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What Does Acid Reflux Feel Like?

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If you struggle to have a glass of wine (or three) or chow down at a tailgate without feeling super uncomfortable hours later, you may be suffering from acid reflux and not even know it. Acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows backward into the esophagus — the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. Glands in your stomach lining make acid and enzymes that help break down food, and it’s this mix of remaining food liquid and stomach acid that’s backfilling.

“Acid reflux typically feels like a burning sensation under your chest, and some people may get a sour taste in their mouth,” Dr. Marvin Singh, MD, an integrative gastroenterologist and voluntary assistant clinical professor at the University of California San Diego’s Department of Family Medicine and Public Health, told POPSUGAR. “Oftentimes, people will have symptoms of reflux after eating particular foods or heavy meals, or when they bend over after eating or lie flat at night.”

Aside from the classic signs, there are some other less common symptoms that may point to an acid problem, according to Dr. Singh. These include:

  • A dry cough that acts up after eating, particularly if you don’t have any other respiratory issues.
  • Difficulty swallowing, which may be from an esophagus spasm resulting from reflux but could also point to something more serious. Dr. Singh recommends seeing a doctor immediately if this is an issue for you.
  • Asthma flare-ups at night, which could be a result of aspirating small amounts of acid into your lungs.
  • More cavities than normal, thanks to acid-induced erosion of the enamel on your teeth.
  • A persistent scratchy throat or hoarseness from acid making its way up past the esophagus to the throat, causing irritation of the vocal cords.

Whether you have the tell-tale red flags of acid reflux or some of the more head-scratching symptoms above, there are steps you can take to find relief. Before you do anything else, Dr. Singh suggests seeing a physician. Talking to your doctor and running tests will help rule out diseases like Barrett’s esophagus (a precancerous change in the lining of the esophagus that can occur as a result of acid reflux) or cardiac chest pain (which can often feel similar to reflux).

Once you’ve ruled those out, look at your lifestyle and particularly your diet. Dr. Singh recommends not overeating, fasting two to three hours before you go to sleep, avoiding trigger foods (alcohol, sugar, caffeine, tomato sauce, citrus, and spicy and fatty foods, to name a few), stocking up on organic fruits and veggies, and maintaining a healthy weight. OTC meds such as Tums are also helpful — just don’t use them as a permanent fix or take them for a long period of time without telling your doctor. “You could be covering up an important symptom or problem,” Dr. Singh said.





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Fitness

Podcasts and Apps For the New Year

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As the festive season comes to an end, New Year’s resolutions begin. For some, this means creating healthier eating habits and jump-starting a new workout routine, while for others, it means making time for more self-care ,or simply making a commitment to travel more. With all of this in mind, creating an atmosphere of wellness and inspiration is vital for carrying your resolutions to the finish line, and a perfect place to start is with podcasts.

Podcasts and apps can help you achieve your resolutions while doing everyday activities, like going for a walk, shopping, or during your evening skincare routine. The best part? It doesn’t matter if you’re a meditation guru or vinyasa flow newbie — there is something for everyone that explores all elements of wellness. Here’s a list of 11 podcasts and apps that’ll motivate you on demand and inspire you to see those resolutions through, well into the new year.





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My Water Balance App Review

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Photographer: Ericka McConnell

During busy social periods like Christmas and New Year, it’s easy to find yourself overdoing it when it comes to alcohol. With happy hours, holiday parties, and social gatherings, that one cocktail can quickly become three or four. Even if you’re good at moderating your intake, the older you get, the harder those hangovers can be to manage. Over the past couple of years, I’ve found that even a couple of glasses of wine can leave me waking up the following morning with a raging anxiety hangover.

Headaches I can take, but the sinking feeling that I’ve done something terrible (even though I remember every minute of the night before) is not something I enjoy. Experts agree there is a strong link between alcohol and anxiety, and that’s definitely something I’ve experienced since hitting my 30s. So I decided to look into ways of reducing those anxious feelings (without having to give up alcohol entirely), and one thing that came up again and again as a possible cause was dehydration.

Could it really be as simple as drinking more water? I had my doubts, as I’ve always been pretty good at drinking water or juice throughout the day anyway, but I decided to try properly tracking my water intake for a while anyway. A few apps I already had (like my Fitbit app and the WW app) allowed me to log my drinks, but I decided to download My Water Balance, which goes one step further. It allows you to log specific drinks, including alcoholic ones, and when you do so, the app will automatically adjust your plain water intake to compensate for the diuretic or dehydrating properties of other drinks (coffee, tea, and soft drinks are all included, too).

Let’s just say this was a huge eye-opener. No wonder I was waking up with a dry mouth and feelings of dread. If you thought having a couple of glasses of water at the end of the night was enough to offset three glasses of wine, you’re way off. For three months, I made an effort to only go to bed when I’d hit my lofty target of 2.5 litres of water per day. On days when I drank alcohol, the recommended intake would quickly go up, and I must confess I felt like a camel at times, storing away gallons of water. I also needed to get up and go to the loo in the night, often twice. But it was worth it, because those anxiety hangovers all but disappeared. I was genuinely amazed by how much of a difference it made.

Though we’re all different (and my anxiety is very mild), I definitely recommend installing this app and upping your water intake if you know that alcoholic drinks can have adverse effects on your body or mood. Obviously the best way to avoid these symptoms is to avoid drinking entirely, but not all of us are ready to go completely cold turkey, particularly at such a busy time of year. Practice moderation, have a glass of water by your side at all times, and perhaps you’ll wake up on New Year’s Day with a clear head for once?





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Best Bodyweight Core Exercises | POPSUGAR Fitness UK

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You know losing belly fat is all dependent on what you eat, not just doing a million crunches every day. But once you get leaner by eating a healthy, balanced diet, you’ll want to reveal a strong, chiseled core. You don’t need equipment to make that happen! These are the best bodyweight moves to get you a six-pack. Choose five or more to create your own core-carving workout.





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