Gastrointestinal issues, such as heartburn and acid reflux are no picnic. You feel a burning in your chest, the uncomfortable sting of stomach acids in your esophagus, your chest hurts, and you may find it difficult to swallow. If you're like a lot of people, you've probably picked up a few rolls of antacids, or headed to the drugstore or even your doctor in order to get some sort of medication that will make the feeling stop for as long as possible. But the real answer to long term relief isn't on the shelf at all. It starts with you, and some basic lifestyle changes that will help you lose weight and significantly reduce these issues for a more comfortable life.
While there are many recommendations for reducing acid reflux and heartburn symptoms, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology losing weight is the top recommendation for getting a handle on these symptoms which can include
- Acid regurgitation
- Painful swallowing
- Persistent sore throat
- Bad Breath
- Loss of voice
- Excess Saliva
- Chest pain
If you are experiencing these symptoms frequently, it's important to seek medical help in order to develop a specific course of treatment for you.
Those with frequent heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues are often diagnosed with Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease (GERD). Many of these people are overweight or obese. Having excess abdominal fat is the worst for GERD because it puts extra pressure on your stomach and relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter to relax. The LES is basically the valve between your stomach and your esophagus. Ideally, it should only work one way-- to get food into the stomach to digest. When it's relaxed, stomach acids escape from that valve back into your esophagus resulting in acid reflux and other GERD symptoms.
- Losing weight will take dedication, but it can be done and even a moderate weight loss can help.Start by
- Avoiding large meals, especially in the evening
- Eating less fat, including fried food, Eating
- fewer calories overall
- Exercise regularly.
As the pounds come off, it's likely you'll not only notice you have fewer acid reflux symptoms, but you feel better in a lot of other ways as well.