Patients who suffer from GERD and acid reflux normally undergo a regimen of drugs initially. Aside from the cost of undergoing this treatment method, there may be side-effects and health risks in taking prescription medicine.
In most cases, severe forms of GERD may require surgery to correct the problem. When left unchecked, GERD may cause serious complications to the esophagus ranging from infections and inflammation to more serious problems like cancer.
The best advice to avoid this scenario is to initiate natural treatment methods during the first onset of acid reflux and GERD. Instead of focusing too much attention and money on the latest medical treatment, you might want to consider changing your lifestyle. This is particularly important considering that your lifestyle may be the largest contributing factor in causing the problem in the first place!
Tips to Change Your Lifestyle
Lifestyle plays an integral role in the onset of acid reflux and GERD. We might not realize it, but external factors can trigger a physiological change in our anatomy that will cause abnormalities in our digestive systems. In review, some of the factors include:
Smoking and Drinking Alcohol
Let’s now discuss how to specifically change your unhealthy routines to achieve your goal of a healthier lifestyle.
Not eating the right food will cause acid reflux and GERD in our systems. Ingesting foods that are acidic and high in cholesterol are known to cause a major build up of acid levels in our stomach. This renders the LES useless when these substances infiltrate your esophagus. For starters, avoid eating junk food and fast food if you can help it. These meals are often laced with preservatives and cholesterol that are not conducive to your condition let alone a healthier lifestyle.
You can improve your diet by eating more fruits and vegetables that are high in carbohydrates. Since excessive eating can cause acid reflux, you might want to start a diet plan implementing 5 small meals a day instead of the usual 3 large meals daily.
We discussed this possibility earlier. Ingesting these smaller meals will improve your metabolism and help you lose weight. As you now know, obesity is also a cause of acid reflux.
2. Stress and Fatigue
An increase in stress levels causes our blood pressure to rise pushing our body to produce more gastric juices than normal. If you are suffering from the signs and symptoms of acid reflux and GERD, you might want to avoid stressful activities that will push your body to the limit.
If your work takes much of your time, then start implementing breaks in between activities to normalize your body’s condition before moving on.
Pushing your body to the limit of its endurance is not a great way to get rid of acid reflux and GERD. You might notice a build-up in your acid levels when you go for days with limited sleep. When your body is tired, or is at its maximum limit, it is normal for it to increase its functions to keep us going — this increase in body activity also increases acid levels.
3. Get Rid Of Unhealthy Habits
A majority of the population of those who suffer acid reflux and GERD are those that are immersed in unhealthy lifestyles, like smoking and excessive drinking of alcoholic beverages. It is true that cigarettes contain chemicals that reduce the hunger sensation in our bodies, as well as helping us relax. Keep in mind, however, that the gastric juices in our stomach will continue to exist even without any ingested food. A build-up of this substance will eventually cause acid reflux and GERD. The same goes with drinking alcoholic beverages.