Happy New Year!
It’s that time of year again when many of us resolve to make changes for the better. For those who are more cynical about New Year’s resolutions, research shows the success rate of this tradition is higher than most people think, especially when realistic goals are set.
Here at MedCline, we’ve come up with a few easy lifestyle changes that can reduce acid reflux symptoms. While there are many adjustments you can make – like avoiding trigger foods, limiting coffee and alcoholic beverages, and quitting smoking – we’re highlighting the ones that are so simple there’s no reason not to make them a daily habit.
Enjoy your food, one bite at a time
Eating slowly can help you feel fuller, faster, which means consuming less at a meal and reducing acid-reflux. Put down your fork between every couple of bites and aim to taste and enjoy each mouthful. Of course another bonus of eating slowly, and therefore eating less, is shedding extra pounds. Losing even a small amount of weight can help to lessen acid-reflux, if you’re overweight.
Don’t drink and eat
By avoiding water and other fluids at meal time, you’ll lessen the volume in your stomach. This means less pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle responsible for keeping acidic contents from leaking back up into your esophagus. If needed, you can take small sips of water while you eat, but try to drink mostly between meals.
Do drink when you’re not eating
Drinking plenty of water can help neutralize stomach acid and reduce acid reflux symptoms. The key is to drinking small amounts each time, between meals, so that you don’t overfill your stomach and put pressure on the LES. And, if doing away with heartburn and other pesky symptoms isn’t enough to get you to the water cooler, consider the other numerous benefits like better skin appearance, improved muscle performance and sharper brain function, to name a few (let’s drink to that).
Surprisingly, a five minute walk can do wonders, from abating acid reflux symptoms – to losing weight – to quitting smoking. The prime time to walk for acid reflux sufferers is soon after eating as you’ll stay upright and allow gravity to improve digestion, but anytime of the day is beneficial. Here again, there are countless rewards for making this a habit including having more energy, reducing stress and improving your immune system.
Chew on this
Chewing gum after a meal can promote saliva production, which neutralizes acid and helps the stomach move food into the small intestine more quickly. Make sure to pick a flavor of gum that isn’t peppermint or mint. As a bonus, by chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes after a meal you can strengthen tooth enamel and lessen decay.
Get a good night’s sleep
This may be easier said than done when experiencing night time acid reflux symptoms. Habits that can make a real difference in your quality of sleep include not eating a couple hours prior to laying down, going to bed around the same time every evening and sleeping on an incline.
At MedCline, we’re all about positioning you to sleep comfortably while reducing acid reflux naturally. Better sleep means a healthier weight, improved memory, more creativity, less stress and a happier mood. In fact, a good night’s sleep may be the most important lifestyle change you can make for 2013. Check out our website to learn more about how MedCline can help.
Cheers to making simple changes and living a life free from acid reflux.