During this first week of the new year many people are making New Year's resolutions. It is a great time to get a jump start on your health as well improve other areas of your life. Why not take some time to try a few things to help your acid reflux too? Here are four resolutions to make that can help banish the burn.
1. Resolve to add probiotics to your diet. These can be found in the form of supplements or found naturally in foods like yogurt. Recently they have been added to may other foods as well. Look for "live and active culture" on the label. Two of my favorite ways to get probiotics are Activa yogurts and Biogia chewable supplements. More is not necessarily better because the benefit in probiotics is creating a good balance in your system, so don't overdo it. Talk with your doctor about the best way to add probiotics to your diet. They have helped my gut health as well as my reflux baby's gut!
2. Resolve to write down what you eat and when you feel pain. This can be extremely helpful in discovering your trigger foods. It may sound simple or unnecessary but when you consider that some foods may have been eaten a day or two before you see problems it becomes harder to rely on your own recall. Stop right now and try to write down everything you ate two days ago. Not very easy, right? Keep a journal and take it to your doctor's appointments. Your doctor may also be able to see something you might have missed.
3. Resolve to remove carbonated beverages from your diet. If you can't do it all at once try to cut your soda intake by at least half. The carbonation in these drinks can add to bloating which aggravates reflux in some people. Add the sugary syrup to the mix and you can have serious tummy troubles. If you remove three of these sugary drinks a day from your diet you may also see weight loss of up to a pound per week! The best substitute for soda is to drink water but if you can't stand water try adding lemon to it or drinking a sugar free green tea.
4. Resolve to exercise. You may be wondering what this has to do with reflux. Well, the benefit of exercise is twofold. First, exercise can help reduce your stress level which can help calm a sensitive tummy. Secondly exercise can help you to shed excess pounds. If you are overweight a weight loss of 10% of your current weight can dramatically improve your symptoms. Walking can be a great way to start if you have never exercised before.
Part of the problem with making resolutions is that many people end up feeling overwhelmed and quit before they are able to see any benefit. If you are one of those people start with one of these tips at a time. Once it is incorporated into your daily life try adding a new one. Write down your goals and place them in plane sight to help motivate you to keep going! Limiting reflux flare ups is a priceless reward for the new year!