By Kathryn Whittaker
Obesity and a high body mass index (BMI) are major contributors to the symptoms of acid reflux syndrome. Therefore, it is only logical that weight loss can be an important part of your acid reflux treatment plan if you are overweight. Carrying excess fat puts pressure on your stomach, causing your stomach contents to rise, making it more likely that the Lower Esophageal Sphincter will not be able to stop stomach acids from refluxing into the esophagus. Additional fat in the area of the face, neck, and chest also puts more pressure on the esophagus, restricting it and weakening the ‘seal’ between itself and the stomach.
It is therefore easy to see how losing weight will generally lead to decreasing acid reflux syndrome symptoms. By reducing the fat around your stomach and esophagus, you can minimize or even eliminate many of your symptoms. To accomplish this, lifestyle changes are required. This includes a change in diet and activity level.
Here is some weight loss and lifestyle changes that can make a positive difference to your acid reflux syndrome symptoms:
– Increase the amount of water-soluble fiber foods in your diet. Water-soluble fiber can be found in raw, fresh vegetables and fruits. These are foods that are generally easily digested by your body and ensure that you remain regular so that you don’t end up bloated and avoid a toxic buildup in your digestive tract.
– Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Try not to eat a meal that is bigger than the size of your fist in one sitting and increase the frequency of meals to about five times a day. This not only helps your metabolism effectively digest the food you’re eating, but it also reduces the chance of over eating, helping to keep your stomach acid levels consistent.
– Try not to lie down within three hours of eating a meal. This will help your stomach acids stay where they are supposed to be (because of gravity) allowing them to do their job of breaking down food more effectively so that you’ll receive more nutrition from everything you eat.
– Avoid carbonated and acidic drinks. Not only do these kick acid reflux syndrome symptoms into gear, but also the average person could lose up to 20 pounds per year just by cutting them out of their diet.
– Eat an apple a day. The old phrase says that it keeps the doctor away, and it was right. Eating apples for many help to clear up acid reflux attacks and are healthy, weight loss-friendly sweet treats.
– If you’re feeling hungry think before you eat. Often this can because the body is dehydrated rather than needing food. Ensure you always have some water to hand to sip throughout the day and aim to have 8 – 10 8oz glasses. This helps avoid unnecessary food consumption, hydrates the body and also ‘washes’ any lingering refluxed acid out of the esophagus.
– Avoid activity that involves bending over straight after eating, as this action can place additional pressure to the LES and cause acid reflux.
Avoid falling into the trap of using commercial diet programs to lose weight for acid reflux syndrome. Though they may be effective for losing weight, they don’t necessarily help you to build the right kind of lifestyle, nor do they have acid reflux syndrome in mind in the foods that they select.
It’s important that you get to know the kinds of foods that should make up the bulk of your diet, those you can eat on occasion, and those that you should avoid altogether, not only for your waistline, but also for your acid reflux syndrome. Though this may seem like a lot of information at first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you learn about what is right and what is wrong for your digestive system.
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