Feel better: How to avoid Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Heartburn is a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat (acid reflux). When then symptom occurs way too often, then it becomes the gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

What are the Common Symptoms of Heartburn and Acid Reflux (GERD)

Those who often experience this symptom tend to depend on antacids or other heartburn medication, usually multiple times during a normal week.  There are many who end up being dependant on these over-the-counter antacids all their lives.

The common symptoms include:

  • A burning sensation in the chest and upper abdomen, particularly after eating a meal
  • A feeling of “throwing up in your mouth or the taste of a sour acidic liquid being regurgitated in your throat
  • A sensation of having food stuck in your throat
  • Unrelenting, long-lasting hiccups
  • Dry cough, often caused by the feeling of needing to clear something stuck in your throat
  • A feeling that food is not settling down into your stomach, leaving you feeling uncomfortably full

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux disease, also known as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) occurs due to the coexistence of two medical conditions.


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The first form of GERD

The first acid reflux disease contributing condition is a retrograde flow of stomach contents into the oesophagus. However, the reflux itself does not necessarily lead to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and can occur among healthy individuals. In such a case, the process is referred to as “physiologic gastroesophageal reflux”.

The second form of GERD

What is acid reflux GERD

The second acid reflux disease predisposing condition is a lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) malfunction. The LES is a 3-cm to 4-cm ring of muscle, which is two to three times thicker than the proximal oesophagus and acts as a valve between the oesophagus and the stomach. In the case of acid reflux disease, the LES does not close perfectly and stomach contents splashes up into the oesophagus.

Heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest or throat, caused by refluxed stomach contents touching the lining of the oesophagus. This can happen at least twice a week. Since healthy individuals may also experience light reflux – occasional heartburn is common as well, and doesn’t necessarily serve as an evidence of GERD.

Some GERD sufferers may also experience pain in the chest, cough, morning hoarseness, voice changes, difficulty swallowing (especially lumpy foods), chronic earache, burning chest pains, nausea or sinusitis. Some patients report a sensation that reminds food stuck, choking or tightness in the throat. This happens due to continuous stomach contents acid flow that comes into contact with the oesophagus and causes inflammation of the oesophagus resulting in scars from tissue damage.

What happens if GERD is left untreated?

If left untreated, acid reflux disease can lead to serious health complications. They include stricture formation, bleeding, ulcers and oesophageal spasms. When the stomach acid reaches the upper oesophagus and trachea, the process can result in a variety of severe conditions, such as asthma, sinusitis and pneumonia.

Finally, some people may develop Barrett’s oesophagus, a condition that manifest in an abnormal shape and colour of cells in the oesophageal lining. This condition is a precursor to oesophageal cancer, especially in adults over 60 years old.


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The treatment of gastro-oesophageal reflux disease takes three forms

  • Surgery
  • Medical therapy
  • Holistic therapy including dietary (and herbal supplements) and lifestyle changes

Undergoing any surgery and medical therapy must be considered very carefully. Consult and review your decision with your doctor or a registered medical professional.

Medical treatment of GERD includes PPIs and H2 blockers. Bear in mind that the results of taking such prescriptions or acid blockers may be temporary and that some conventional medications can cause serious side effects.

From a holistic point of view, GERD is considered as a warning sign of a major internal imbalance that needs to be properly addressed. You might want to consider a complete holistic regimen to help manage GERD. This includes alternative remedies such as homeopathic remedies, herbal remedies as well as making lifestyle changes.

How to get rid of heartburn and acid reflux - information book

Part of this article is based on the book, “Heartburn No More” by Jeff Martin. Jeff is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated his life to creating the ultimate acid reflux solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root cause of heartburn and acid reflux. 

Improve the quality of your life, naturally and dramatically without the use prescription medication or any surgical procedures. Remove all the discomfort and live a better life.

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Causes of heartburn and acid reflux

Many people experience heartburn from time to time and quite often, they cannot figure out the reason why.  It can be caused (or symptoms can become worse) due to:

  • Eating certain food and drink – such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate and fatty or spicy foods
  • Being overweight
  • Smoking habit
  • Pregnancy
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Taking some medicines, such as anti-inflammatory painkillers (like ibuprofen)
  • A hiatus hernia (when part of your stomach moves up into your chest)

Useful tips: How to avoid and reduce heartburn and acid reflux symptoms

The first line of defence against heartburn is prevention, so we’ll explore some helpful tips for avoiding heartburn in the first place. A quick way to by making simple lifestyle changes as they can help stop or reduce the discomfort and symptoms.

Dos and Don’ts: How to avoid and reduce heartburn and acid reflux symptoms

  • Small meals:  Eat smaller, frequent meals and taking smaller bites
  • Eat early:  Have early dinner and stop eating 2-3 hours before bedtime or lie down to sleep
  • Raise up your head:  Raise one end of your bed 10 to 20cm by putting something under your bed or mattress.  This is ensure that your chest and head are above the level of your waist, so stomach acid does not travel up towards your throat
  • Shed that extra pounds.  Embark on a simple diet and exercise programme to reduce excess abdominal fat.
  • Quit smoking as it can reduce the effectiveness of the muscle that keeps stomach acids out of our oesophagus.
  • Ditch those tight jeans as they can add pressure on the abdomen area
  • Avoid specific foods that trigger your heartburn
  • Find ways to relax, mentally and physically
  • Reduce alcohol
  • Don’t stop taking any prescribed medicine without speaking to your doctor first.
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Heartburn and Acid Reflux: Foods to Avoid

What acid reflux food should I avoid? This is a question most gastroesophageal reflux disease sufferers struggle upon. Promoting healthy nutrition that is based on avoiding certain foods while increasing the intake of others has the potential to confer significant long-term health benefits among acid reflux sufferers.

Lifestyle and dietary alterations are considered to be an integral and inseparable part of any long-term holistic GERD treatment.

The foods we consume play an important role when it comes to keeping our body’s delicate natural inner balance. Certain foods and dietary habits have been found to directly and indirectly promote the aggravation of acid reflux.  Therefore, avoiding those foods and adopting specific dietary habits for optimal digestion while suffering from acid reflux could have a tremendously positive effect on your existing medical condition. The following are examples of these types of foods:

What are the Foods & Drinks That Can Trigger Heartburn and Acid Reflux?

With these dietary changes and a healthy motivation to alter your lifestyle, you can be on your way to overcoming heartburn and acid reflux disease.  It’s time to improve the quality of your life and well-being.

  1. Coffee and other caffeine containing beverages
  2. Alcohol
  3. High-fat foods
  4. Chocolate
  5. Milk and milk-based products
  6. Peppermint, spearmint and other mints
  7. Acidic foods

1. Coffee and other caffeine containing beverages.

Coffee and other caffeine-containing beverages can lead to increased acidity in our digestive system. Try to limit your daily coffee consumption to two cups or less. If possible, you can split your coffee cup into two half-cups; and reduce coffee intake closer to bedtime.

2. Alcohol

It can irritate the stomach and relax the LES muscle, leading to increased acidity and reflux.

3. High-fat foods

They are among the biggest culprits behind GERD symptoms. These foods take longer to digest and are not easily eliminated out of body; increasing the chances acid will splash up into your oesophagus. The only exception to this are: omega-3 fatty acids from fish and fish oil, which are in fact powerful anti-inflammatory agents.

4. Chocolate

Chocolate contains a great deal of caffeine and fat. It increases acidity level and worsen digestion. If you cannot resist eating chocolates, try the dark, organic varieties; and to eat no more than two to three tiny squares two to three times per week.

5. Milk and milk-based products

Milk-based products contain a large proportion of calcium and this should be avoided before bedtime.

6. Peppermint, spearmint and other mints

These can worsen acid reflux symptoms. Avoid foods that contain strong mints, including mint-based herbal teas.

7. Acidic foods

Acidic foods include oranges and tomatoes and cruciferous vegetables (onions, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts). They promote the opening of the esophageal sphincter, thus increasing acid reflux.


How to get rid of heartburn and acid reflux - information book

Part of this article is based on the book, “Heartburn No More” by Jeff Martin. Jeff is an author, researcher, nutritionist and health consultant who dedicated his life to creating the ultimate acid reflux solution guaranteed to permanently reverse the root cause of heartburn and acid reflux. 

Improve the quality of your life, naturally and dramatically without the use prescription medication or any surgical procedures.

Remove all the discomfort and live a better life. Find out more about this solution.

Read other health & fitness articles

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