Do you suffer heartburn more than 3 times a week?
Do the antacids that once cured your symptoms have little or no effect?
Does the misery of heartburn keep you awake at night?
Are you ready to do something about it?
I mean really do something about it. Are you prepared to make the necessary changes so that you can be heartburn free?
The problem is that most heartburn is self-created, but in this modern world, we all look for a fast solution. This is where the manufacturers of the traditional antacids can cash in. It is so easy to live a heartburn-causing lifestyle and then just pop a couple of antacids and wait for the discomfort to melt away, and this solution is fine for the occasional bout. The difficulty comes when your heartburn becomes a constant problem. You could be setting up a cycle of:
1 create acidity
2 neutralize the acidity
3 stimulate the stomach to produce more acidity so that it can digest food
4 create acidity … and so on and on and on.
Having said all that, it’s probably not your fault. It is simply a symptom of the modern fast lifestyle that really doesn’t suit our digestive system.
Try to be completely honest as you consider the following questions. The first step to solving your problem is to identify the cause of it.
Do you often skip meals? Or eat on the go? Do you sometimes not get to eat until late evening, and then head straight off to bed? Do you often eat slouched in front of the TV? How often do you opt for a burger or take-away on the way home? Or go for a frozen convenience meal? Have you got a few extra pounds around your waist? Do you have a regular drink? And are you smoking regularly?
Each of these points illustrates a part of our new modern lifestyles that is contributing to digestive problems and putting a general strain on our bodies, and unfortunately popping a few pills is not going to bring the solution. Our lives are rushed and we are forced to fit meals in when we can. We are often home too late to cook properly so we collapse in front of the TV with a microwaved meal in a plastic tray or the take-away we picked up on the way home. Our diet is full of added fats and sugars and usually high in calories, and we use social habits such as drinking and smoking to help us unwind.
Try to turn this around and see it from your stomach’s point of view.
If you leave your stomach empty when your body needs food your brain will send signals to the digestive system to produce more gastric juices. It does this to give you the message that you need to take on fuel and your stomach obliges with deep rumbles.
And more acids.
You then stuff your stomach full with a meal saturated with fats, sugars, and additives all delivered in a matter of minutes and with minimal chewing. Your stomach’s only answer is to produce more acids to try to cope with the huge quantity of food that needs to be digested.
The excess calories pile a ring of fat around your middle which restricts the stomach even more. This makes it difficult to contain the acids. Smoke and alcohol may help you to relax but they really irritate your stomach and they strip protective mucus from the walls of the esophagus. It’s not really surprising that that you end up bloated, belching with acid rising into the unprotected esophagus. So you reach for the antacid, but your stomach needs the acid so it produces more. Your digestive system is in a state of imbalance. So what can you do?
Try this 7 step plan
1. Check with your doctor to make sure there is not an underlying problem.
2. Start to eat more healthily. Cut down on processed foods and increase the fresh good quality ingredients in your diet.
3. Give your stomach a chance to digest food by eating 5 small meals a day instead of 3 big ones
4. Eat more slowly and chew your food. It may help to put your fork down between mouthfuls.
5. Have your last meal at least three hours before you retire, so you don’t retire with a full stomach
6. Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.
7. STOP Smoking, or at the very least don’t smoke just before or after a meal to allow the esophagus some healing time.
If you can stick to these changes you will be leading a generally healthier lifestyle. Over time your weight will drop, your body will rebalance and the smoke damage will repair. The toxins will be flushed from your body and you will begin to notice the benefits.
Fewer heartburn attacks, more energy, better sleep.
Your heartburn remedy has turned into a healthy life plan.
But will you do it? This is not an easy quick-fix solution. It requires some effort and you may not notice immediate results. You can always use natural remedies to bring relief in the short term.
Be kind to yourself and give it a go.