Many of us know the tell-tale signs – a burning sensation in the chest and uncomfortable burping after a big meal. People could even suffer from a ‘silent’ form of the condition – without the more obvious heartburn symptoms. Silent acid reflux leads to problems such as difficulty swallowing, a sore throat, nagging cough – and, in the long run, an increased risk of throat cancer and esophageal cancer.
Don't worry though, as we have some top tips to help you reduce acid reflux and calm your heartburn symptoms...Cut out smoking and avoid passive inhalation of cigarette smoke.
Yes, another thing smoking is really bad for! Nicotine in cigarettes relaxes the muscles in the lower part of the esophagus, and as such is less likely to keep stomach acid at bay inside your stomach, causing the reflux. As such, steer clear of smoking, and avoid being near others smoking as passive inhalation can have the same effect.
2. Improve your posture.
Once again, the focus is on the lower part of esophagus, which we don't want to be forcing to relax by sitting or standing with poor posture, as a result this will cause acid reflux. Stand up straight, and if sitting ensure your upper body is elevated and as vertical as possible.
3. Introduce more ginger to your diet.
But not ginger ale though! Raw ginger, crystallized ginger or ginger extracts have been an old folk remedy for heartburn for centuries, and some still swear by it today. Consume it by itself or add it to a meal that doesn't include any potential trigger ingredients.
4. Avoid triggering foods.
There are quite a few foods that are associated with increasing heartburn symptoms and here they are:fried foods high fat foods whole dairy products chocolate spicy foods black pepper garlic citrus fruits, such as lemon and orange tomato-based products generally acidic foods
You could avoid all of these and still get heartburn from sheer volume at meals, instead just eat little and often.
5. Avoid triggering liquids.
Sadly, all your favourites should be avoided. These include:alcohol in general (especially red wine) fizzy drinks caffeinated drinks (maybe switch to de-caff for your hot drinks) citrus fruit juices
6. Drink Baking Soda mixed with Water.
Baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate is a natural antacid, and has a neutralising effect on the stomach acid. Mix a small amount with water and drink slowly, otherwise there may be a laxative effect!
7. Keep yourself at a healthy weight for your age and height.
The more overweight you are, the more pressure there is on your stomach, and as a result the likelihood for acid reflux increases. Even if you are a healthy weight, losing a little bit of weight (avoiding being underweight though!) should lessen the pressure on your gut.
8. Don't wear overly-tight clothing.
A bit like being overweight, tight clothes add unwanted pressure to your stomach and therefore will increase acid reflux. Go looser around your upper body to avoid exacerbating symptoms.
9. Enjoy chewing gum and liquorice.
This one is a bit nicer - chewing gum and foods containing the liquorice root have been shown to have a neutralising effect on stomach acid, and therefore reduces heartburn symptoms. Don't blast through the gum though - or you may have that laxative effect!
10. Over-the-counter medicines.
There are a host of medicines available in pharmacies and shops that can help put a stop to heartburn. The most popular tend to be antacids or oral suspension tablets. If in doubt, then check with your pharmacist.