Acid reflux has increased steadily over the decades. Along with indigestion and heartburn, acid reflux symptoms can also include postnasal drip, hoarseness, difficulty swallowing, constantly clearing your throat, coughing and asthma symptoms. An antacid does help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux but is not a definitive cure. Over-the-counter and prescribed anti-reflux medications have become a billion-dollar industry. Alarmingly, acid reflux and the continued use of anti-reflux medications can lead to esophageal cancer, which has increased since the 1970s. If heartburn relief and indigestion are not completely cured by anti-reflux medications what can a person do?
It has been determined that the increase is due to our poor diet, large consumptions of sugar, fat and processed foods. Another factor that is known to be a significant trigger is the time we eat our dinner. For most people who are generally healthy, other than acid reflux disease, simply changing the time they eat their dinner could decrease acid reflux significantly or make it disappear completely. Studies have shown that if you eat three or more hours before you sleep you could eliminate your acid reflux altogether. This is a lifestyle change that is difficult for many but, if you have acid reflux alleviating the pain and no longer having to worry about the side effects or adverse reactions to anti-reflux medications makes this lifestyle change well worth it.
Overeating is also a culprit in acid reflux disease and heartburn. Europeans have very few cases of acid reflux even though they eat late. Europeans have been known to have better portion control which is a major factor in controlling acid reflux. Eating smaller portions will help control acid reflux and give you significant heartburn relief. It is best not to skip any meals. When skipping a meal you tend to eat more at your next meal because of your intense hunger.
After you eat be sure to stay upright. This allows your stomach the time it needs to digest the foods you have just eaten and gravity helps keep it in your stomach. Many people tend to lie down after a big meal which makes acid reflux much worse. There are certain foods that are known to increase acid reflux, especially at night. These include mints, chocolate, soft drinks and alcohol. It is best to avoid these altogether, but if you do consume them try to do it earlier in the day.
If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux disease modify your diet by eating your evening meal at least three hours before bedtime, stop midnight snacks and have three portion controlled meals throughout the day. These modifications in your lifestyle can make acid reflux ease or disappear and antacid use minimal.