Don’t suffer reflux in silence, listen to this!
In this episode of the Bite Me nutrition podcast, I want to share with you the first steps I would guide a client through if they come to me suffering from reflux.
I’ve seen lots of clients find relief by simply changing one or two of the things I am about to mention, so hopefully, you can implement some of these tips and find relief too!
Welcome back to the Bite Me nutrition podcast. Today I want to take you through the first steps that I would take a client through if they come to me suffering with reflux. So these are the main nutritional things that you can identify or investigate to see if they are triggers for your reflux. Okay. There's some more specific niche things which I obviously can't go into on a podcast that we would move to next if these things didn't work.
But I tell you, there's been a heap of clients who we've changed one or two of these things and this reflux that they've had for years has client recently he said he'd reduced by 80%. I don't know if that's testimonial don't shoot me, maybe I'm making it up. But anyway, the important thing is I have definitely had lots of clients have really good relief by following these things. So if you're struggling with reflux, hopefully you can implement some of these things and you too can find relief. That being said, the first thing you should do is not do these things. I'm about to say it's.
Talk to your doctor.
As always, with these sorts of conditions, we want to rule out something potentially more sinister. I don't want to be dramatic. I don't want to scare you into thinking if you have reflux, you're close to death. But as always, it's just good to rule out that stuff so you know that it's not any manner of things. And then you can move on to the stuff that I'm going to go through now. So the first thing that we would look at doing is look at the speed of your eating. Okay, I know that the first thing is what do I cut out? What foods are bad? And yes, there are those foods that we might need to adjust, which I'll go through a bit later. But honestly, the speed that you eat your meal directly impacts how well you are chewing your food, which directly impacts your digestion of it. So if you are not chewing your food very effectively because you're eating quickly. And I know that there's lots of scenarios where this is almost unavoidable. You're having dinner with the kids or you're slamming in particular, nurses are terrible at this because the job makes them that way, because you've got a two minute window to get your lunch in or teachers as well. You're scarfing your food as quickly as you can. So obviously just slow it down as realistically as you can and then absolutely try and slow it down even more so when you do have more opportunity to do so. Because if you're sending down relatively untrue chunks of food, that food can't move into your small intestine until it's become this sludge called kyme. Right? It's disgusting, but it needs to be digested broken down further by the stomach acid. And the bigger the chunks of food, the longer that food has to sit there being digested. And that typically means that more pressure is replaced on the upper opening of the stomach and that's where the stomach acid can come back up, giving you that reflux. So if you can chew your food properly and send down food that is much closer to that sludge than just big chunks of food, that's going to be really, really critical. And like I said, that's probably been one of the most effective things I've gone through with clients to begin with. So absolutely start there. Look at putting your knife and fork down between every couple of bites. Look at having a sip of water. We'll go through fluids with foods in a moment, but maybe having a sip of water, chatting to people, if there's other people at the table, aiming to be the last or one of the last people finished, can be really helpful, really effective. So that is a really critical thing for you to focus on. If you're struggling with reflux, the next thing is somewhat related and that's the posture that you're using whilst you're eating. If you're eating hunched over, you're physically compressing your abdominal, the space that your stomach sits in, right? And that is going to, again, put pressure squishing that I've noticed I'm using my hands and this is an audio medium. Good job, Johnny. But if you can imagine my hand squishing my stomach again, that puts pressure on it, that could increase the risk of that stomach acid coming back up through that opening, causing reflux. So, again, really important that whilst we're eating, we're staying as upright as we can. The whole imagine you've got a piece of string being pulled through the top of your head that can help with those reflux symptoms. And then also paying attention to your posture for an hour or two post eating. So if you have a big meal and then you go and lay down or you slouch on the couch, basically you are more horizontal than vertical. Gravity isn't able to help push that food and push that stomach acid down. So making sure whilst you're eating you're not scrunched up and then also making sure after eating you're not scrunched up and you're as upright as possible, those two things can also be really effective for helping with reflux. If you've done those two things and you haven't found relief, we probably need to move on to looking at certain foods that can trigger your reflux. Now, just because you have reflux doesn't mean that these foods are going to be a trigger. These are a list of common triggers. And so I have had clients with reflux who can have some of these and clients with reflux who can have any of these. It's pretty rare that you can't have any of them, but this is the hit list that I would work through. So things like spicy foods, caffeine, carbonated beverages, so that's like your soft drinks, anything bubbly citrus foods, tomato, and particularly tomato sauces, like a tomatoey pasta sauce and high fat foods. So again, deep fried or fatty cuts of meat, those sorts of foods, all of those things can impact your reflux in different ways. I'm not going to go through each of the mechanisms because who cares? But they can be a trigger. So what I would do spicy foods, caffeine, carbonated beverages, citrus, tomatoesources, high fat foods, I would look at picking one of those and trial cutting it out for two weeks, right? Not all of them, because if you remove all of them and you feel better, you don't know which one was the actual trigger. That's really sad. So one at a time for two weeks. Now, in that two weeks, you may not get a complete reduction in your reflux, but if you notice an improvement, I would keep going with that. I would continue to keep that food out for a longer period of time. And then if you feel like it's stabilized so it's reduced but not gone, then I would looking at removing another food. Now, if you've removed that food for two weeks and you've noticed no improvement on your reflux and you're focusing on the speed of your eating and you're focusing on the posture, you're doing those things right, then I would add that food back in and I would go back through the list and do something else, right? So you're working through that list to make sure that you're focusing on the different triggers, but you're being really like clinical and scientific with the way that you're doing it. You're removing one thing at a time, you're allowing it enough time, a couple of weeks to have an effect and then you are moving on from there. So I would take notes, honestly, I would keep a bit of a log in your phone or in a journal somewhere, just so you've tracked what you've removed, how long you've removed it for, and if you've noticed an improvement on symptoms, because obviously life is busy, things can get lost. And the worst thing you could do is kind of remove a food for seven to ten days and then forget and then forget what food it was because you're removing foods, which is painful, but you're then not getting the clarity or the results and the knowledge of this food is a trigger. So we kind of just spun our wheels. So make sure that you're being a bit methodical and you're a good record keeper to keep up with that stuff. And I think that's it. I think that would be what I would look for. Speed of eating, posture, and then those food triggers, trialing removal and reintroduction. Oh no, that is important. Good job, Me. Look, if you have reduced sorry. If you have removed a trigger and after two weeks you're noticing an improvement, so you keep removing it and after six to eight weeks, your reflux is essentially gone. That doesn't mean you can never eat that food again. It may have been that because you were eating that food at too higher amount, things just became a bit inflamed and angry down there and you might find that let's say, for example, it's caffeine, right? That would be horrible. I'm sorry. To be honest, that whole list of foods is like it's rough to have to remove one of those. But let's say that it was coffee and it might have been that you were having two to three coffees a day and you cut it out completely for a couple of weeks and have noticed a huge improvement. But one coffee every day is fine, or one coffee every other day is is fine. So it doesn't have to be this complete zero long term. Really important to make sure if you have identified, look, this thing is a trigger. The next kind of variable is how much of this thing is a trigger because often it's more than zero. Okay? It's one or two serves of these things that can be problematic. Or maybe we're having spicy foods as our trigger and when we're eating our spicy foods, we're eating them really fast and with terrible posture So we just get this perfect storm of reflux. So make sure if you've ever identified a trigger, you practice bringing it back in in smaller amounts to see if you can find your threshold. And that's it. So look, reflux is pretty common and it's often not spoken about or people don't really bring it up because it's really uncomfortable, but it doesn't impact lots of other areas of life for lots of people. But if you know someone who is struggling with reflux, even if it's a little bit of reflux, please shoot them. This podcast not always, but it can be such a simple fix and particularly if it's something that someone's been dealing with for years to be able to fix it so simply, it's pretty awesome. So let's do it right.
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There's a loud car coming, so I'm going to go now. Bye!