Enjoying a meal without a backlash of unpredictable cramps and bathroom needs isn’t the only challenge for IBS sufferers (irritable bowel syndrome). Up to 79% also cope with painful heartburn – stomach acids backwashing up the oesophagus and into the throat.
Experts increasingly suspect this double whammy isn’t just bad luck, but rather one big, interconnected GI disorder.
To lessen the blow:
1. Try an acid blocker
Proton-pump inhibitors turn off stomach acid, reducing heartburn. They may also relieve IBS symptoms: in one Greek study, 41% of IBS patients reported significant relief after three months of using an acid blocker.
2. Cap the coffee and cocktails
Both can irritate the lining of the GI tract, triggering heartburn and IBS symptoms. If cutting back on your morning brew (to one cup) and alcoholic drinks doesn’t provide relief, eliminate them.
3. Eat on time
For IBS, you need to watch what you eat; for acid reflux, when is also key. Have dinner at least two hours before bed, to allow time for food to travel down through the oesophagus to the stomach; that way, acids won’t wash back up.