I have what you might call a love-hate relationship with my gut. Before taking this gut health assessment, if I were to describe it on Facebook, I’d probably opt for the “it’s complicated” relationship status. And boy, it’s indeed complicated! Suffering from acid reflux is much like being in a turbulent relationship. You never quite know from one day to the next how it’s going to go… or from one meal to the next, for that matter! When it’s bad, it’s bad. But when it’s good – and we’re talking about a 3-course meal with no bloating, no burning, and complete and utter satisfaction – it’s good. Since I’ve started to make some consistent adjustments to how, when, and what I eat, my gut has been giving me much less grief and my reflux only kicks in about 90% of the time. I don’t know about you, but I consider that a success. Especially when it means I can have a spicy burrito now and then without feeling like my gut has transformed into a fiery pit of hell.
The purpose of this post is to give you some insight on how I got to this stage and hopefully use my own experience to help you overcome your acid reflux too. So let’s get rolling.
First, I Always Listen to My Gut
There is so much information out there about what you should and shouldn’t eat. With acid reflux, it can get pretty overwhelming, especially since everyone is different and what works for you might not work for someone else. What worked for me in this instance was taking baby steps along the way. So instead of giving myself a complete diet overhaul and denying myself of everything I love (hello Friday night glass of wine!), I made small adjustments to my diet bit by bit and kept track of how I was feeling in a food diary I set up online. Again though, I can’t stress enough how informative the results were from my gut health assessment. I had the information I needed and I made a plan.
There are definitely a few very common trigger foods for acid reflux and those are a great starting point. Initially, I’d cut out up to two types of food at a time and see if my symptoms ease. If they don’t improve, I cut out something else, and continue until I see some improvement. I always make sure to refer to the list of foods (from my notes) that caused me irritation in the past and which foods worked for me.
Surprisingly, this process also showed me that I have a gluten sensitivity that was causing a lot of my symptoms, including exacerbating my reflux. And when I looked into this a bit more I found that many people have allergies they’re unaware of such as gluten or even lactose which can contribute to worsening their reflux symptoms, and may confuse which symptom stems from which problem.
Another thing I keep track of is the timing of my meals. I have a tendency to eat late in the evening when I’m chilling watching Netflix (who doesn’t?) but what I soon realized was that even the least triggering foods would cause a problem for me if I ate too late at night. But if I have those foods earlier in the day, they don’t trigger my reflux at all. So if you find that certain foods are causing your reflux to flare up, it’s definitely worth tracking what time of the day you’re eating those foods to see if timing is related to the problem. When I researched this myself, I found out that when your stomach is full of food, it puts a lot of pressure on your lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which is that tricky little muscle that tends to relax when it’s put under pressure (which makes no sense, right?!). Once it’s relaxed, it opens up a little and the contents of your stomach start making their way towards a big acid reflux party in your esophagus… without an invite.
Then I Looked Into Supplements
I admit I haven’t always been sold on natural health remedies, but when I decided to try out natural health supplements it was pretty much a last resort to get my gut in order. And when I did some research it really started to make sense. For example, your gut breaks down food by using digestive enzymes also produced in your gut. And when food is broken down it can go on its merry way through your digestive system so nutrients can be absorbed and waste can be, well – dumped! So when you consider that, it makes a lot of sense to add extra digestive enzymes to your diet to help your gut out a bit. And that’s what I did.
If you go into any health store you’ll find tons of different digestive solutions and probably get a lot of conflicting advice, and you might even leave empty handed as a result (pushy sales people are not my people), so if you’re anything like me you’ll want to have a look online instead. I tried two other brands before finding the Acid Management Kit developed by the team behind Terra Health Essentials and honestly I’m so glad it was third time lucky because I wasn’t going for a fourth – that stuff gets pricey if it’s not working!
The Acid Management Kit contains three products that work together to prevent, treat, and manage acid reflux. So rather than just easing it for a day or two, this is a catch-all solution that helps you keep your reflux under control for life. You probably won’t need to take it anymore once your gut has healed and is back to normal functioning. I personally started off taking all three products and now I only have to take the acid relief product now and then if I find my reflux flares up. So it’s not a lifelong expense. That said, expense is the wrong word here, it’s definitely an investment.
Now, My Acid Reflux is A Visitor, Not a Resident
I still get acid reflux every now and then, but it’s no longer an every day thing and I don’t have to live in constant fear of a flare-up ruining my day. It’s pretty freeing to be able to go out for dinner and not be in “panic mode” about how I’ll feel awful by the end of it, especially if I’m out with friends. I can wear a nice fitted dress without worrying that I’ll look nine months pregnant after accidentally eating something that doesn’t agree with me. And I can have a few glasses of wine without thinking twice about it. If I ever do get a bit of occasional heartburn, I simply start back on my acid reflux tablets for a few days and it eases off pretty fast. I don’t know what your definition of a success story is, but this is definitely mine!