Top 3 Culprits of Acid Reflux

Do these things now to get relief

You’d think this would be a pretty easy answer. If you’ve searched the web, like I did, you’ve probably seen a lot of articles with many telling you the same, with a variation here and there. So, after years of dealing with reflux, my quest has taken me down a path of learning more about our bodies and how they work. Some of what I’ve learned is counterintuitive. So, here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience:

  1. Our American diet is horrible. Ok, I said it. You may say, oh, but I eat organic, or I eat my fruits and veggies, blah blah. Take a look at this chart and then reassess your diet.
  2. Eating late. If you go to bed within three hours after you’ve eaten you can expect a problem.
  3. This goes back to number 1. Being overweight causes increased pressure on the abdomen. Back to number 1. Change your diet and you’ll lose weight.

 

What causes Acid Reflux

65 million Americans want to know

With more than 65 million Americans suffering from acid reflux, you’d think we’d know the cause and how to stop it.

The good news: We do know how to stop it

The bad news: You usually have to change what you are eating

Now, the good news about the bad news is that the foods you can eat are amazing. And, with a little help, you can discover a world of incredible, healthy, unprocessed foods that delight the palette.

When I first discovered the culprit behind my constant throat clearing, the sour taste in my mouth I awoke to every morning, my ear nose and throat doctor told me to stay away from:

  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol

The first two items were devasting – okay – so I’m using a little hyperbole. And, on the third no-no, I naively asked, “by alcohol, you mean hard liquor, not wine, right?” You can guess his answer.

He gave me little pamphlet on preventing reflux, after looking at my espophagus, and reporting it was the most irritated one he’d seen ….ever – and he even ordered a barium exam to make sure nothing was growing in there.

Some things in the pamphlet didn’t ring true for me – like tomatoes. Those didn’t seem to bother me. And lemons? I knew that lemons were not acidic, but rather alkaline. Other citrus fruits, some, yes.

Some Common Causes:

Eating habits

Let me begin by saying that if you eat the “typical” American diet, AND you are overweight or eat too much in one seating, don’t be surprised that your body is revolting! Why do you think that more than 33% of Americans according to one study, suffer from acid reflux symptoms? View this chart to get an idea of what foods cause the problem. You can read more about changing your diet to be more alkaline than acidic here.

Pregnancy: For most women Acid reflux goes away after pregnancy. The hormones associated with pregnancy AND the pressure on the stomach contribute to the problem.

Alcohol

First of all, you’ll see on this chart that alcohol is acidic. Alcohol may relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing stomach contents to reflux back up into the esophagus.

Not enough “acid” in the stomach

Not enough digestive enzymes in the stomach: Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux could be caused by not enough digestive enzymes in the stomach to slow down the digestive process, causing grastic acids to accumulate and back up into the esophagus.

Smoking

For you smokers, I’m not going to spend much time on this. Because if you don’t want to quit smoking, then you probably won’t want to do the rest of what is required to get your body healthy. Here’s an article at WebMD for you: http://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/features/heartburn-tobacco-connection

And then there are the triggers – food, Ibuprofen, Naproxen….

What’s a girl, or guy to do?

Trust me, it’s the road to recovery can be rather quick. I’ve done my research and want to share with you what worked for me.

So, what’s your reflux trigger?

 

 

 

 

The Top Foods to Avoid if you have acid reflux – chocolate?

Alcohol. Tobacco. Chocolate. Citrus. Tomatoes.

Well, that’s what my doctor told me anyway. You see, I was in my ENT (ear, nose and throat doctor) (link to first blog post), for my daughter and thought I’d ask why I had this burning sensation in my throat. That’s when he delivered the big 5. I only heard the first three.

After getting over the thought of giving up two of my daily habits (coffee in the morning and chocolate at night), I decided to do what he said, mainly because he scared the life of out me by telling my esophagus ranked right up there in terms of the worst he’d ever seen. Great. Oh yes, he also ordered a barium swallow to make sure I didn’t have something growing in that red cavernous espophagus.

I immediately began fasting from those items for a period of time AND I took the Aciphex, but only for a limited amount of time.  And, I found a really good aloe juice. Even when I reported to the ENT doc how it helped me, he said that shouldn’t be surprising, knowing  the healing properties of Aloe. I also did a whole lot of research, which hopefully will help YOU.

But trust me, it’s not quite that simple. Nor must you think you’ll lead a life lacking yummy food So, where you should start on your journey to healing? What should you avoid and what should you begin doing?

  1. Begin eliminating the top culprits that we’re told to eliminate. Coffee, alcohol, chocolate.
  2. Get some aloe juice. I’ve bought several types from health food stores, but I have to tell you the ONLY one that worked and tasted yummy is this one. Take a capful every day while you’re healing. Keep it in stock for the flare ups.
  3. Begin changing your diet. Download this chart I’ve put together to begin understanding what foods are acidic and what foods are alkaline.
  4. Begin eating more alkaline foods. Refer to the chart to learn what foods you should be eating more of.
  5. Prop up the head of your bed. OK, so my 6”5 husband has complained about this for a while, because he claims it causes him to slide to the end of the bed every night. Anyway, prop up your bed a good 8-10 inches. We built our own, but I’ve done the research for you and found these. Or, buy a wedge pillow.

 

So, what else can you suggest for your fellow reflux sufferers?