A blazing, burning, blistering sensation in your stomach, chest and throat - does it sound familiar? It shouldn’t be. It might be an uncomfortable yet persistent problem, or it could be genuinely debilitating. Either way, it’s about time you do something about it.
You’re not going to have the same experience with acid reflux as the next man, but with plenty of treatments on the market, there’ll be something that works for you. If you’ve got persistent acid reflux, then an acid reflux treatment plan could be your saving grace, or you might just need a few doses of acid reflux medication. Selecting the right foods and avoiding the habits that fire up your stomach acids could accelerate the alleviation of your symptoms.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux describes the movement of stomach acid up to your oesophagus. This can cause an unsavoury, sour taste in your mouth or an unpleasant burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn. Persistent acid reflux might be a sign of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), which is a weakened oesophagus. Treatment plans and lifestyle changes can manage these symptoms.
Sometimes, acid reflux is a sign of more serious underlying health issues, such as oesophageal cancer. This is why it’s pivotal to get a diagnosis from your doctor.
What’s the best diet for acid reflux?
A diet that is low in fat and sugar is crucial when it comes to acid reflux, partly because high cholesterol is linked to GORD. But a new diet plan will target your symptoms in more ways than one because obesity and smoking can also trigger acid reflux.
Another diet tip for preventing acid reflux is eating smaller, more regular meals, and avoiding eating late at night. You should also elevate your head and chest when you go to bed, which you can do by adding an extra pillow. This will reduce the risk of your stomach acid travelling up to your oesophagus.
An acid reflux diet plan cuts out a lot of the good (albeit not so good) stuff, including chocolate, alcohol, coffee and spices. To increase the chances that you stick to your diet plan, make yourself aware of the suitable alternatives to satisfy your old cravings:
Satisfy your sweet tooth with cinnamon or non-citrus fruits such as apples, pears, melons and bananas.
Suitable alternative drinks which pack more punch than water include ginger tea, kombucha, coconut water, and green tea.
Although you have to avoid spices such as chilli and paprika, herbs such as basil, oregano, thyme, and parsley are certainly not off the table.
Acid reflux myths:
A lot of myths about acid reflux cures and aggravations often circulate the web, without much scientific evidence to back the claims. It’s important to remember that individuals have different triggers which may explain where some of these myths have originated from. Keeping a food diary will help you to identify your triggers.
Some of the remedies and triggers you might have heard of include:
- Apple cider vinegar: It’s probably one of the most commonly discussed acid reflux home remedies, but there’s little in the way of scientific backing.
- Peppermint tea: This one’s still very much up for debate and limited research has suggested you should shy away from the aggravating effects of peppermint, however, there is yet to be solid evidence to demonstrate the real risk of peppermint and GORD.
7-day acid reflux diet plan:
Download our acid reflux meal planner here.
The numan take
If you regularly experience acid reflux, you’re probably at your wits’ end. It’s uncomfortable. Sometimes painful. But good news - it’s very treatable.
Aside from GORD, persistent acid reflux can be an indicator of more serious underlying health conditions, so it’s essential that you see a doctor to get your symptoms diagnosed.
An acid reflux treatment plan or medication may be the best option for you, but amending your diet could also help to alleviate your symptoms and avoid firing up your stomach acids.