Acid reflux symptoms is common, especially in the Western world. Coughing or clearing your throat after a meal can be a sign of acid reflux. Not long ago, a student of mine complained about always having the urge to cough after taking a meal. Rebecca who is 45 noticed her coughing (mucus cough) got worse in the past two months. It is not unusual that I experience women and men over 40 with the same symptoms like Rebecca. During my Ayurvedic consultation I asked Rebecca about her diet, her lifestyle and food habits. It was clear to me that Rebecca suffered from acid reflux.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux is common for people over forty. Acid reflux means that acid goes up from your stomach which can create a burning sensation from the abdomen or chest and up towards the throat. Other symptoms like throat clearing, cough or throat mucus can also be a sign of acid reflux (early stage). Some people experience a strange feeling in the throat, almost as if they have a lump at the back of the throat. In Ayurveda reflux is a pitta imbalance. A poor diet, indigestion, stress eating, leftover foods or bad food habits can cause acid reflux.
Diet and lifestyle
Acid reflux is more common in those who drink alcohol daily, smokers, overweight people, people under stress or people who eat a high sodium diet (processed foods, microwave foods, cold foods). Diet and lifestyle are the most important factors to cure acid reflux. The most important thing you can do to cure reflux is to keep a healthy lifestyle routine where you have three healthy meals a day. Never skip meals but make sure you nourish your body with good foods. Avoid large meals where you overeat. This will only upset your digestive system. Try to avoid any food three hours before bedtime. Eating a heavy meal before bedtime can cause digestive upsets and worsen acid reflux.
Apart from your food habits, your sleeping pattern is extremely important to maintain a healthy system. In my Ayurvedic consultations I often hear people complain about sleep problems. Respect your body and make sure you disconnect from your smart phone, TV, computer at least one hour before bedtime. Make time to de-stress your system, and allow your body a 2-3 hour time span between your last meal and bedtime. This will give your system time to do its work. So, what can I eat? This is a common question I get from my clients.
Below I have made a list of good foods and bad foods for acid reflux:
A list of good food:
Bread – rye or whole grain (unprocessed wheat)
Steamed or cooked vegetables (no onion, tomato or peppers)
A list of bad foods:
Fried food Sausages
Please note, that food and beverages below PH4 are very acidic. Low PH means high acidity!
Try to manage daily stress by practicing deep breathing or gentle yoga. Deep guided relaxation a few times a week using an audio is helpful too. Acid reflux is often related to stress. Stress can cause indigestion and cause further inflammatory disorders. Make time for YOU only. De-stress your body and mind every day. Even 10 min a day can do wonders to your system.
Live healthy and happy! ‘