Can Drinking Water Ease Acid Reflux Symptoms?

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acid reflux remediesAcid reflux affects many people at some point in their lives.

It occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter malfunctions, and allows digestive acids from the stomach to flow up the esophagus.

For the majority of sufferers, acid reflux is an occasional problem.

But for some people, it is a frequent occurrence which can make meal times a misery.

How Do You Know If You Have Acid Reflux?

Recurrent acid reflux – or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) – is characterized by the following symptoms:

  • Heartburn – A sharp or burning pain in the chest, which starts shortly after eating.
  • Unpleasant taste – An unpleasant, acidic taste is often experienced due to the presence of digestive juices in the mouth.
  • Dysphagia – People with GERD may have problems swallowing, or may experience pain.

You are more likely to suffer from acid reflux if you fall into any of the following categories:

  • You are pregnant.
  • You are significantly overweight.
  • You diet is extremely high in fat.

Is Drinking Water Good For Acid Reflux?

Drinking water is beneficial for acid reflux in two ways. First of all, acid reflux can be greatly exacerbated by what you eat and drink.

Primarily, people with GERD should avoid alcohol and soda, as this can trigger a very painful attack.

Therefore, drinking something like water is preferable, and may help to avoid the onset of symptoms.

But water is also extremely good for treating acid reflux symptoms because it can have a neutralizing effect on stomach acid, and restore the balance between acidity and alkalinity.

This happens because ingesting a little water with your meals will dilute the acidity levels.

However, it is important to stress that drinking too much water when eating can actually make acid reflux worse.

Allowing your stomach to become too full of fluids increases the likelihood of the contents of your stomach being pushed up the esophagus, triggering an attack of reflux.

It is best to restrict your fluid intake to one small glass with meals, and spread the rest of your fluid intake throughout the day to keep the acidity of stomach acid within normalized levels.

The current recommended daily fluid intake is 13 glasses for men, and 8 for women.

Bottled Water Versus Tap Water

Bottled Water Versus Tap WaterBottled water is viewed by many people as being a healthier option, but in the case of acid reflux it is safer to stick to tap water.

This is because investigative studies have shown that many brands of bottled water have high acidity, which will of course raise the risk of reflux in a GERD sufferer.

The pH of tap water will depend on the region in which you live, and the practices of your local water authority. But generally, the pH of tap water has a greater tendency to be alkaline.

Other Ways To Ease Acid Reflux

Although drinking tap water throughout the day can help to improve the symptoms of acid reflux, it should be combined with other measures in order to effectively combat the condition. Adhering to the following advice can help to alleviate symptoms:

  • Eat small, regular meals. Eating too much in one sitting can over fill the stomach, and bring on an attack of heartburn.
  • Lose weight. One of the biggest risk factors in GERD is being overweight. Losing a few pounds will greatly improve your symptoms and reduce the number of instances of heartburn. You may find it cures your condition altogether.
  • Take up low impact exercise. Gentle activity such as walking won’t just help your acid reflux by helping you to lose weight. Exercise is an excellent way to improve digestion.

However, you should avoid undertaking an intense exercise program. Vigorous activity can agitate your digestive tract, thereby forcing more stomach acid into the esophagus.

  • Avoid fatty foods. Foods which are unhealthy and full of fat are a big contributor to heartburn.

They take longer to digest, and when food lays in the stomach for too long it makes it more likely that digestive acid will be regurgitated. Stick to lean proteins such as skinless chicken, and eat more seafood.

  • Learn your triggers. Many GERD sufferers find they have certain triggers. These can be highly individual, but common ones are spicy food, caffeine, garlic or citric juices and fruits.
  • Don’t lie down after a meal. You should avoid eating for at least two hours before going to bed, and should never lie down following a meal.

You need gravity to help keep your digestive juices flowing in the right direction.

Acid reflux can be very painful, and is something which is best avoided. A few sensible precautions can help to alleviate discomfort following meals.

This includes drinking glasses of water regularly throughout the day, and sipping your drink at meal times.

 

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