These days we are always in a hurry. We eat and drink on the move, or in a few snatched moments, and so we don’t take time to think about the way our lifestyle affects our health.
These few simple changes should help – don’t use excuses – put your health first.
Take your time eating….
–you should never hurry a meal, and chew every mouthful slowly. This gives the digestive enzymes in your saliva time to do their job, so that when the food reaches your stomach there is less work for the acid to do, and less acid will be generated.
Never eat on the run
If your body is being required to do too many jobs at once the blood supply will be diverted away from your digestive system. Eating is a job to be taken seriously, especially if you suffer from heartburn or GERD. You should take the time to eat healthily. Bear in mind the fact that you are likely to be more productive if you are not always in pain or discomfort…
Avoid spicy, acidic and fatty food
These may cause irritation, and, because fatty foods hang around in the stomach longer, they help pressure to build up.
Sit up straight when you eat –
Don’t eat slumped on the sofa – or anywhere else for that matter….it is harder for the food to pass through your stomach , and the longer the food hangs around, the more acid is generated.
Being in this position can also force the valve between your stomach and your oesophagus to open, making it easier for acid to leak. The nearer you are to a standing position, the less cramped your stomach will be – high stools keep you closer to an upright position.
Don’t eat too much at once.
Acid reflux sufferers should eat smaller meals at shorter intervals – there is less pressure generated inside the stomach.
Don’t eat late at night
– unless you don’t intend to go to bed – because lying down after a meal slows down the movement of food through your gut (gravity helps with this movement), and makes it easier for acid to leak back into your oesophagus.
- Cut down on alcohol, caffeine and fizzy drinks – these are irritants, and may make your acid reflux worse. Anything that causes the valve between your stomach and oesophagus to relax will make it worse. So will anything else that increases pressure within your stomach.
- Try not to drink very much during meals. The liquid will add to the pressure in your stomach…
…….Take the pressure off….
- NEVER exercise immediately after eating because exercise diverts blood from your digestive system and slows the process.
- You should wait at least an hour, and longer if you’ve had anything more than a snack and a heavy meal may need to 2-3 hours to digest…
- Don’t use this as an excuse not to exercise…..just plan it carefully around your meals….
Other Lifestyle Problems…
- Don’t wear tight clothes – tight jeans are bad for a number of health reasons including compression of your digestive system…and loosen your belt if it feels too tight…
- Keep your weight in check – obesity is one of the major causes of acid reflux and heartburn. This is because too much body fat can also put pressure on your stomach, forcing acid back into the oesophagus……
- Stop smoking – smoking causes the lower esophageal sphincter that keeps the stomach closed off, to relax and allow acid to leak… I said it was simple – I didn’t say it was easy!!!!!If you are really suffering from acid reflux or heartburn, consider what life would be like if you were free of your symptoms. Use this as a motivator to make the changes you need for a healthier life…
- When we are lying down, gravity is no longer helping to keep stomach acid where it belongs……
- Avoid sleeping completely flat…click here for help with sleeping….