Taapsee Pannu’s Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal has shared important details about one of the common health issues called acid reflux.
Acid reflux is one of the common ailments that many people across the world suffer from. It happens when contents from our stomach move upwards in our esophagus. If the signs of acid reflux persist more than twice a week, then it means you may have a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is very important to treat it as it can lead to other health complications. Heartburn, sour or bitter taste, difficulty swallowing, breathing issues, at the back of the mouth, bloating, dysphagia, burping, hiccups, nausea, weight loss, wheezing, dry cough and hoarseness are the common signs.
We asked Taapsee Pannu’s Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal who is a Nutrition and Lifestyle Consultant, and Founder- Yuktahaar about acid reflux in detail and simple lifestyle changes to deal with it. She said, “The problem of acid reflux or heartburn is becoming more and more common. In my practice, I have realized that most people don’t consider it a serious issue and hence, without thinking much, they pop an antacid and go about their day as usual. Until they realize that popping pills isn’t helping in the long term and acid reflux no matter how insignificant an ailment it appears to be, does affect the overall quality of life.”
“When I started working with Taapsee Pannu a few years back on her diet, getting to know how to deal with her acidity was one of the priorities for her. And why not? For an actress who is busy working round the clock, travels across time zones threw in, having to deal with the uncomfortable burning sensation from an acidic reflux every now and then would most certainly make life pretty difficult.”
“Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines like Protein Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) that reduce your body’s production of acid are great for symptom management, but long-term use of acid-suppressing medications can lead to nutrient deficiencies and increase your risk of food sensitivities/ intolerances, serious gut infections, mood imbalances like depression, anxiety and so on.”
“Resorting to an antacid or acid-suppressing medication is like taking the batteries out of a beeping smoke detector and just wishing that all will be well. It may help with symptoms suppression, but the problem is far from being fixed by going this route. For digestive issues, we need to identify and work on root cause factors if achieving long term relief is the goal.”
“Just within a few months of gut balancing protocol, Taapsee’s chronic acidity issue was resolved and like any other concerned daughter, she also got her mom to sign up with me so that we can work on her gut health too. In fact, during our recent Instagram live conversation, we discussed the issue of acid reflux in brief so that her fans and followers could benefit from it. Today, I am sharing my list of five major Do’s and Dont’s for stomach acidity that both Taapsee and her mom continue to follow till today.”
DO’S AND DONT’S by Nutritionist Munmun Ganeriwal:
DON’T- Do not skip meals or have long meal gaps
DO- Make sure you have planned your meals & eat every 2-3 hours
HERE’S WHY- It is assumed that acid reflux is caused by overactive or high stomach acid levels but paradoxically, more often than not, it is due to not having enough stomach acid. When acid levels are low, food gets into the stomach but isn’t fully broken down. Decreased digestion causes fermentation of food, gas production and starts pushing through the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), causing acid reflux. One of the best ways to ensure optimal stomach acid production is to eat every 2-3 hours because every time you don’t eat for long hours, the body produces less stomach acid leading to heartburn symptoms and conditions like GERD.
DON’T- Do not eat till you are stuffed
DO- Eat only till you feel light and comfortable. A good way to begin is to eat five spoons lesser than you would have.
HERE’S WHY- Large quantities of food distend the stomach causing the valve (LES valve) between the stomach and food pipe to not close properly. This allows the acid in your stomach to travel upward. Remember the antacid TV ad of son-in-law overeating only to get nausea and acidity later?
DON’T- Do not eat close to bedtime
DO– Eat your last meal of the day 2-3 hours before you go to bed
HERE’S WHY- Lying down soon after you eat triggers the backflow of acidic stomach contents into your food pipe causing heartburn and acidity.
DON’T- Do not be deprived of sleep
DO- Make sure you get restful sleep for 7-8 hours.
HERE’S WHY– Sleeplessness can cause the valve between the stomach & food pipe to function improperly, allowing the acid in your stomach to travel upward.
DON’T- Do not make friends with chronic stress
DO- Practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques every day
HERE’S WHY- Chronic stress not only decreases the production of stomach acid but also over activates the sympathetic nervous system that can hamper digestion and lead to acid reflux. Practicing deep breathing techniques will help you relax and cool off the over-activated nervous system.
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