Did You Know Your Abdominal Muscles Could Be Causing Your Acid Reflux?
The Surprising Link Between Diastasis Recti and GERD!
As someone who has had five children, I can attest to the fact that pregnancy can take a toll on your body. From stretch marks to swollen feet, it can feel like your body is constantly changing and adapting to accommodate a growing baby. But one of the most surprising changes I experienced was diastasis recti, a condition where the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle separate during pregnancy. While many people believe that diastasis recti only affects the appearance of the abdomen, the truth is that it can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including acid reflux, GERD, and even hiatal hernias.
When I first noticed my diastasis recti, I was primarily concerned with how my abdomen looked. There was a noticeable gap between my abdominal muscles, and I felt self-conscious about the way my belly protruded. But as time went on, I began to notice other symptoms as well. I experienced frequent heartburn, especially after eating spicy or acidic foods, and often woke up in the middle of the night with a burning sensation in my chest. I also had difficulty with bowel movements and felt like I couldn't fully engage my core during exercises like yoga or pilates.
It wasn't until I started doing some research that I realized my diastasis recti could be the root of these issues. When the muscles in the abdomen are weak or separated, it can cause a range of issues, including acid reflux and GERD. This is because the weakened muscles allow the stomach to push up against the diaphragm, which can cause the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to weaken. When the LES is weak, it can allow stomach acid to flow back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and other uncomfortable symptoms.
Hiatal hernias, which occur when part of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest, are also connected to diastasis recti. When the muscles in the abdomen are weak, it can put extra pressure on the diaphragm, which can cause a hiatal hernia to develop. Once a hiatal hernia has formed, it can make acid reflux and GERD symptoms even worse.
The connection between diastasis recti and acid reflux is a complicated one, but it's important to understand the relationship between these two conditions in order to effectively manage symptoms. Here are some of the most important things to know:
What Is Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti, also known as abdominal separation, is a common condition that occurs when the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle, which runs down the middle of the abdomen, separate. It is a condition that can affect both men and women, but is most commonly seen in pregnant women and those who have given birth. While many people believe that diastasis recti only affects the appearance of the abdomen, the truth is that it can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms, including acid reflux, GERD, and even hiatal hernias.
Who Is Affected By Diastasis Recti?
Diastasis recti can affect both men and women, and does not have to be related to pregnancy. In fact, it can be caused by a variety of factors including weightlifting, chronic coughing, and even poor posture.
What Is GERD?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a chronic condition where stomach acid and other stomach contents flow back up into the esophagus, causing a range of uncomfortable symptoms. These symptoms can include heartburn, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, and chest pain. GERD can be caused by a range of factors, including weak LES muscles, hiatal hernias, and obesity.
How are Diastasis Recti and GERD Connected?
As mentioned earlier, diastasis recti and GERD are connected because they both involve the muscles in the abdominal area. When the muscles in the abdomen are weak or separated, it can cause a range of issues.
Here are some of the most common symptoms associated with diastasis recti and GERD:
1. Heartburn: This is one of the most common symptoms of GERD, and can be caused by the stomach acid that flows back up into the esophagus.
2. Regurgitation: When stomach acid flows back up into the mouth, it can cause a sour or bitter taste.
3. Difficulty swallowing: Some people with GERD may experience difficulty swallowing or a feeling of food getting stuck in their throat.
4. Chest pain: In some cases, GERD can cause chest pain or discomfort.
5. Bloating: Diastasis recti can cause the abdomen to protrude, leading to bloating and discomfort.
6. Constipation: Weak abdominal muscles can make it difficult to pass stool, leading to constipation.
7. Gas: When the muscles in the abdomen are weak, it can lead to gas and bloating.
Lifestyle Changes to Help Diastasis Recti and GERD
If you are experiencing symptoms of diastasis recti and GERD, there are several lifestyle changes you can make to help alleviate discomfort.
Here are a few:
1. Strengthen your abdominal muscles: One of the most effective ways to improve symptoms of diastasis recti and GERD is to strengthen your abdominal muscles. Starting with beginner exercises for transverse abdominus like hollow body holds and dead bugs can help to engage the muscles in the abdomen and reduce the pressure on the diaphragm.
2. Eat smaller meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help to reduce pressure on the stomach and prevent acid reflux.
3. Avoid trigger foods: Certain foods, like spicy or acidic foods, can trigger symptoms of acid reflux. Avoiding these foods can help to reduce discomfort.
4. Practice good posture: Poor posture can put extra pressure on the abdomen, exacerbating symptoms of diastasis recti and GERD. Make sure to sit and stand up straight, and avoid slouching.
5. Wearing supportive clothing: such as a belly band or compression garment, to help support the abdominal muscles.
6. Take all-natural supplements: Natural supplements can help to alleviate discomfort associated with diastasis recti and GERD. Hiatal Health is a supplement designed specifically to target heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion that is frequently triggered by hiatal hernias or esophageal weakness. It contains all-natural ingredients like quercetin and manganese, which help to soothe the lining of the esophagus and reduce inflammation.
Managing Symptoms of Diastasis Recti and GERD
Dealing with diastasis recti and GERD can be challenging, but with the right tools and knowledge, it is possible to manage symptoms and improve overall quality of life. By understanding the connection between these two conditions and taking steps to strengthen the abdominal muscles and make lifestyle changes, it is possible to alleviate symptoms, reduce discomfort and find relief!