How To Reduce Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is common in the Western world, especially for people over forty. Not long ago a client of mine complained about always having the urge to cough after taking a meal. The client had noticed her coughs (mucus cough) were getting worse over the past two months. During my Ayurveda consultation I asked the client about her diet, her lifestyle and food habits. I also asked the client about her past medical history. After our consultation is was clear to me that the client was suffering from severe acid reflux.
WHAT IS ACID REFLUX?
Acid reflux can be a painful condition. Acid goes up from the stomach which can create a burning sensation from the abdomen and 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 their throat. In Ayurveda, acid reflux is considered a pitta imbalance. A diet high in acidic vegetables and fruits, indigestion, stress, anxiety, or a diet which isn’t aligned with the pitta dosha body-type, can cause severe acid reflux.
If you are curious to know what body-type you are, or if you have a dosha imbalance, have a read HERE
DIET AND LIFESTYLE
How can you reduce acid reflux?
Acid reflux is more common in people who are under stress, people who skip meals or eat in a rush. If you are overweight you are more prone to acid reflux, and if you consume wine or drinks 3-5 times a week, you are also in higher risk of developing acid reflux. If your pre-dominant body type (dosha) is pitta dosha, and you eat a diet which is high in salt and acid or spicy foods, you are more prone to acid reflux.
Diet and lifestyle are the most important factors to cure acid reflux. The most important thing you can do to cure acid reflux is to keep a healthy lifestyle routine where you have three nourishing meals a day. Never skip meals but make sure you feed your body with calming foods. You may eat sweet healthy desserts, made from healthy ingredients to help keep you digestion in balance. Calming and nourishing foods are the best. If you like desserts, choose healthy cakes, which are soothing to the system, and reduces acidity.
Avoid large meals where you overeat. This will only upset your digestive system, and cause acid reflux. Try to avoid any meals three hours before bedtime. Eating a heavy meal 1-2 hours before bedtime can cause digestive upsets and worsen acid reflux.
SLEEP AND ACID REFLUX
Irregular sleep can affect the digestive health. A healthy sleep routine is extremely important to maintain balance in the whole dosha-system (your body system and all its functions). In my Ayurveda consultations, which I also offer online, I often hear people complain about irregular sleep. When the body has a pitta imbalance, it is common to experience interrupted sleep. The pitta imbalance leads to poor sleep, and you might often wake up several times during the night, and not be able to fall back asleep again.
When the body has a Vata imbalance or is pre-dominant Vata (your body constitution is pre-dominant Vata), you will experience restlessness, anxiety, overload of thoughts, and often wake up between 3-4AM.
BEST AND WORST FOODS FOR ACID REFLUX
FOR A FULL LIST OF GOOD FOODS, I SUGGEST YOU TO BOOK AN INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATION TO CHECK WHAT DOSHA (BODY- TYPE) YOU ARE, AND WHAT IMBALANCE (IF ANY), YOU HAVE. IN THAT WAY, I CAN DESIGN THE EXACT FOOD LIST FOR YOUR PERSONAL CONSTITUTION AND GIVE YOU A FULL GUIDELINE WHICH SUITS YOUR DOSHA AND CURRENT HEALTH ISSUES.
HOLISTIC TOOLS TO HELP YOU
Apart from a diet which aligns with your dosha (body-type), try to get into a good lifestyle routine. Reduce daily stress and anxiety by practicing 10-15 minutes gentle meditation.
There are plenty of studies which shows that meditation lowers stress. In Ayurveda we know that stress and anxiety increase acidity in the body. This can lead to acid reflux, joint inflammation, hair loss, thinning of hair, digestive upset and skin issues (rashes, adult acne, spots). Deep guided relaxation a few times a week using an audio is helpful and very simple. You can practise from home.
If you are curious to know more about your personal body type, read more about the benefits of an Ayurveda consultation HERE