Can a Drink of Water Wash Away GERD Symptoms?
The inside of your stomach is a highly acidic environment; at rest, it hovers around a pH of 2. When this acid escapes into the esophagus, the result is painful heartburn. Can a drink of water put out the fire?
Proper Hydration for Good Health
Our bodies are between 55 and 60% water. When you don’t drink enough to keep well hydrated, you can experience headaches, dry mouth, sleepiness, and lack of alertness. Not getting enough to drink can also impede proper digestion, which can lead to constipation and poor nutrition. But, water has to be consumed at the right times to help with GERD symptoms.
Will Water Ease Your GERD Symptoms?
Sometimes, when heartburn symptoms set in, a few sips of water will bring relief. This can be the result of water neutralizing acids and washing them out of the esophagus. Water has a pH that, at 7, is neutral. This dilutes the more acidic stomach fluids, bringing relief.
But when you have had a meal that is too large, drinking water at the same time or immediately after can make GERD symptoms worse. Be cautious about overeating and sip water slowly with a meal instead of gulping down large quantities. Too much volume can make the stomach distended, leading to more pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter.
Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.
In general, you can best control GERD symptoms by sipping small amounts with your meal; just enough to make eating comfortable. Save larger glasses for between meals to keep you well-hydrated and healthy.