Forbes India 15th Anniversary Special

Being overweight can worsen your acid reflux symptoms. Know why losing weight can help you manage your acid reflux better

Dr. Prasanna S Shah elaborates on the effects of being overweight on Acid Reflux Symptoms and the tips to battle it

Published: Mar 28, 2023 10:44:33 AM IST
Updated: Mar 28, 2023 01:16:20 PM IST

Being overweight can worsen your acid reflux symptoms. Know why losing weight can help you  manage your acid reflux betterRegular cases of heartburn may be a symptom of a condition called gastroesophageal reflux  disease (GERD). Acid reflux is a common ailment. But it's a more chronic condition that  requires medical treatment to reduce esophageal damage.

Acidity can happen to anyone once in a while. However, being overweight is one of the most  common causes of GERD. The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy identifies  obesity as the leading cause of frequent heartburn and GERD. Excess weight increases  abdominal pressure, making stomach acid leakage or backflow more likely.

According to research in The American Journal of Gastroenterology, GERD symptoms increase  with increasing body mass index (BMI). Nearly 30,000 participants were monitored for 11 years for heartburn and BMI. Patients experienced 30% greater symptoms for each one-point increase  in BMI. GERD medicine is a short-term fix. Weight loss is crucial to long-term healing if you're  overweight (BMI 25 or higher). Even little weight loss can reduce heartburn symptoms.

The first step is to reduce your daily calorie intake. Weight loss is one of the best ways to beat  GERD. Reducing foods high in fat can help reduce calories while decreasing the risk of GERD.  The same applies to packaged foods and other non-nutritive items, such as sugar.

Exercise is another weight loss technique that is especially helpful for people with GERD.  Walking after a meal helps in calorie burning and digestion. This way, you are less likely to lie  down after a meal and risk further stomach acid reflux.

Some essential tips for GERD are:

  • eat smaller meals
  • eat slowly
  • lie down for at least 2 hours after a meal
  • elevate the head of your bed 6-10 inches with the support of a pillow
  • avoid spicy and high-fat foods
  • However, If you think that your acid reflux and heartburn symptoms are  persistent,consulting your gastroenterologist is the crucial step to “Guard against  GERD”!  
Issued in Public Interest by Dr.Reddy's Laboratories LTD

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