The causes of acid reflux. Minimising the symptoms.

If you often experience acid reflux symptoms, it is important to get yourself checked out so that the most effective acid reflux treatment can be prescribed for your particular condition.

The symptoms of acid reflux are caused by stomach acid coming up from the stomach into the oesophagus. This may be caused by a medical reason; such as the failure of the sphincter muscle, which usually holds the bottom of the food tube shut, failing to work effectively, or it may be an indication of an underlying health problem.

Left long term, acid reflux can cause a range of potential health problems such as inflammation in the food tube and throat and even increase your risk of cancer in severe cases.

However, you can help minimise acid reflux symptoms yourself by making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Many risk factors can be attributed as the direct causes of acid reflux, whether you suffer from it occasionally or it is a long-term condition.

• Obesity. If you are overweight, you are more likely to suffer from acid reflux symptoms. Losing some weight, taking some exercise and adopting a healthier lifestyle may help reduce symptoms.

• Your normal diet. There is a long list of foods to avoid for acid reflux. These include fried foods, spicy food or fatty rich food. You may find that natural foods such as tomatoes, lemons and cucumber may also cause acid reflux symptoms.

Many rich foods such as chocolate and cakes are also a trigger. Most people find that they have a personal list of foods to avoid for acid reflux as well as those foodstuffs, which are intrinsically unhealthy.

• Eating too much at meal times. Your diet may be healthy but if you eat too much you may suffer from acid reflux symptoms. Don’t feel compelled to clear your plate to please other people.

• The time and the way that you eat may be causes of acid reflux. Eating too late in the evening and going to bed after a big dinner is well known for causing acid reflux symptoms. Exercising and bending down after a meal also causes the acid reflux effect.

• Your drinking habits may be causes of acid reflux. Some types of alcohol such as white wine are acidic and fizzy drinks and even coffee and tea can cause severe acid reflux. Even if you only drink any of these beverages or alcoholic drinks in moderation, switching to alternatives may improve acid reflux symptoms and ensuring that you drink plenty of water will help.

• Smoking. Yes, it is bad for you and everyone knows it is dangerous for your general health. It is also a direct cause of acid reflux so should be avoided.

• Medication can be among the causes of acid reflux. Try to avoid Ibuprofen based drugs as they irritate the gut lining and ensure you always read the directions on any medication. There will usually be a warning if the medication causes this side effect. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for an alternative.

• Not getting any younger! As we age, we are more likely to suffer from acid reflux symptoms. Many people just cannot take the same lifestyle, diet and alcohol habits as they did when younger and need to make lifestyle changes to improve the condition.

So in summary, there are many ways you can try and reduce symptoms yourself but if they persist, go and see you Doctor and if the medicine they try doesn’t work then get tested!

 For more information call The Functional Gut Clinic: 0207 486 7777 (Mon-Friday 9am-5pm) or email us at: admin@thefunctionalgutclinic.com

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