Heartburn or acid reflux is when your lower esophagus muscles do not work right. Acid reflux means the flow back of the acids and the food from the stomach to your esophagus. You can do a few things to manage this condition. Here, we have come up with a few of the best tips to manage acid reflux.
Do not overeat
When your stomach is full, the chances of acid reflux into your esophagus are higher. If possible, you should eat four to five smaller portions instead of eating three large meals a day.
Reduce weight if you are obese
One of the biggest causes of acid reflux is obesity. When you are overweight, the extra stomach fat tends to put a lot of pressure on your abdomen. As a result, gastric juices flow back into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. If you are overweight, you should immediately lose weight. If not, it is best to avoid getting fat. It is recommended because increased weight tends to spread the muscular structure, which supports the lower esophageal sphincter. It reduces the pressure, which keeps the sphincter closed. As a result of this, you may experience heartburn and reflux.
Nicotine relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter muscles, which are responsible for the opening between the esophagus and the stomach. When the pathway is closed, the acid is unable to travel back up. Nicotine also interferes with your saliva’s intuitive ability to get the acids pushed out of the esophagus. So, one of the best tips to manage acid reflux is to quit smoking.
Avoid alcohol consumption
Just like smoking, even alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter. It might also lead to the spasms on the esophageal muscles. Thus, it is best to refrain from consuming alcohol. If you had a long or a stressful day, instead of unwinding with a glass of alcohol, you should try deep breathing, stretching, meditation, walking, and exercising. All of these will help you relieve stress.
Do not go to bed immediately after eating
If you hit the bed immediately after eating, the acid will naturally travel back to your esophagus. On the other hand, gravity will prevent the acids in your stomach from refluxing back when you are sitting or standing. It is best to eat your meals at least two to three hours before you hit the bed. It also means that you should avoid sleeping post-lunch and avoid having midnight snacks or late suppers. When you do that, you give your body adequate time to digest. So, the acid levels will naturally go down before you put yourself in the sleeping position where you are most susceptible to developing acid reflux.