At least, those adjustments seem to work for some women, which is what researchers looking at the data from a huge decades-long study called the Nurses Health Study have just concluded.
According to this data, those nurses who followed 5 “healthy” lifestyle factors significantly lowered their complaints of reflux.
The five factors include maintaining (or in most cases, I presume, getting back to) a normal weight, never having smoked, doing moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for at least 30 minutes daily (which is clearly a hard one for most people, of course), restricting coffee, tea and sodas to two cups daily (never mind what I just said earlier cuz I think this one is even harder for most of us to achieve), and following a (non-defined) “prudent” diet.
The good news is that according to the kind of mathematical games researchers played with this data, those nurses who followed all the factors were on average able to reduce their GERD symptoms by 37 %, but the even better news for most people is that even those nurses who only followed fewer of the restrictions were also probably able to reduce their GERD symptoms somewhat.
Now this study was clearly initiated in a different era when there were far fewer (likely not even a handful) of nurses who were male so the data applies in this conclusion only to women.
But I really don’t see any reason that the ultimate end result would be any different in men, so even though I did smoke earlier in my life (what can I say? I was stupid like so many young people are although I haven’t smoked now for over 40 years), nonetheless, starting today, I am going to try to follow as many of these restrictions as I can, yes, even doing 30 minutes of moderate level exercise – brisk walking – as often as I can).
In fact, it will be much harder for me to give up my 4 daily espressos but I hate my GERD symptoms – especially during sleep – so much and I hate having to take my Nexium every day that this is worth a try.
I will let you know how it turns out.
Just as soon as I finish this espresso, that is.