31 Aug Heartburn and Probiotics
Heartburn is a form of indigestion felt as a burning sensation in the chest, caused by acid regurgitation into the oesophagus. This can create a burning discomfort in the upper abdomen or below the breast bone.
What is the cause of heartburn?
The first most obvious one is over indulgence. Eating too much food overfills the stomach, pushing food nearer to the oesophagus and as it ferments, the acid may start to bubble up causing that heartburn. The type of food you eat may cause heartburn as well. Spicy, fried, citrus and tomato based foods as well as coffee and alcohol very often cause heartburn as they are all acidic foods.
Eating just before bed can also cause a problem with food coming back up when you lie down straight after a meal. You may also be more likely to suffer from heartburn if you are overweight as the extra weight may push the food up higher towards your oesophagus. Many pregnant women tend to suffer from heartburn towards the end of their pregnancy as the baby pushes everything up, and inevitably heartburn occurs.
Bad bacteria growing in your stomach can cause fermentation that will cause acid to bubble too far up. These imbalances can originate from the gut where certain medications including antibiotics, alcohol, processed foods and sugary foods cause imbalanced gut bacteria which in turn affects the breakdown of carbohydrates and can cause fermentation.
Our digestive system is intricately linked to our nervous system. When we are stressed our digestive system receives less blood flow and this causes problems. However, being aware of your breathing before and during a meal is paramount.
Inflammation is another main features of heartburn. Excess acid in the oesophagus causes inflammation resulting in pain and irritation of the oesophageal lining.
Can probiotics get rid of heartburn?
Probiotics have become the chosen approach in the fight against heartburn and acid reflux.
Researchers continue to study these “good” bacteria and results show they can help with digestive problems as well as other health problems that range from eczema to colds to depression and anxiety to mental disorder and even to a new born baby’s colic.
The benefits of probiotics have been recognized for centuries, and in recent years both the medical world and the food industry have become more interested in their role in preventing and managing conditions and diseases. Probiotics are foods and supplements that contain living microorganisms – mostly live bacteria and some yeast. Probiotic-rich foods or supplements are often recommended for those with heartburn and acid reflux.
Probiotics are found in probiotic supplements and foods such as yogurt, sauerkraut and kombucha, a fermented beverage. Incorporating these beneficial bacteria (microorganisms) into your diet adds to the trillions of microorganisms that already line your digestive tract, where they help digest food, extract nutrients and provide protection against harmful bacteria and toxins. Although quality research is lacking, these good bugs potentially help to manage the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux that occurs when the acidic stomach contents travel back into the oesophagus. Probiotics also have anti-inflammatory properties that can ease the symptoms of inflammation associated with this condition.
People who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of developing heartburn and acid reflux. The American College of Gastroenterology recommends losing weight as an effective strategy to alleviate some of the symptoms of heartburn. In a small study of 125 women who were given either a probiotic supplement or placebo for 24 weeks, the women who were given the probiotic lost twice as much weight, as published in the November 2013 “British Journal of Nutrition.”
So in summary, it is advisable to find the main cause of the heartburn and acid reflux and make simple changes to your lifestyle such as losing weight or cutting out acidic rich foods as well as taking a good probiotic, like Rawbiotics GUT.
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