Our expert says:
Heartburn, acid reflux and also stomach ulcers, are caused by excess acid production in the stomach and if you have food in your stomach this give the acid something it can work on instead of attacking the stomach lining. In fact, the use of 6 smaller meals a day is a good idea when suffering from reflux, heartburn or ulcers because this would mean that the you practically always has some food in your stomach to prevent acid erosion. You should split up your main meals into 2 smaller meals each. One of the most important factors in excess acid production and reflux is stress. If you suffer from reflux, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat that may cause problems (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, very fatty foods, etc and all alcohol). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is too difficult, then please consult a clinical dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will help you pinpoint trigger foods and work out a diet that avoids them. To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques, how to do deep breathing exercises and some form of physical exercise which is also relaxing, such as yoga. Going for brisk walks in the fresh air also helps to relieve tension.
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