If you’re overweight and suffering from frequent heartburn, you’re not alone. In fact, research shows that being overweight or obese is a major risk factor for developing heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Fortunately, there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and improve your overall health.

Understanding Heartburn and GERD

Heartburn occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. This can cause a burning sensation in the chest or throat, as well as other symptoms such as regurgitation, nausea, and difficulty swallowing. When heartburn occurs more than twice a week, it is considered GERD, a chronic condition that can lead to complications such as esophagitis, ulcers, and even cancer.

Why Being Overweight Matters

Research shows that being overweight or obese can increase the risk of developing GERD by up to 50 percent. This is because excess weight puts pressure on the stomach and can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to relax, allowing stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus. In addition, excess body fat can cause inflammation throughout the body, which can also contribute to GERD symptoms.

Managing Heartburn and GERD

If you’re overweight and experiencing heartburn or GERD, there are several steps you can take to manage your symptoms and improve your overall health:

  1. Lose Weight: Losing even a small amount of weight can reduce the frequency and severity of heartburn symptoms. Aim for a healthy weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week through a combination of diet and exercise.
  2. Avoid Trigger Foods: Certain foods can trigger heartburn symptoms, including spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol. Pay attention to what you eat and avoid these triggers whenever possible.
  3. Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals: Eating large meals can put pressure on the stomach and increase the risk of heartburn. Instead, try eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to keep your stomach from getting too full.
  4. Stay Upright After Eating: Lying down after a meal can increase the risk of heartburn. Instead, stay upright for at least two hours after eating to allow your stomach to digest properly.
  5. Consider Medications: Over-the-counter antacids and acid reducers can help manage heartburn symptoms. If your symptoms are more severe, your doctor may prescribe stronger medications or suggest surgery.

2023 GERD Breakthrough

In 2023, GERD researcher Jeff Martin came out with a bold claim: according to him, the solution for GERD is not diet related. Even bolder, he is claiming that by tackling the real root cause, he is able to cure GERD in his patients without using any medications.

Although not everyone agrees with his claims, I do think his introductory video is worth a watch. Check it out below: