For quite some time I have suffered with acid reflux, so much so that it keeps me awake until the small hours – cheers Grandma! Let me explain… I was visiting my gran the other week and we were discussing a new medication she was on and how it was making her acid reflux worse, I didn’t know she suffered from it like me, and it turns out this is something she has passed down the family. I’d rather have had her olive toned skin, but you can’t pick and choose right?!
Around three years ago my acid reflux problem started out of the blue, it was bearable at first and would pass on its own eventually, then it became a lot worse and I had to look at over the counter aids to help. Obviously, I turned to Rennie as they’re like digestion experts – I am not just saying this either, my handbag constantly had a packet of Rennie in just in case of a flare-up, spearmint was my fave. However, I knew I needed to take a look at my lifestyle and how that was having an effect on my digestion. With this in mind I started to look into ways in which I could battle acid reflux and other digestion issues such as bloating. Some of these changes seemed a little drastic, like cutting out certain foods completely – it’s always the nice foods too isn’t it? However, I found that I didn’t have to be too drastic and that some little changes here and there could make a real difference and keep me from been kept awake all night in discomfort.
*if symptoms persist or worsen please do seek medical advice from a trained professional*
Little Active Changes
I will hold my hands up here and admit that I am not the most active of people – most days I am lucky if I reach 8k steps. Most days I spend all my time at my desk at work and once I have walked home from work I pretty much just turn into a potato on the sofa (don’t judge me). Over the last few weeks I upped my walking in a bid to prepare the vast amounts of walking I would be doing on holiday in NYC. At lunch I would eat my meal then take myself off to Superdrug for a little browse of the shelves, not a massive change in my routine but it helped me to add in some extra steps (and extra beauty products). I added this in of an evening too by walking to the shop or taking the bins out by walking down 7 flights of stairs to do so.
Did it work? It’s hard to say conclusively if this helped with my acid reflux, but I did find it helped with feeling bloated and sluggish after meals. It’s certainly something I will keep up, although I may have to stop buying things on my lunchtime walk before I run out of room in my home!
Little Diet Changes
Sufferers of digestion problems are recommended to keep a food diary as a way to find out what triggers the issues. For me I already knew what types of food were the problem, and it’s no surprise that it’s sugary, processed and acidic foods such as fresh orange juice, grapes, red onion and alcohol) the latter also causing bloat at times). As a vegetarian who has little dairy it’s not a great idea for me, or anyone really, to start cutting out whole food groups like fruits. So, it was a case of limiting the most acidic fruits and increasing my intake of alkaline fruits.
This approach certainly made a difference and hasn’t affected my diet in a negative way. I hadn’t realised how much of a difference it had made until I was in New York and wasn’t really watching what I ate too much… Rookie mistake as towards the end of my trip I noticed that my over indulgence had brought my reflux back in the evenings; luckily I had some of my ‘just in case’ Rennie’s in my handbag.
Not So Little Lifestyle Changes
I had read online several times that smoking and drinking are massive triggers for acid reflux, however I wasn’t quite ready to give them up at the time I was researching – I am still not ready to become teetotal, but with the other changes I have implemented I might not need to put down the prosecco for good just yet. I did recently stop smoking though (over 70 days now) and have found it’s made a great deal of difference to my acid reflux and overall health. Yes, quitting smoking is a large change, but one that is well worth it for many different aspects of life.
All in all I have found that a mixture of little changes has made a really big different to my acid reflux, and unless I overdo it on a weekend then I am pretty much reflux free and also have a little less bloat which is an added bonus!
* In conjunction with Rennie, but all thoughts are my own. Rennie Heartburn, Indigestion & Wind Relief Chewable Tablets. Always read the label.