A Reader Once Asked:
“Every time I have a drink, whether it be a margarita, martini, even wine sometimes beer I get acid reflux and it stings, is there anything I can do so I can have a drink once in a while?”
Acid reflux, heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), happens when stomach acid and partly digested food is regurgitated back into your esophagus, this causes a painful burning feeling, nausea and sometimes even vomiting. Many of us choose to overlook these symptoms, or treat them as an unavoidable part of life, but positive treatments can be very effective in decreasing the effects of acid reflux, or eliminating them altogether. There are a lot of different ways to treat and manage your heartburn, but the most permanent are making specific changes to your diet and lifestyle which can be a most effective way to reduce the incidence and severity of symptoms. I recommend an eBook that changed my life, read my review here; however, you should see a doctor if your heartburn persists to make sure there has not been a lot of damage to your esophagus.
Identifying things that trigger your acid reflux
Heartburn sufferers often trace their triggers to specific things they eat or drink. Once you have identified the triggers, you should be able to avoid your heartburn at least most of the time. Triggers can fluctuate significantly from one person to another, but foods that have been found to stimulate acid production in the stomach and increase the chances of heartburn include caffeine, alcohol, tomato-based products, carbonated beverages, or citrus fruits, such as lemons and oranges. Some sufferers will keep a diary for several weeks and identify which of the foods and things they drink tend to cause acid reflux the most often.
The role of alcohol as a trigger
Alcohol causes stomach acid and it is a perfect storm for producing acid reflux in many individuals. My first word of advice is to stop drinking alcohol if you want to control your acid reflux. If that is not an option, sometimes taking an antacid about 30 minutes before you drink eating properly can have some effect at reducing acid reflux in some people. Finally, you may want to keep an “alcohol diary” and see if there are any alcoholic beverages that you can drink without getting acid reflux.
What to do once you’ve identified your triggers
Once you’ve established the types of foods that don’t agree with you, you now need to find the ones that do. Some of the more inoffensive foods are those that are non-citrus fruits like apples and bananas, as well as vegetables such as cabbage, carrots peas and broccoli. Lean meats like fish, steak and beef, chicken breast and even egg whites are also thought to be safe for heartburn sufferers. Finally, other foods like certain types of cheeses, sour cream and wholegrain wheat products are deemed safe. It is important to include complex carbohydrates in every meal, these have been proven to subdue the effects of acid reflux.
Manage how much you eat at each meal
Acid reflux is also caused by overeating. To decrease the likelihood of acid reflux, it is now considered a good practice to eat smaller portions at each meal and eat more often. Finally, when you eat can also have a big impact on how often and how severe your acid reflux may be. Try not to eat late at night and it is a good idea to wait at least one hour after eating a meal before lying down or going to bed.
How much you weigh can have a big impact on acid reflux
Studies by the New England Medical Journal confirm that acid reflux can be triggered by even a small weight gain. It goes on to say that “by losing just 10 percent of body fat, an overweight person can dramatically reduce the symptoms and frequency of acid reflux.” By choosing the right diet combined with regular exercise and achieving and maintaining a healthy weight can often eliminate your acid reflux entirely.