You need to understand heartburn and the causes.
Acid reflux or heartburn is a condition where the stomach acid rises up from the stomach to the esophagus. The esophagus is the part of the alimentary canal which connects the throat to the stomach. The reason the acid is able to rise up is due to the fact that the lower esophageal sphincter is not functioning properly.
The esophageal sphincter is located at the point where the stomach and esophagus connects. The main job of this valve is to prevent the gastric juices in the stomach from rising up the esophagus.
While the stomach has an inner lining to protect itself from the strong stomach acids, the esophagus does not. So, when the acids rise up, they literally burn the esophagus and cause the burning sensation in the chest that is known as heartburn.
When the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weakened gastric juices can seep upwards into the esophagus.
The rate of acid reflux cases has steadily risen over the years. Our modern day diet plays a large role in this. We eat foods that have been genetically modified, contain harmful additives and preservatives, etc.
Most of these foods are not beneficial to the human body and exacerbate pre-existing acid reflux conditions that are lying dormant in most people.
The consumption of these foods causes acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn, coughing, nausea and other symptoms to occur. The best thing a person suffering from acid reflux can do is to watch their diet closely.
Have a food journal to record exactly what you’re having with each meal so that you can narrow down the foods that are causing you discomfort.
While doctors have narrowed down the cause of acid reflux to a faulty lower esophageal sphincter, they do not really know why or how the valve gets faulty.
They have listed a few causes that could be responsible for acid reflux. We’ll discuss these further down. If you have heartburn or acid reflux, it would be best to get a guide on this topic.
Probably one of the best ones out there is Heartburn No More. Thousands have benefitted from it. So, if you want a step-by-step plan, this guide is all you need.
How to Know If You Are Suffering from Heartburn
It may sound strange but there are thousands of people suffering from acid reflux or heartburn and they aren’t even aware of it. Some just think it is a mild inconvenience due to eating some spicy food and others just endure it without bothering to find out why their chest has a burning sensation.
This could be due to the fact that acid reflux symptoms vary in intensity and the symptoms themselves are ambiguous. So, it takes an informed person to discern the symptoms and realize that they have acid reflux.
This report will enlighten you on how to know with a high level of certainty if you have acid reflux. Of course, you may wish to consult a qualified doctor for a proper diagnosis. It is important to diagnose acid reflux early before it leads to something serious like Barrett’s esophagus which may result in cancer.
Do you have chest pain that seems severe? A pain that lasts a while and is intense?
Chest pain is never a good thing and should never be taken lightly. The pain could be caused by stomach acid that rises up into the esophagus and causes the burning sensation. Always consult a doctor when you have chest pain to determine the exact cause.
Do you experience heartburn when you bend over or lie down?
That’s another symptom of acid reflux. The acid which is at rest in your stomach tends to spill out into your esophagus when you bend over or lie down. It’s similar to water in a glass that will spill out if you tilt it beyond a certain angle.
If you experience this symptom, you may wish to keep your stomach below your esophagus even when you are sleeping. You may wish to use two pillows to raise your upper body when you sleep or use a bed with an adjustable headrest.
Does a big meal give you a burning sensation in your chest?
It does? Then you probably have acid reflux. Just like dropping pebbles in a jug of water causes the water level to rise, eating huge meals will make your stomach acid rise up into your esophagus. Best thing to do is eat small meals that are healthy, not too fatty and eat a few hours before bed.
Sore throats that come and go after meals are a sign of acid reflux. Usually these sore throats do not have the usual flu symptoms such as colds or fevers.
Feeling nauseous? People with acid reflux often feel nauseas after meals. The strange thing about this symptom is that for a few people, this may be the only acid reflux symptom they have. Nausea for no apparent reason is usually an acid reflux telltale sign.
Is your voice getting hoarser? If the stomach acid that rises up your throat affects your vocal cords, your voice will get more hoarse and husky. You’re not getting sexier. It’s probably acid reflux. Time to visit the doctor and mitigate the symptoms.
These are a few of the common symptoms. There are others like cough, asthma, a constant bitter taste in the mouth, etc. that are all symptoms of acid reflux. If you’re unsure, the best thing you can do is see a doctor as soon as you can.
Is There Surgery Available To Treat Acid Reflux?
Surgery should always be considered a last resort when dealing with acid reflux. There are many natural and holistic ways to deal with acid reflux symptoms. You can find many of these methods in Heartburn No More.
All one needs to do is make a few changes to their diet and lifestyle. If these don’t work, then you may purchase over the counter medication and see if that alleviates the pain.
If that too doesn’t work, you may consult a doctor and get prescription medication. If that too does not bring relief, then you may consider surgery.
Usually people who have esophagitis which is an extreme inflammation of the esophagus or Barrett’s esophagus (an abnormal change in cells of the lower portion of the esophagus) resort to surgery.
There are a few types of surgical procedures namely open fundoplication, laparoscopic surgery and endoscopic surgery.
Open fundoplication is a more painful procedure and takes a longer time to heal because the doctor will actually make a large cut on the skin to operate. If it’s laparoscopic surgery, smaller incisions are made.
The difference between open fundoplication and laparoscopic surgery is that in open fundoplication, the doctor inserts his hand into the open cavity and performs the surgery.
Whereas with laparoscopic surgery, he will only insert the tools inside the abdomen to perform the procedure. Usually, there will not be a scar with this procedure, unlike the former.
The procedure itself wrapping the top part of the stomach around the lower portion of the esophagus and stitching it up. Basically, this procedure tightens the lower esophageal sphincter and this will keep the stomach acids in the stomach and prevent the acids from rising up.
Another method commonly used is known as endoscopy. With endoscopy, no cuts are made and no blood is shed. It’s much less painful and preferred by most patients.
The surgeon will use a long, extremely thin flexible tube that has a light and camera attached. This tube is inserted in the patient’s mouth and pushed all the way into the esophagus.
With this tube, the surgeon will be able to locate the problem and see exactly what is wrong on the inside of the esophagus. The tube also is capable of taking tissue samples.
The tube also has a few tools which are used to perform an endoscopic procedure. The end of the esophagus is bound to the top of the stomach and stitched. This procedure is known as an EsophyX system. This system is considered to be one of the latest and most advance methods of treating gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Just like any surgery, there may be side effects. Usually with the above surgeries, the usual side effects are infection, difficulty swallowing due to pain or feeling bloated. The side effects are usually nothing to be alarmed about. Consult your doctor if you’re worried.
The procedures mentioned in this article are brief because going into exact details are beyond the scope of this article. The best person to talk to will be your doctor.
However, the most important thing you should understand is that surgery is a last resort. Do give the natural remedies a try first before going under the knife or having a tube inserted down your throat. Read the tips in this report and give them a try.
Tip #1 – Eat Foods That Help To Prevent Heartburn
There are foods that cause heartburn and there are foods that prevent it. However, results vary from individual to individual. What is one man’s meat may be another man’s poison. It is highly advisable for anyone suffering from acid reflux to keep a food journal to monitor what they eat.
The moment you have heartburn, you can refer to the journal and analyze what you ate and if those foods could be the cause. Do not try to rely on memory. Most people can’t even remember what they watched on TV the night before.
Below you will find a list of foods which will help prevent heartburn or reduce any discomfort that you may be currently enduring. The list is not exhaustive but you may wish to give some of the foods a try.
Most people underestimate the power of eating right and clean. Healthy, nutritious and wholesome food work wonders for the body. The foods listed below contain less fat and tend to be more alkaline. Acid reflux sufferers should try to keep their bodies less acidic and more alkaline.
This is a miracle food. People use it for a variety of treatments from hair loss to skin problems. Guess what? It helps with acid reflux too.
Another power food. Not only are they packed with nutrients, but bananas give you more energy and help reduce acid reflux symptoms.
Chicken or turkey
Generally, white meat is more suitable for heartburn patients. It is less fatty and has a much lower chance of causing heartburn than regular red meat. However, do not deep fry the meat. It should be grilled or steamed where possible.
Fish and other seafood
Also a great option since you should be avoiding red meat. Similar to the above point, try not to fry them. By frying your food, you will make it more fattening and the goal here is to keep your foods less fatty.
The reason for this is that fatty foods make your stomach produce more acid and also relax the lower esophageal sphincter. That’s a double whammy. More acid and a much higher chance of the acid splashing up your throat. Not fun at all!
Salads and celery
Wise food choices, these two. You will be healthier, lose excess fat and keep your acid reflux symptoms at bay. Most people are aware that these foods are good for them yet they are unwilling to make the switch because it takes a while to form the habit of eating healthy and giving up the comfort foods.
If your acid reflux is bad, you do not have a choice but to change your eating habits to lead a relatively pain free life.
This is a nutritious food and does not cause heartburn. Eat it when you can.
This is a medicinal herb and many people have reported benefits from consuming it as part of their diet. Give it a try.
The above foods are beneficial and you should make an effort to include them in your diet. However, monitor their effects on you. If all is good, then carry on. If any of the above foods cause heartburn, then avoid it.
Foods to Avoid if you have Acid Reflux
The list below will highlight foods that you should avoid if you have acid reflux. The list is by no means comprehensive but will serve as a good starting point. Each individual is different.
If something you eat causes you heartburn, avoid it. Do NOT carry on eating it because you love the food so much you are willing to endure the pain. Sounds ridiculous but thousands of people are doing it.
Avoid citrus fruits and tomatoes
Oranges, grapefruit and lime are examples of citrus fruits. That means they are acidic. Acid reflux sufferers definitely do not need more acidic substances in their body. Even though fruits are beneficial, citrus fruits and their juices are best avoided if you have acid reflux.
Garlic and onions may affect you adversely
Some people have reported that garlic and onions bring on heartburn for them. So, monitor what you’re eating and if you notice acid reflux symptoms upon eating these, make a note and avoid them.
Spicy foods could be responsible too
Though spicy foods create an image of a burning sensation, most people do not get heartburn from consuming some spicy Indian food, etc. It varies from individual to individual.
This is why it’s absolutely necessary for an acid reflux sufferer to have a food journal so that he or she can closely monitor the effects of the food they eat.
Caffeine could be a culprit
Caffeine heightens our senses temporarily. People suffering from tinnitus are told to avoid caffeine because it is a stimulant. Acid reflux sufferers should pay attention to the amount of caffeine they are consuming. If you are having heartburn, cut down the caffeine. You may notice a change for the better.
Alcohol and fatty foods
Alcohol may or may not cause problems. It all depends on the individual. Nevertheless, it is a factor. So are fatty foods like cheese, nuts and even a juicy steak.
Chocolate and carbonated beverages
These two foods should be totally avoided. Chocolate causes the sphincter to relax and thereby allows the stomach acid to rise up the esophagus. Carbonated drinks often have a lot of gas and cause distension in the stomach causing the acid to rise. Give these two a pass for your well-being.
Tip #2 – Eat small amounts
You want to eat small meals and eat slowly. Picture this – your stomach has acid. Each time you eat something that goes into your stomach, the acid level rises.
So, if you have a large meal, the acid level will rise up fast. Since, acid reflux sufferers have a faulty lower esophageal sphincter; the valve to keep the acid in the stomach is open instead of closed. That spells trouble.
Tip #3 – Lose excess weight
This is not just for acid reflux sufferers. Anybody would benefit from losing excess weight. However, it’s more crucial to do it if you have acid reflux.
Generally, if you avoid eating the foods that cause acid reflux, eat small amounts at regular intervals, etc. you will automatically lose weight because you are eating more healthy and moderately.
Tip #4 – Avoid drinks with meals
Do not drink carbonated drinks, alcohol or even water during meals. As mentioned earlier, you do not want the acid level to rise dramatically. A few sips are okay but huge gulps of fluid will cause your stomach acids to splash up your throat. Ouch!
Tip #5 – Exercise often
Exercise whenever you can but do not overdo the cardio. Acid reflux sufferers should not engage in vigorous cardio or sessions such as CrossFit. The jerky, fast movements may make your stomach acid rise and cause heartburn
Tip #6 – Keep a food journal
It’s a fact that some foods cause heartburn and some relieve it. The important thing knows the difference. The only way to know is to keep a journal of what you eat daily. In this way, the moment you have heartburn, you can refer to your journal and see what you ate.
If the situation keeps repeating after you consume that meal, then you know that an ingredient in the dish does not agree with your constitution. Isolate and avoid this food.
Other useful tips:
* Avoid fatty foods
This is pretty straightforward. Fatty foods are not good for anyone. They worsen acid reflux. Avoid them or consume them minimally.
* Don’t eat before bed
Do not eat just before sleeping or napping. It is best to allow the food about two hours to digest before bed. When sleeping, elevate the headrest so that the stomach acid can’t go up you esophagus. Use gravity as a tool.
These tips are not exhaustive. There are many more that you may use. It’s best to get a reputable guide like Heartburn No More to help you cope with heartburn.
For my full in depth review of Heartburn No More, watch the video below.