Acid reflux as we know it is an ailment where the acids produced in the stomach during digestion head to the esophagus tube. Due to the absence of the protective layer, the esophagus tube experiences the burning sensation leading to the heartburn. Neglecting acid reflux and its symptoms leads to severe damage, and makes it difficult for the individual to consume food with comfort.
Link Between Constipation and Acid Reflux
The acids venture into the esophagus tube because of improper functioning of the LES or lower esophageal sphincter, which usually stops the backwash of the acids. The muscular region separates the stomach from the upper area of the body. Acid reflux affects both adults and teenagers, including children. Occasional symptoms of acid reflux are common for any person. However, when the symptoms show an enhancement or are frequent, they lead to GERD or gastro esophageal reflux disease.
During the treatment procedure, doctors prescribe medications along with changes to lifestyle and food habits. The use of the medicines leads to side effects, of which constipation is one. Constipation is nothing but having dry or hard bowel movements.
Can Constipation Lead to Acid Reflux?
Constipation may lead to acid reflux but there is not enough scientific evidence to prove it. As we all know by now that improper functioning and widening of the LES causes acid reflux and its symptoms so there is a reason to believe that chronic constipation problem can actually strain the LES or lower esophageal sphincter and widens it. Thus we may say that constipation might lead to acid reflux.
Ways to Overcome Constipation to Prevent Acid Reflux?
Any doctor will first prescribe changes to lifestyle along with the use of home remedies. If there is no change in the condition, then the doctor will ask the patient to opt for Proton Pump Inhibitors. Although the inhibitor is effective against GERD, constipation is the known side effect.
As proton pump inhibitors show constipation as the side effect, an individual can control the constipation and prevent the acid reflux through a few methods. The following are the ways through which one can achieve this:
Adding Fiber Foods
Consuming meals or adding food content that is rich in fiber helps in making the stool pass smoothly and prevent the problem of constipation as it can lead to acid reflux. Additionally, the presence of the fiber in the diet ensures that the digestive system receives the needed hare of enzymes and support for complete digestion. It also prevents the occurrence of gas and bloating. Fiber rich foods include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
With an increase in the amount of water, you are providing the support required for the fiber to push the stool smoothly thus prevent constipation as it can lead to acid reflux. Do not restrict the intake of water. Additionally, rather than drinking large quantities at a time, opt for smaller portions spread at different intervals of time throughout the day.
Adding exercises to your daily life is a good way of improving the quality of life. They promote activation of the intestine movement making it easy for it to pass the stool quickly and prevent constipation as it can lead to acid reflux. You can choose between walking jogging, running, and biking. However, you can only feel the changes after a subtle amount of period. Aim for at least 150 minutes of workout in a week.
In some cases, over the counter medications are helpful in preventing constipation which can lead to acid reflux. The list of medicines includes laxatives, stool softeners, fiber supplements, and stimulant laxatives. Remember that the intake of the drugs is for a short season. If you are enduring from chronic constipation, then it is preferable to reach out to a doctor who would help you in this regard.
Apart from the mentioned treatments, other options include avoiding tight clothing, giving a gap of at least three hours before heading to the bed, quitting smoking and alcohol, and sleeping in an inclination position and help in preventing acid reflux.
As you now possess complete information about the link between constipation and acid reflux, it is time for you to make the changes to your lifestyle and food habits. Observe keenly, and you will find that you have the best outcome as the cure by adjusting simple things in your life.