The discomfort and burning of indigestion and acid reflux can stop you in your tracks. This debilitating happens when the ring-like valve that keeps your stomach acids down relaxes or weakens. The pain and irritation is the result of the stomach acids reaching the esophageal lining. Other symptoms of heartburn include burping, inflammation, bloating and even nausea. Luckily, some simple lifestyle changes can help to ease the discomfort of indigestion.
Watch What You Eat
When it comes to indigestion, not all foods are created equal. As such, it is a good idea to try to eliminate some less desirable foods from your diet. These include coffee, chocolate, fatty foods, tomatoes, garlic and onion.
Eating large meals can also trigger heartburn, so eating a number of smaller meals a day is preferable to one big one. Another trick is to stay up after eating. Standing or sitting can help to keep stomach acids down, and prevent them from reaching the esophageal lining. As such, it is best to eat at least three hours before going to bed.
Fill Up on Glutamine
Glutamine is an amino acid that can be found in foods such as beans, spinach, chicken, fish, beef and dairy products. Glutamine supplements are widely available for those who don’t feel that they are getting enough of the substance in their diet. The natural anti-inflammatory can alleviate intestinal inflammation that causes the symptoms of heartburn. It also promotes the development of intestinal cells by supplying them with nitrogen and carbon, and can boost the immune system.
Lying flat on your back can trigger acid reflux. Elevating the upper portion of your body, on the other hand, can help to keep stomach acids right where they belong—in your stomach. Use a foam wedge or bed risers to elevate your head 6 to 8 inches above your feet. Be sure to elevate your entire torso rather than just the head and neck.
Some people also claim that sleeping on your left side reduces heartburn due to the angle of the connection between the stomach and the esophagus.
Watch What You Drink
Carbonated drinks, such as soda and sparkling water, can do more than just make you burp, they can move stomach acid into your esophagus. In addition, drinking carbonated beverages can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter for a period of time.
Drinking citrus juice can also increase the symptoms of acid reflux by irritating the lining of the esophagus. According to one study, 72 percent of 400 gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) patients said that grapefruit and orange juice increased their heartburn.