Does drinking hot water help acid reflux?

Does Warm Water Soothe the Burn? Does drinking hot water help with heartburn? Exploring the Effects on Acid Reflux.

Acid reflux, often called heartburn, is a common discomfort experienced by millions. It occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth to the stomach, causing a burning sensation in the chest. While medications offer relief, many people seek natural remedies, including drinking hot water. But does this age-old approach hold any truth?

Let’s delve into the science behind hot water and its potential impact on acid reflux.

drinking hot water
Image source-unsplash

1. Understanding Acid Reflux: The Root of the Discomfort

To understand how warm water might affect acid reflux, it’s crucial to grasp the underlying mechanisms. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is the barrier between the esophagus and the stomach. When functioning correctly, it remains closed, preventing stomach acid from flowing upwards.

However, certain foods, beverages, medications, and even excess weight can weaken the LES, allowing acid to creep back up and triggering the burning sensation.

Water is an important fluid in the body’s daily functioning. It makes up almost 60% of the body’s weight. Before going into the details of the case study for warm water and its effect on acid reflux, let’s understand why water is important for the human body.

  • Carries nutrients and oxygen to cells: Water is one of the major components of blood, which carries nutrients and oxygen to every part of the human body. If blood is like the delivery truck, water is the vehicle carrying all the important supplies (nutrients and oxygen) throughout the body.
  • Remove waste: Water helps to flush out bodily waste products through urination and sweating. Like a garbage truck removes waste from the house, water helps the body eliminate cellular waste products.
  • Aids digestion: Water helps to break down food into small pieces and move it through the digestive system. It turns food into a mixture that can easily pass through our intestines.
  • Maintains healthy skin: Water keeps the skin hydrated and elastic. Think of our skin as a balloon. When the balloon is filled with water (hydrated), it is plump and full. When the balloon is not filled with water (dehydrated), it becomes wrinkled and saggy.

1.1. The Hot Water: Potential Benefits

While research on the specific effects of warm water on acid reflux is limited, some potential benefits exist:

  • Dilution of stomach acid: Warm water can help dilute stomach acid that has already reached the esophagus. This dilution reduces the acidity and potentially lessens the burning sensation.
  • Esophageal Clearance: Drinking warm water may help clear the esophagus of acidic content more effectively. Like water helps wash down the food, it could flush out lingering acid, reducing irritation.
  • Improvement in Stomach Digestion: Warm water may promote smoother digestion by aiding food movement through the digestive tract. Faster digestion can help minimize stomach acid’s time in contact with the esophageal lining, potentially reducing reflux episodes.
  • Soothing Effect: Warm liquids often have a calming effect. The warmth may provide a comforting sensation that eases the discomfort associated with acid reflux.
  • Limited Evidence, Individual Variations: Acknowledging the limitations surrounding the evidence for warm water’s effectiveness is important. While some people might experience relief, the research supporting this claim is inconclusive. Additionally, individual responses can vary significantly. What works for one person might not offer relief for another.
How Are Water And Other Fluids Digested In The Human Body?

1.2. Lifestyle Modifications Relief

Incorporating warm water into the routine and other lifestyle modifications might be beneficial if anyone is struggling with acid reflux. Here are some strategies to consider:

  • Dietary Changes: Certain foods, like spicy or fatty meals, citrus fruits, and chocolate, can worsen acid reflux. Identifying and avoiding these triggers can significantly improve symptoms.
  • Weight Management: Excess weight puts pressure on the abdomen, weakening the LES and leading to reflux. Maintaining a healthy weight can significantly reduce symptoms.
  • Smaller, More Frequent Meals: Eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day can help prevent the stomach from becoming overly full, which can contribute to reflux.
  • Elevated Sleep Position: Pillows can help elevate the head of your bed by 6-8 inches while you sleep, preventing stomach acid from flowing back up the esophagus.
  • Managing Stress: Stress can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. However, a few techniques, such as deep breathing, can help us feel comfortable.

2. When to Consult a Doctor

While warm water and lifestyle changes might offer relief for some, it’s crucial to seek medical advice if the acid reflux is:

  • Frequent (occurring more than twice a week).
  • Severe (causing significant discomfort).
  • Not responding to lifestyle changes.
  • Accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or difficulty swallowing.
  • A doctor can diagnose the underlying cause of your acid reflux and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan, which might include medications or even surgery in severe cases.
drinking hot water
Does drinking hot water help acid reflux? 4

Image source-pixabay

If you want to know the benefits of lemon water, then check out 10 Amazing Lemon Water Benefits You Must Know

3. Conclusion: Warm Water – A Potential Piece of the Puzzle

While the evidence for warm water specifically reducing acid reflux is not definitive, it might be a helpful addition to your management strategy. It is always important to consult a professional if cases escalate too much.

However, it’s crucial to remember that it’s unlikely to be a standalone solution. Combining warm water with other lifestyle modifications and potential medication under a doctor’s guidance offers the best chance of finding relief from the discomfort of acid reflux.

However, everyone should always remember one thing while solutions are investigated for these issues, which people are not sure of, and there is a grey area in the absolute scientific conclusion: individual responses vary. What works for one person may not work for others.

If acid reflux becomes painful and persists longer than usual, consult a doctor. Early diagnosis and treatment are key.

Lifestyle modifications like dietary changes, weight management, and stress reduction are essential to managing acid reflux.

By taking a holistic approach, one can effectively manage acid reflux and find lasting relief from the burning sensation.

Drink water, Stay Hydrated.

Last Updated on by Rajeshwari_Das

Author

Isha_Jash

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