According to a recent report by NCBI, acid reflux has been found to be a common digestive disorder worldwide affecting almost 20 % in North America and numbers are moreover the globe. In terms of age, adults are more common to report acid reflux symptoms. Acid reflux is basically a condition that occurs when acid from the stomach flows back into the food pipe also known as Oesophagus.
It can happen to anyone at some point and is completely normal. You might have a burning sensation in the middle of the chest, a feeling of sourness in the mouth, bad breath, a hoarse voice, repeated hiccups, and bloating. All these signs indicate you have acid reflux. But if these symptoms last longer and continue, chances are you may develop GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or chronic acid reflux).
For a condition that is not severe, some home treatment can be done. For example, water is one of the best ways to get instant relief. This article is all about how water helps acid reflux. Keep reading!
Does Water help acid reflux?
Yes, drinking water when suffering from acid reflux can ease the symptoms. According to a 2012 study on water, The pH level in the water works as the acid neutralizer and therefore minimizes and controls the symptoms of acid reflux.
The study revealed some facts about alkaline water. The study was performed to determine whether pepsin, an enzyme that is responsible for breaking proteins into peptides and helps digestion, can be inactivated by pH 8.8 alkaline water.
Water has mainly a ph 7 or more, in simple words, the basic nature, which helps to dilute stomach acids making them less acidic. The pH level of the stomach is very low, and drinking water will raise the pH and relieve heartburn.
Moreover, drinking water boosts metabolism and digestion. It is mainly the undigested food that leads to more problems of acidity and heartburns, water is a good way to eliminate indigestion and get your immunity on track.
Continuously water helps flush out toxins in your body. Toxins only contribute to forming more acid, worsening the acid reflux in the long run. A glass of water can save you a lot from further prevention.
Water also dilutes other minerals present in your stomach maintaining a proper electrolytic balance.
However, it’s not a permanent solution to the problem. Water is not just enough to treat acid reflux. Your doctor can only advise about your further medications.
What causes acid reflux
Acid reflux happens when the acid from the stomach moves into the esophagus creating a burning sensation. The main cause of this acid leakage is the LES lower esophagus sphincter, a valve composed of a bundle of smooth muscle and functions to protect the reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus when this valve fails, the acid starts flowing back into the esophagus. The burning sensation occurs because the esophagus is not protected with a lining like a stomach from the strong acids.
There could be multiple reasons to explain what triggers acid reflux. A lot of acidic food is linked to triggering heartburn. For example:
- alcohol, smoking
- Spicy meals
- Not having enough dietary fiber
- lying down immediately after eating a meal
- chocolate, carbonated drinks, and acidic juices
Also being overweight and pregnant can also cause acid reflux.
For many of us who think only foods are responsible, let me tell you that any exercise that increases abdominal pressure, such as heavy lifting, stomach crunches, or high impact workouts, can trigger reflux too.
Related: Can Almond Milk Cause Constipation
Why do so many people have acid reflux now?
Most people experience acid reflux now and from time to time. GERD has become more common affecting 20%. The more you age the chances of developing heart burns increase. Almost everyone has heartburn now and then after a large meal, said Dr. Philip Katz, a gastroenterologist at Graduate Hospital in Philadelphia.
The reason why it is more common includes shifts in diet toward fattier foods, higher rates of obesity. People who suffer from occasional heartburns may get relief from antacids but for those who develop GERD, these might not be so helpful. However scientists do know exactly what is the cause, but surely our lifestyle and eating habits have contributed towards heartburns.
Warm or cold water for acid reflux
Drinking cold water is one of the harmful things we do to our bodies. There have been a lot of studies that revealed that cold water actually warms up the body and stomach heat. And ultimately leading to poor circulation. Definitely, cold water is not recommended if you have heartburn. Instead, go for lukewarm water. Hot water eases the process of digestion and flushes out toxins. This way the foods causing stomach acid to reflux will be removed faster from the body and you will find relief.
You can even infuse water with fruits or have it in form of teas. Many people like to add honey to the water as it has antioxidant properties and protects from free radicals in the stomach that can damage the lining of the esophagus.
But there is no evidence to support that they will actually benefit. However many have claimed that it works, we are still struggling to find the exact answers.
You may also like: Feeling Like Hair in Throat
How long does acid reflux takes to heal with water
Treating acid reflux only with water is not sufficient to completely heal. You definitely should take medications prescribed by your doctor for the same. Drinking water is one way to naturalize the acidic contents in the stomach, to reach the roots of the problem you have to follow a course for 2-3 weeks or more. During this, you also have to adopt certain changes in your lifestyle, follow a regular and light meal, change some medicines that are causing acid reflux. It generally takes a few weeks to heal the body. And if the symptoms of GERD appear, which is a chronic disease, chances of surgery also increase. Don’t worry because in many cases, lifestyle changes with some medications can control the symptoms of acid reflux.
So overall it depends on the severity of the disease. You should only consider your doctor for the right treatment.
There are some tests that will confirm the diagnosis.
- Barium swallow
- Esophageal manometry
- pH monitoring
What changes can help to control acid reflux
One of the best ways to treat is to eliminate anything that triggers it. For example:
- Having smaller and light meals
- Cutting on alcohol and smoking
- Don’t lye down immediately after a meal
- Avoid tight-fitting clothes and belts
- Sleep with a rise under your head
- Most importantly exercise