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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jothinathan Kandasamy

5 Proven Methods for Overcoming Acid Reflux Naturally

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a common digestive disorder characterized by the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus, leading to symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. Lifestyle changes are key to managing GERD effectively, especially for Indian patients who may have dietary habits that can contribute to acid reflux. Here are some lifestyle changes specifically tailored for Indian patients to find relief from GERD symptoms:

Dietary Modifications:

  1. Avoid Spicy Foods: Indian cuisine often includes spicy foods that can exacerbate GERD symptoms. Limit or avoid spicy curries, masalas, and chili peppers.

  2. Reduce Fatty Foods: High-fat foods like fried snacks, ghee, and oily gravies can relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), leading to acid reflux. Opt for lighter cooking methods and lower-fat alternatives.

  3. Limit Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits and juices like oranges, lemons, and tomatoes are acidic and can trigger heartburn. Consume them in moderation or choose non-acidic fruits.

  4. Manage Portion Sizes: Overeating can put pressure on the stomach and increase the risk of acid reflux. Eat smaller, more frequent meals rather than large, heavy meals.

  5. Avoid Late-night Eating: Eating close to bedtime can worsen GERD symptoms. Finish dinner at least 2-3 hours before lying down or going to sleep.

  6. Choose Non-acidic Beverages: Opt for non-acidic beverages like herbal teas, coconut water, and buttermilk instead of citrus juices, carbonated drinks, and caffeinated beverages.

Meal Timing and Habits:

  1. Practice Slow Eating: Chew food thoroughly and eat slowly to aid digestion and reduce the likelihood of acid reflux.

  2. Sit Upright While Eating: Maintain an upright posture while eating to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.


Sleeping Habits:

  1. Elevate the Head of the Bed: Place blocks under the head of the bed to elevate it by 6-8 inches. This helps prevent stomach acid from flowing upward while sleeping.

  2. Sleep on Your Left Side: Sleeping on the left side can reduce acid reflux symptoms compared to sleeping on the right side or back.

Weight Management:

Maintain a Healthy Weight: Excess weight, especially around the abdomen, can worsen GERD symptoms. Follow a balanced diet and engage in regular physical activity to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Smoking and Alcohol:

  1. Quit Smoking: Smoking can weaken the LES and increase acid reflux. Quitting smoking can significantly improve GERD symptoms.

  2. Limit Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol can relax the LES and irritate the esophagus. Limit alcohol intake and avoid alcohol close to bedtime.

Stress Management:

Practice Stress-reducing Techniques: Stress and anxiety can exacerbate GERD symptoms. Practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation.

Medical Consultation:

Consult a Gastroenterologist: If lifestyle changes alone are not sufficient to control GERD symptoms, consult a gastroenterologist for further evaluation and treatment options. Medications, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or H2 blockers, may be prescribed to reduce stomach acid production and alleviate symptoms.

By incorporating these lifestyle changes tailored for Indian patients into daily routines, individuals with GERD can experience significant relief from acid reflux symptoms and improve their digestive health. It's important to work closely with healthcare professionals for personalized advice and management of GERD.


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