Much like heartburn, acid reflux is a painful burning sensation in your chest and throat. It is caused by stomach acid being pushed back up into the esophagus and can be very uncomfortable. The more scientific term for it is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Ways to relieve and prevent it
We all have our own tricks to quickly relieve acid reflux when it’s needed. Rather than play a guessing game, we want to provide you with a variety of ways to reduce and prevent your acid reflux from flaring up. Below is a list of lifestyle changes that can help reduce acid reflux over time.
- When eating, chew and swallow with intention to digest your food at a slower rate; eat dinner earlier so gravity doesn’t interfere with digestion; eat smaller, low-fat, high-protein meals throughout the day (rather than three big meals a day)
- Elevate your head while sleeping and sleep on your left side – this causes less pressure on your stomach to reduce the amount of acid reaching the esophagus
- Chewing gum with bicarbonate can neutralize acid and prevent reflux
- Avoid carbonated beverages, limit coffee and alcohol intake, limit citrus juice – all are common triggers in acid reflux flare-ups
- Limit high-fat foods and too many carbohydrates – undigested carbs can cause gas, bloating, and burping
- Manage your weight to stay within a healthy range for your figure
- Check to your medications to see if acid reflux is a side effect and talk to your doctor and make changes accordingly
- Quit smoking – it increase amount of acid secreted in the stomach and lessens the muscle strength that prevents reflux
- Click here for a detailed list of food and beverages that should be avoided
Most of these tips will help your overall health and should be considered changes everyone can make to live better and longer. Like most health conditions, diet and exercise are important to monitor for optimal results. If you’re obses, talk to a doctor about creating a plan to safely lose substantial weight over a planned amount of time.
Furthermore, wearing loose clothing, opting not to wear a tight belt, sleeping in a chair at a more elevated angle can improve acid reflux symptoms in the moment, but they are not cure-alls.
Over-the-counter medicines are also available for purchase for quick relief from acid reflux. Some popular products and brands include Tums, Rolaids, Mylanta, Maalox, Alka-Seltzer, and Pepto-Bismol. Milk of magnesia, and aluminum hydroxide gel are alternatives to big brand name products. Your local pharmacy will have one or more of these for purchase, if you’re ever without them or in a bind.
Treat your acid reflux – Schedule an appointment with Breathe Clear Institute
If acid reflux is a problem in your everyday life and nothing seems to be working at home, it’s time to make an appointment with the team at the Breathe Clear Institute to further investigate what’s going on. In the meantime, keep watching your diet and continue any at-home remedies that have given relief. We will help you get your acid reflux under control.