Do you often wonder which habits besides consuming trigger substances can trigger your acid reflux? What makes it worse, and what can you do to prevent it?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease GERD affects the entire digestive tract, which is why it is not uncommon that something as familiar as sitting can aggravate it.
Keep reading this article to learn more about acid reflux and why it worsens while sitting.
Why Is Acid Reflux Worse When Sitting?
To answer your question, acid reflux can indeed be worsened while sitting. Now you may be asking yourself, what exactly is the reason behind it?
Poor Posture Can Aggravate Acid Reflux
Sitting in a poor posture can cause your stomach acids to back up in your esophagus for two main reasons.
Studies suggest that slouching can compress the abdominal muscles that are involved in the digestive process. This will cause your gastrointestinal system to function inefficiently, and stomach contents will have a better chance of catching bacteria and refluxing into your esophagus.
Apart from causing heartburn symptoms, slouching can also cause bloating and constipation.
Hunching is another example of lousy posture; unsurprisingly, it can worsen your reflux. If you hunch over while eating or afterward, the stomach acid that breaks down your food will be blocked due to the compression of your chest and stomach.
Sitting Slows Down The Digestive Process
Another reason sitting can worsen your acid reflux is that your digestive system is slowed down when sitting.
As you know, acid reflux/GERD patients should keep a high-fiber diet. Have you ever wondered why? It is because your body finds it easier to process fiber than high-fat or dairy. When food is quickly digested, there is not most of it left in the stomach to reflux.
Sitting for a prolonged period after a large meal, your abdominal cavity is compressed, and your digestive system slows down and becomes incapable of digesting the meal you just ate at its optimal speed.
A Brief On Acid Reflux
As you must know, your body consists of several muscles that operate your digestive system. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscle ring connecting your stomach with the bottom of the esophagus. LES’s function is to open and close so that swallowed food/ liquid substances can enter your stomach. When this vital muscle malfunctions, it starts relaxing at the wrong times and allows stomach acids to reflux into your lower esophagus.
This can cause heartburn symptoms to surface in your body and cause severe discomfort.
When acid reflux symptoms become chronic, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Symptoms of GERD You Can Experience When Sitting
If you are wondering about the most common acid reflux / GERD symptoms, look at the list below. We have listed some of the most explicit indications to help you self-diagnose Gerd’s development.
Note: if you are experiencing the following symptoms frequently, consult your healthcare provider immediately and have yourself diagnosed with GERD.
- Burning sensation in your chest (heartburn)
- The sensation of food caught up in the back of the throat
- Sore throat and difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Sharp abdominal and chest pain
- A bitter taste or a sour taste surfaces in your mouth.
- Upset stomach
- Chronic cough and shortness of breath
Risk Factors of GERD
Below are some risk factors that worsen the symptoms of acid reflux.
- Smoking or drinking beverages such as coffee and alcohol
- Eating large meals, especially at nighttime
- Eating trigger substances
- Hiatal hernia
- Excess of weight/ obesity
By avoiding these risk factors, GERD can be prevented
How To Prevent Acid Reflux While Sitting?
What to do when you are caught in this situation? You certainly can’t stop sitting wholly, but the good news is that some precautions can be taken.
Maintain a Good Posture
The main reason causing acid reflux to worsen while sitting is posture; fixing it can also prevent acid reflux. If you are wondering how to maintain a good posture? Keep reading.
- Stand/ sit straight with your shoulders pulled back
- Pull in your abdomen
- Keep the level of your head in accordance with your body
- Balance your weight primarily on the balls of your feet
- Strengthen your core
Another piece of advice is to avoid sitting down wholly after eating. Gravity will work if you stand or walk for a while, and acids won’t reflux.
Treatment Options For Acid Reflux
Even by following the above methods, you can avoid the symptoms of acid reflux while sitting. you must understand that acid reflux can surface at any place and time sincean’t always be ahead of it. It is much better if you treat acid reflux itself.
Changes In Dietary Behavior
Some necessary amendments should be made to suppress chronic acid reflux symptoms. For instance, you should abstain from triggering food substances at all costs. They can exacerbate your symptoms more than you realize. Some examples include spicy, greasy, citrus fruits, fatty, acidic, etc.
As mentioned above, obesity is one of the main GERD risk factors, so It is recommended to focus on weight loss. Lastly, you should divide your food intake into portions and try to eat smaller meals. Especially, before laying down.
Medicines and prescription drugs are a great way to help you with severe symptoms and discomfort.
After your doctor diagnoses the severity of your situation and goes over your medical history, he can prescribe you the most suitable option, some of which might include the following.
Proton pump inhibitors PPI are a type of drug that focuses on solving the problems from its roots, reducing the level of acid production in your body, which in turn reduces reflux.
Other counter antacids such as TUMS, Rolaids, and Mylanta can also help with chronic heartburn and other reflux symptoms.
Surgery is the only permanent solution for GERD, and any other method is a precaution. You can consult your healthcare provider/ doctor because only he can suggest the procedure most suitable for you.
You might be recommended a Nissen fundoplication, in which the surgeon will wrap the top of your stomach around your lower esophagus. This procedure will make it impossible for acids to enter your food pipe.
Another well-known method is the insertion of a Linx device. It is a magnetic titanium bracelet around the end of your lower esophagus to compress it. This procedure has high success rates of 90-95% in patients.
Is Acid Reflux Worse When Sitting Summary
Now that you understand how and why acid reflux worsens while sitting, it is crucial to remember that GERD is a chronic disease that won’t disappear.
So if you wish to reduce your suffering and not have to think twice about something as mundane as sitting, then you should seek proper medical attention and solve this problem once and for all.
Note: ignorance towards GERD can lead to life-threatening conditions such as esophageal cancer
We hope you found this article helpful and got the answer to your question.
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