Monday, August 13, 2012

Cheap Help For Heartburn, Acid Reflux, Or GERD

There is a cheap easy solution for a lot of people suffering from heartburn, acid reflux and GERD (Gastroesophageal Disease). The solution is based on the cause of the worst effects of these diseases. If you suffer from these digestive diseases sleeping is very likely the time when you will be most uncomfortable.

This is because we have a little "valve" that controls the flow of stomach contents. This valve will open a little in a prone position and release stomach acid. The stomach acid is what is causing the burning sensation. Extra weight places more pressure on the valve and more acid can be released into the wrong places.

Not lying flat on your back will solve a lot of the problem by taking pressure off of your little valve and let it stay closed. This does not mean you need to sleep standing up or sitting up. A gentle upward slope toward your head will usually work.

This gentle upward slope can be achieved by placing a brick under each leg at the head of your bed. This will often be enough of an incline to allow your valve to stay shut and keep your stomach acid where it belongs.

If you are not able to get bricks under the head of your bed there are other alternatives as well. One of these is a foam wedge. They are available already made in various degrees of slope. Some come with a pillow case made to fit them.

You can use a wedge pillow in combination with a regular pillow, but I think it is better not to use another pillow with your wedge. This is because the angle of your neck can be very bad for keeping your airway open for breathing.

You do not always have to be overweight to have digestive problems like heartburn, acid reflux or GERD, but your chances of having them go up along with your weight. 

If you are overweight, you already know that you are contributing to existing and future health problems with your eating. Your eating is also robbing you of your sleep. Lack of sleep feels bad and brings a whole array of other health problems.

You already know you need to lose weight. Perhaps the prospect of having a good night's sleep every night will help to motivate you to make a plan to lose weight and act on it.

I will give you a quick list of foods to avoid if you have digestive problems. One of the worst is cucumbers. Acidic foods such as citrus, tomatoes, and vinegar should also be avoided, along with caffeine. The caffeine includes not only coffee, tea and soft drinks, but chocolate. Spicy, hot tasting foods like peppers, etc. are not good.

I happen to especially like most of the foods that one should avoid with digestive problems. I have found that if I am very good about avoiding them for a while, then I recover somewhat and am able to tolerate a reasonable amount of them again. 

I am not suggesting that you do the same stupid things that I do, but it is a way that I can stand to cut out all of my favorites for a while. The thought of getting them back motivates me to do without for a while.

I believe that doing yoga also helps in recovery from digestive problems. Don't worry if you are too fat to get into correct positions. Yoga is very forgiving of your infirmities. You can use a towel or belt to hold yourself into the nearest approximation of the position you can manage.

If you have severe acid reflux and you have it even when you are standing or sitting upright, then you may require medication from a physician. There are prescription drugs that help severe acid reflux and GERD problems. 

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