Acid reflux can be triggered by some physical actions, too. This can be just as uncomfortable as acid reflux triggered by particular food or drink.
These actions include:
- Not chewing your food well.
- Eating too fast
- Too much fat in your diet
- Drinking alcohol before bedtime
- Smoking cigarettes
- Not eating enough before exercise
- Having a sedentary lifestyle
- Exercising soon after a meal (For best results, aim to consume a meal 2–3 hours before your workout. Your pre-workout meal should contain a balance of protein, carbs, and fat.)
- Spending too much time laying down and sleeping on your stomach
Preventing and treating acid reflux naturally
Sometimes, the simplest and most natural ways to avoid acid reflux are the best
Suppose you’re looking for simple ways to avoid medications. In that case, you can try these simple changes that may help relieve your acid reflux symptoms.
In the long term, these methods will become part of your daily routine, further reducing the instances and severity of acid reflux.
- Avoid greasy, fried, and fatty foods.
- Don’t excessively drink alcohol.
- Drink water throughout the day
- Don’t eat too quickly.
- Eat smaller meals more often.
- When drinking liquids like coffee, juice, and milk, use a straw to avoid gulping down liquid too fast.
- Avoid drinks like coffee that stimulate your stomach while it is still digesting food, so you end up with acid reflux later in the day.
- Stop smoking cigarettes as they have been linked to heartburn and chest pain.
Home Remedies for Heartburn and Indigestion & Acid reflux
The following are common home remedies for acid reflux.
They can help ease pain and discomfort, prevent heartburn, and reduce the risk of a visit to the emergency room or relying on pharmaceutical interventions.
Yogurt is an excellent source of probiotics that can be used as a natural remedy for acid reflux, balancing the but biome to a more functional level.
Ginger is an effective natural remedy for fighting acid reflux and indigestion symptoms, including heartburn, nausea, and vomiting
Ginger has natural and powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can help with the pain associated with these conditions.
Cayenne pepper has been used historically to help fight off symptoms of heartburn and indigestion, including chest pain and nausea, and prevention against heartburn in general.
The spicy pepper also contains capsaicin that can assist in reducing inflammation in the throat area, so you experience less pain and discomfort during digestion.
A whole-grain breakfast staple, oatmeal is an excellent source of fiber. It has been linked with improved digestive health, a lower risk of acid reflux, as well as other benefits for your body.
Some sources of healthy fats include avocados, walnuts, flaxseed, olive oil, sesame oil, and sunflower oil. These are appropriate sources of unsaturated fats that can be used to replace unhealthy saturated and trans fats in our diet and may reduce the instances and severity of acid reflux.
Acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion are extremely common problems that millions of people experience at least once during their lifetime.
It typically occurs after eating, causing the sensation in your throat and chest to become uncomfortable.
There are many causes for this discomfort, some food triggers, and others non-food triggers such as certain activities or positions.
Natural solutions that can be found simply and easily are always best to try before heading to pharmaceutical intervention. As you can see, many things are found in nature that can help ease the symptoms and indications of acid reflux and make you feel a bit more comfortable in your everyday life.
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