Acid reflux is also called heartburn. It is a condition where food is passed from the stomach into the oesophagus. At the junction of the oesophagus and the stomach, there is a sphincter that allows food to pass into the stomach. When this happens, the sphincter closes, so the food stays in the stomach. The food that enters the stomach then begins to digest by mixing with the gastric juices.
However, not everyone’s sphincter closes so perfectly and this food residue, which mixes with the acid, is then passed into the oesophagus. This in turn causes heartburn, which is in fact one of the characteristic and leading symptoms of acid reflux.
Many things play a role in the development of acid reflux. The leading cause is almost always unhealthy diet and inappropriate eating habits. Certain foods can also cause acid reflux, such as chocolate, spicy and hot foods. This group includes sugary and acidic drinks, coffee and alcohol. Smoking can also cause sphincter weakness and acid reflux.
There are lifestyle factors that can help to eliminate acid reflux or reduce symptoms. One is regular chewing, as chewing produces saliva which can neutralise stomach acid.
Some herbs and their teas can also be very effective in reducing stomach acid. Examples include chamomile, ginger, fenugreek and mint.
The extra pounds put pressure on the stomach and the stomach and push the stomach contents back into the oesophagus. That’s why it’s important to maintain your ideal body weight, which you can achieve first and foremost by eating healthy.
Do not go to bed for at least two hours after eating in the evening, as the food you have eaten usually stays in the stomach for this long.
It is important to sleep with your head up to avoid food flowing back from the stomach.
It is very important to try to reduce the stress in your life, as stress can also increase stomach acid and cause digestive problems.