Experiencing acid reflux and esophageal spasms is no picnic. Anyone who has felt the scorch of heartburn does not look forward to its return. To help control acid reflux and reduce the risk of heartburn, there are many natural techniques sufferers can try such as watching their diet, and managing their weight. When it comes to managing weight, exercise plays an important role. Unfortunately, some exercises can actually cause acid reflux.
Exercise does not commonly cause heartburn, but for those who suffer from chronic acid reflux, heartburn may occur, especially when engaging in high-impact and jarring exercises such as jogging, or for athletes who take part in an intense fitness regimen. Furthermore, stomach exercises also seem to cause acid reflux in certain people.
It appears that symptoms of GERD that are induced by exercise occur due to the excessive contraction of stomach muscles. Some exercises cause stomach acid to travel back towards the esophagus, which tends to result in heartburn, shortly after exercises have been completed.
Even though there is a risk that you may experience heartburn either during or after you perform certain exercises, this doesn't mean that you shouldn't exercise. In fact, there are many ways you can prevent exercise-induced heartburn. The following are some suggestions.
Eat sensibly before exercising - Eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and low in fat and protein. Avoid foods such as caffeinated beverages, spicy and fatty foods, chocolate and citrus juice; foods that dramatically increase the risk of acid reflux.
Avoid exercising directly after eating - Wait 1-2 hours after you have eaten before engaging in exercise. Exercising on a full stomach puts pressure on the sphincter and increases the chance of acid reflux occurring. The sphincter is the circle of muscles between the stomach and the esophagus.
Drink water - Drink (do not gulp) plenty of water while you are working out to keep yourself well hydrated and to aid digestion. As a guide, drink 8 oz. of cool water 30 minutes prior to exercise, and sip 16 oz. of cool water every 15 minutes while exercising. Finally, drink about 24 oz of water when you are finished. Note: the amount of water you drink may change based on the intensity and length of your exercise.
Tone-down your exercise level - Instead of engaging in activities that require a lot of jiggling or bouncing such as jogging, or high impact aerobics (IE. jumping jacks, step-aerobics, sit-ups, etc.) - which increase the risk of acid reflux - take part in walking, cycling and swimming exercises.
Take medication - If you suffer from chronic heartburn and take medication for your condition, such as over-the-counter H2 blocker (Pepcid, Zantac, etc.) or prescription medication, talk to your doctor about taking meds before exercising if you frequently experience heartburn during exercises.
Don't forget to talk with your doctor!
If you find that exercise is causing you heartburn, make sure you speak with your doctor before you begin taking medication. Ask your doctor to recommend exercises that will cause less discomfort. If you are unable to find new ways to exercise without causing heartburn, taking medication may be the best solution.
Finally, make sure you don't ignore your body. If you experience pain in your chest when exercising, don't ignore the pain and brush it aside thinking it to be only heartburn. Pain in your chest may actually be a symptom of a real heart problem. Always have chest pain checked out by your doctor.
Remember, the risk of exercise-induced heartburn isn't an excuse not to exercise. Think about it this way. Better you exercise and take the chances of suffering heartburn which can be treated with medications, than not exercise and increase your risk of heart attack and a slew of other health problems.
While science looks to perfect a safe and economical treatment for heartburn the rest of the world goes on in its own way, with heartburn sufferers too looking for a solution. Treatments abound but it can be hard trying to make sense of it all. Many people are reluctant to see a doctor. When pain is involved professional advice is always a good course, wouldn’t it be better to have the facts?
The way to cure the problem is to pinpoint the heartburn foods that trigger an attack. Being able to relate certain foods with heartburn pain makes it easier to build a case. In other words, having pain consistently after eating certain foods gives you an idea of what the cause and effect is. Symptoms may vary from day to day and with the kind of food eaten, this can make it difficult to have a good handle on things. But this is what you need to do if you want a detailed picture. Identify the triggers that cause the problem. Rather than popping a pill whenever heartburn calls make it better by taking action.
Papaya – Heartburn, or acid indigestion, as it is also known, is a condition that can usually treated by natural means. There are natural cures that have been around for a long time. Many have come down from the Greeks and Romans. Even without clinical testing some of these make a good case by recognizing how the active ingredients interact with the body. Papaya, a tropical fruit that has been used by natives as a cure for wounds and stomach aches contains Papain, an active ingredient that works to digest meat and is commercially used as a meat tenderizer.
There are many natural cures for heartburn. Science hasn’t yet taken much interest in this but that may change soon. If you have an acquaintance who offers a cure testimonial, as a heartburn treatment, it may be a workable solution but it pays to use common sense. There is always the possibility of over dosing and interaction. For example, apple cider vinegar has been touted as a cure for many ailments, including heartburn. ACV is a citric acid being taken to cure stomach acid. There is science that supports this but no clinical trials. It works – for those with the right body chemistry.
Knowing how the stomach works is the key. Knowing how stomach acid can be a good thing as long as it does what it’s supposes to do. If someone ever suggested a home remedy like eating a banana for heartburn, you might wonder how a treatment like that could have an effect on stomach pain. But isn’t worth a little effort to find out if there is an alternative to perpetual pill popping? If the most popular remedies don’t work for you it may be hard to believe that a stick of gum could be the answer. Can a heartburn treatment be so simple? For many people the answer is yes.