To Drink Or Not To Drink
Ideally, we all have plenty of time to sit in a comfortable, relaxed state and thoroughly chew and digest our home cooked, healthy meals. Wouldnt that be nice?
However, we know this is not typically the case. Often, we eat on the run, while simultaneously completing other tasks and dont have enough time to chew and digest the packaged food we picked up from the Drive Thru line!
Maybe Im exaggerating a bit, and your scenario may fall somewhere in between those two descriptions. Either way, we are all seeking better digestion and want to know the truthto drink or not to drink?
Boiling it down , water or other fluids consumed with meals may be detrimental to digestion. But, this is not because they dilute stomach acid or drastically change the pH of the stomach .
Can Water Give You Heartburn
When you start feeling that nagging, burning pain of heartburn creeping up your chest and into your throat, you just want acid reflux relief fast. Would chugging a glass of water ease that burning sensation or make it even worse?
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It can vary from person to person, says Elie Abemayor, MD, chair of gastroenterology at Northern Westchester Hospital in Mount Kisco, New York.
Baking Soda And Water For Heartburn
Baking soda is highly effective in helping mitigate acid reflux or heartburn. Baking soda is a base with a ph level of 7, which helps neutralize stomach acid that backs up into the esophagus. A mixture of baking soda and water works as an alkaline. When the mixture is swallowed, it temporarily cuts down the acid to work as a natural antacid. The popular Alka-Seltzer is an example of a commercial antacid that contains sodium bicarbonate.
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Is Water Good For Acid Reflux Or Can Drinking Water Cause Acidity
You must be wondering, is drinking a lot of water bad for acid reflux? Not at all. In fact, water is good for treating the symptoms of acid reflux. You just have to avoid drinking it more.
The pH of water varies between 6.5 to 7.4. The pH of spring and mineral water is the highest, while flavored and carbonated variants are significantly lower. When it comes to acidity and alkalinity, water is alkaline or neutral in general. As a result, the acid reflux does not worsen.
The question now arises, does water help heartburn? In most circumstances, doctors also recommend drinking some water when you start to experience acid reflux symptoms. Wondering, what does water do with stomach acid?
This is due to the fact that water can assist push acid back to your stomach, thereby reducing heartburn. So, drinking water helps relieve acid reflux.
Professionals advise switching from carbonated and sweetened beverages to plain water. Just dont over-drink it.
We often get one question, why does water give me heartburn at night? The answer is lying down immediately after a night meal or drinking a lot of water before going to bed may cause heartburn at night.
Foods That May Cause Heartburn
Foods commonly known to be heartburn triggers cause the esophageal sphincter to relax and delay the digestive process, letting food sit in the stomach longer, says Gupta. The worst culprits? Foods that are high in fat, salt or spice such as:
- Carbonated beverages
Moderation is key since many people may not be able to or want to completely eliminate these foods, says Gupta. But try to avoid eating problem foods late in the evening closer to bedtime, so theyre not sitting in your stomach and then coming up your esophagus when you lay down at night. Its also a good idea to eat small frequent meals instead of bigger, heavier meals and avoid late-night dinners and bedtime snacks.
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Home Remedies For Acidity And Heartburn: How To Treat
- Peppermint Tea: Peppermint tea can help with digestion and stomach pain. However, if you have acid reflux or GERD, avoid ingesting peppermint tea as it can worsen the problem.
- Chamomile Tea: Chamomile tea is well known for its soothing properties and for decreasing inflammation. Studies show that it can calm and soothe the nervous system, and be one of the home remedies for acidity and heartburn.
- Ginger: This is another kitchen staple that has myriad health benefits. Gingerols is the main ingredient found in ginger that gives it its healing properties whether for a normal cough and cold or various digestive and intestinal disorders. Ginger has properties that destroy the acidity triggering pylori bacteria, , minimises nausea and calms the stomach muscles. Fresh ginger also helps in the treatment of nausea. Ginger is also an active ingredient in Ayurvedic medicine for acidity. Ginger can be consumed raw, in tea or in cooking. When suffering from severe indigestion and acidity, combine 1 tbsp of ginger and lemon juice with 2 tbsp. of honey in warm water. This will help reduce the symptoms of acidity, keep your metabolism strong and relieve weakness and pain associated with acidity.
ShutterstockTip:So, now that we have told you some super accessible kitchen ingredients to beat the acidity blues, try to opt for these natural remedies rather than the closest bottle of antacid available when you experience discomfort, nausea or burning due to acidity.
Treating Reflux In A Natural Way
I am a huge believer in natural medicine. When I started giving my son natural remedies for reflux, they really worked! Aloe Vera, ginger, probiotics, and coconut oil, are my favorite natural reflux remedies. A while ago I posted about the properties and benefits of all of these in my 5 Natural Remedies For Acid Reflux article. You can learn in full detail how each one helps.
Please remember, though, that every person is different and what works for my son might not work for other kids. These are the natural remedies that really made a difference for him. And again, it goes without saying that we check with his pediatrician and GI specialist when we make a decision to treat a condition the natural way.
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Avoid Dehydration This Summer: Your Digestive Tract Will Thank You
Summer is here and there is a lot to do when the weather is this beautiful outside, family picnics, enjoying the beach, endless hours on the golf course, or even spending time in your backyard enjoying a barbeque. But unfortunately, too much fun in the sun can be dangerous to your body. Excessive heat exposure can cause dehydration, which in turn can wreak havoc on your digestive system.
A common misconception is that dehydration results solely from water loss, however, it can also stem from medication, caffeine and alcohol intake, and several other factors. Paired with long periods of time in the heat, cases of dehydration can escalate into more serious health issues affecting your gastrointestinal tract.
Take An Acid Neutralizer
When heartburn hits and you need relief, try an antacid like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox. These medications act quickly to neutralize the acid in the stomach, which can reduce your symptoms. Dont have any on hand? Dissolve a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water and drink to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Just use caution with this home remedy since its high in sodium and shouldnt be used by people on a sodium-restricted diet.
Learn more: Treating GERD with medications: What you need to know
We also like H-2 blockers, also known as Histamine H2-receptor antagonists. These include such brand names a Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Tagamet, and Zantac. These medications dont work as quickly as acid neutralizers, but they are still very fast. H2 blockers should be taken about 30 minutes before you eat or when you typically experience symptoms.
The benefit of H2 blockers is that they work longer than antacids, but they dont have the same medical risks associated with proton pump inhibitors. As is true with all medications we highly recommend that you discuss use with your doctor before you begin any drug treatment, prescription or over-the-counter.
And remember that while these quick fixes may help relieve your GERD symptoms, they dont address the underlying cause of those symptoms. Your goal should be to stop reflux from happening in the first place, which is why we recommend several long-term solutions to cure heartburn.
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Whats Behind The Heartburn Claims
Your body also has its own pH levels, says Evan Dellon, MD, a gastroenterologist and associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. For example, pH tends to be neutral in the blood, lower in the stomach, and higher in the small bowel, he explains.
The alkaline water industry claims that problems can arise when the body becomes acidic, and that their products can neutralize pH and promote a better balance.
But our bodies dont actually need help in this area, says Dr. Dellon: We have an incredibly sophisticated machinery to keep the pH levels where they should be throughout the body, and theres not a lot that you can do, eat, or drink to change that.
One 2012 study done in a lab found that water with a pH of 8.8 did seem to inactivate pepsin, an enzyme related to the production of hydrochloric acid . The water also had a buffering effect against hydrochloric acid itself. These in vitro data suggest that alkaline water may be a useful, risk-free adjunctive treatment for reflux disease, the study authors wrote, although they also stated that more research was needed, including studies in humans.
Dr. Dellon agrees: We really have no evidence that this works in real life scenarios, he says. Meanwhile, we do have many other reflux treatments that are well studied and pretty effective for people.
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What Are You Going To Do To Cure Your Heartburn
Are you simply going to treat the heartburn with short-term remedies or are you going to attack the real underlying problem that is driving your symptoms? I suspect that the larger long-term recommendations are a bit intimidating and you are not sure if you can make that type of commitment. You are not alone.
Here is an approach that may help you ease into building your path to relief and good health:
We know you can do this because so many others before you have succeeded. Dont delay, this is your disease and its your quality of life that is at risk. You can do this!
This article is from Reflux MD
Medical Resources Used for This Article
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When To Call A Doctor
Acid reflux, though uncomfortable, can be highly treatable.
People may manage acid reflux at home with some lifestyle changes and the avoidance of triggers. Severe symptoms of GERD may require medication or, in rare cases, surgery.
If an individual has severe or frequent symptoms of acid reflux, their doctor can help rule out other conditions. It is especially important to get medical attention if someone thinks they might be experiencing acid reflux or any other symptoms of GERD.
These symptoms may indicate a more serious health problem, such as a heart attack.
Ways To Alleviate Acid Reflux
Patients suffering from acid reflux may try the below steps:
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How To Use Lemon Water For Acid Reflux
Although lemon juice is very acidic, small amounts mixed with water can have an alkalizing effect when its digested. This can help neutralize the acid in your stomach.
If you decide to try this home remedy, you should mix one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice with eight ounces of water. Then drink it about 20 minutes before a meal to help prevent symptoms that might be triggered by food.
Be sure to drink this mixture through a straw, if possible. This can prevent the acid in the juice from touching your teeth and eroding tooth enamel. And you should never drink straight lemon juice due to its acidity. It needs to be diluted with water to be effective.
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Acid Reflux Mythbusters: Drinking Water Dilutes Stomach Acid
March 15, 2017Articles, GERD & Acid Reflux
With all of the information available right at our fingertips, the potential to stumble upon diet myths is fairly high. During the age of information-overload, how do you know youre getting accurate facts rather than hyped-up hyperbole?
This is part three of a ten part mythbusters series on acid reflux relief. Part one explores if acidic foods cause acid reflux.Part two dives into myths surrounding a high fat diet and reflux. Todays article divulges if drinking water dilutes stomach acid, a common question by those aiming to optimize digestive health.
Lets explore why this myth became popular and what the current research has to say about it. I use the mythbuster-scaling system of totally true, a little bit true, or not true at all.
So, fact or fiction: does drinking water dilute stomach acid?
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C Make All The Necessary Lifestyle Changes
There are many things you can do besides maintaining a healthy BMI and following a GERD friendly diet. Here is a short list of recommendations you should consider:
- If you smoke, stop immediately
- Leave at least 3 hours between your final meal and bedtime
- Wear loose-fitting clothes
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk for 20 minutes after a major meal to aid digestion
- Try eating 5 or 6 small meals daily
For a more thorough list of recommendations, we recommend you read Acid Reflux Remedies Questions, Answers, Stages & Treatments.
Baking Soda For Heartburn
Health practitioners commonly accept baking soda, or sodium bicarbonate, to be effective in providing temporary, occasional relief of acid reflux. It works because it has an alkaline pH, which helps to neutralize the acidity in your stomach, working in a similar manner to many over-the-counter antacids.
Consult your physician before using baking soda regularly, as it can affect the absorption of many medications, and is high in sodium. In addition, sodium bicarbonate is not safe for long-term use, and is only recommended for acute periods of reflux lasting for less than two weeks. Sodium bicarbonate is available in tablets and effervescent powder, as well as the standard powder you can buy at any grocery store.
If you are in a pinch, a half teaspoon of baking soda mixed in at least 125 mL of water may provide a quick relief of symptoms. This treatment is not recommended for pregnant women.
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Drinks To Avoid When You Have Heartburn
If you are actively battling heartburn, or you want to keep it from returning, there is ample research to suggest what ânotâ to drink. Here are the big rules on drinks to avoid when you have heartburn:
- âCaffeinated:â Coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy drinks
- âCarbonated:â Sparkling water, soft drinks
- âAcidic:â Citrus juices, tomato juice
- âAlcoholic:â Beer, wine, mixed drinks
Dr. Kung doubles down on these recommendations: “It’s best to avoid caffeinated drinks and carbonated beverages when possible, as these beverages are known to relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can lead to more heartburn and reflux symptoms.”
Dr. Kung also suggests you may be able to help further reduce irritating the lining of your esophagus, if you are experiencing acid reflux, by avoiding citrus and tomatoes juices â so it’s a solid ânoâ on those.
Why Does Water Give Me Heartburn During Pregnancy
When you eat or drink, the muscle opens to allow food to enter the stomach before closing tightly.
However, high levels of progesterone during pregnancy can cause that muscle to relax, causing stomach acid to back up into your esophagus and even into your throat. This condition may result in heartburn.
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