Suffer From Acid Reflux? Heres How Diet and Exercise Can Help Relieve Symptoms – Yahoo Lifestyle

Posted: January 27, 2021 at 12:53 pm

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From Prevention

Gastrointestinal (GI) issues are common, and new research found that if you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), eating a healthy diet and getting enough exercise can help relieve symptoms.

Daily physical activity and eating a Mediterranean-style diet can help clear stomach acid more efficiently and help with digestion, which alleviates GERD symptoms.

Many people will deal with gastrointestinal (GI) issues at some point in their lives. And, if you regularly suffer from heartburn (a fairly common GI issue), even when you eat the right foods that are supposed to help, there are more lifestyle tweaks you may want to consider, according to a recent study in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Using data from the large-scale Nurses Health Study II, researchers compared the prevalence of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms and other factors like physical activity, body mass index, smoking, medication use, diet, and adhering to treatment if they had a diagnosis of heartburn and/or acid reflux.

The researchers found five factors that made a notable difference in symptom reduction: maintaining a normal weight, never smoking, moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily, restricting acidic beverages like coffee and tea to two cups daily, and following a prudent diet. (This type of diet is similar to a Mediterranean style of eating, with heavy emphasis on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, fish, and poultry.)

The more factors a participant followed, the lower the chances of GERD symptoms, according to the studys senior author, Andrew Chan, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. He told Runners World that those who followed all five of the guidelines reduced symptoms by about 40%, and if they were also using prescribed heartburn treatment, the symptoms were lowered even more.

Although diet is often highlighted the most as a way to manage GERD, Dr. Chan said the role of physical activity was prominent as well.

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We were impressed by how much physical activity could reduce reflux symptoms, and this is one of the first studies to show its effectiveness, he said.

In terms of why, Dr. Chan added that higher levels of physical activityespecially if done dailycan help clear stomach acid more efficiently and help with digestion, which means the acid is less likely to back up into the esophagus, which is what causes heartburn.

Although the research participants were all women, Dr. Chan added that its likely these factors would also pertain to men, and would also encompass both older and younger people, since the mechanism is the same: Move more often, and your digestive system benefits.

Previous research has noted that GERD is one of the most common gastrointestinal disorders, with a prevalence of about 20 to 30 percent of the U.S. population, although researchers add that number could be much higher since not everyone with GERD sees a doctor about the issue. Instead, many individuals just pop an over-the-counter antacid medication to control symptoms.

Occasional use of those meds is often fine, but if you find yourself keeping them handy for regular usage, or taking prescribed medications daily, that may be an issue, Dr. Chan added.

Although effective in most patients, there are lingering concerns about the long-term side effects of taking medications, such as proton pump inhibitors, he said. This research should provide clinicians and patients with some incentive to try diet and lifestyle modifications to minimize the unnecessary use of medications.

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Suffer From Acid Reflux? Heres How Diet and Exercise Can Help Relieve Symptoms - Yahoo Lifestyle

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January 27th, 2021 at 12:53 pm

Posted in Nutrition