Acid reflux is a common condition that is said to affect up to 20% of the population. In some cases, it flares up occasionally, while in others it remains a consistent, ongoing problem.
While it isn’t usually serious, the condition can cause uncomfortable and unpleasant symptoms. In some cases, symptoms may be experienced daily, impacting the patient’s quality of life.
You can experience a bout of acid reflux at any time of year. However, it does tend to be more prevalent in the winter months. So, how can you avoid acid reflux this winter? Find out everything you need to know to protect yourself below…
Increase your Vitamin D consumption
In winter, we tend to spend much less time outdoors than we do for the rest of the year. This means we get a lower natural dose of vitamin D from sunlight.
When you aren’t getting enough vitamin D, it can relax the oesophageal sphincter, making it easier for stomach acid to get back into the oesophagus. This triggers the symptoms of acid reflux.
By getting outdoors more and taking a high-quality supplement, you can increase your Vitamin D intake.
Avoid acid reflux by resisting junk food
It’s easier to follow an unhealthy diet in winter. The colder weather encourages us to turn to comfort food such as cakes, spicy food, and chocolate. While they may make you feel good temporarily, these foods are known to trigger heartburn. In turn, they can cause acid reflux to worsen.
Try and maintain a healthy diet throughout the winter months. A little indulgence is fine, but too much will lead to frequent acid reflux flare ups.
Limit your alcohol consumption
As Christmas approaches, it’s common to increase our alcohol consumption. The odd festive tipple is fine, but if you drink excessively, you are going to experience more frequent bouts of acid reflux. Alcohol itself is acidic, and it is one of the most common contributing factors to acid reflux.
If you limit your alcohol intake, you should see your acid reflux clear up.
Seeking treatment for acid reflux
While the tips above can help to avoid acid reflux this winter, they may not eradicate it completely. This is especially true if the root cause is not linked to your diet. It is important to understand the cause of the condition to treat it effectively. For example, if it is caused by a hernia or an ulcer, you will need to treat them to eliminate the acid reflux. Or, if the condition is caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), surgery may be required.
For those struggling with constant acid reflux symptoms that don’t clear up, other treatment options may be available. Book a consultation with Mr Alan Woodward today to determine the best course of treatment to eradicate the symptoms.