About 20 % of Americans are affected by gastroesophageal reflux disease. The condition occurs when the stomach content moves to the esophagus. You can experience regurgitation or heartburn, which can be devastating. You might need a physical exam and a symptom review as the initial diagnostic tool or a gastroscopy when your symptoms persist. The test helps the Houston, TX gastroenterologist verify or rule out possible causes of the acid reflux. But you also have a role to play in managing acid reflux symptoms. You can adapt the following practices to relieve the acid reflux.
Eat Sparingly and Slowly
You are more likely to experience acid reflux when your stomach is full. Therefore, you might want to adjust your eating routine to make sure you get enough food, but your stomach is not full. This means you adapt, commonly known as grazing, where you eat small meals more often than big meals fewer times. Although this depends on your schedule, you might want to avoid the three main meals and eat whenever you feel hungry but take small amounts of food.
Avoid Certain Foods
Some foods are known to be common triggers of acid reflux. Therefore, your doctor might ask you to avoid the foods depending on your reflux triggers and risk factors. Foods like mint, spicy foods, fatty foods, garlic, onion, alcohol, chocolate, coffee, and tomato are more likely to trigger reflux than others. You can eliminate such foods from your menu daily to see if it helps you with your symptoms. Additionally, avoid all carbonated drinks as they make you burp and can send stomach acid to your esophagus.
Stay Up after a Meal
Gravity plays a significant role in keeping the acid in your stomach. Therefore, it is better to remain standing or sitting, especially after eating. If your reflux occurs mainly at night, it could help you wait for about three hours after eating before bed. Also, it is a good idea to avoid naps after taking lunch. If you are a late supper or midnight snack person, it will help you avoid them.
Avoid Moving Faster
Moving faster after eating increases your chances of developing acid reflux. Therefore, try to remain calm after eating, depending on the nature of your work. Also, avoid vigorous exercises after eating to minimize your chances of acid reflux. You can wait several hours before hitting the gym and only begin with mild exercises. Workouts involving bending over will send your stomach acid to the esophagus.
Generally, it would help if you slept with your head about eight inches higher than your feet. You might need extra bed risers on the legs of your bed where your headrests. You can also use a foam wedge support, especially if you share the bed with someone who objects to raising the bed. However, avoid stacking pillows to create a wedge since it might not provide constant support and may cause other complications.
Revise Your Medications
Some medicines, including tricyclic antidepressants, postmenopausal estrogen, and anti-inflammatory painkillers, can relax your sphincter, while others like ibandronate (Boniva) and alendronate (Fosamax), or risedronate (Actonel) can irritate your esophagus. Talk to your doctor about your current medications to understand how to avoid acid reflux without interfering with your current treatment.
It is possible to relieve acid reflux through lifestyle changes. However, you ought to seek an expert diagnosis first to understand the cause of your condition. Reach out to Vikram S Jayanty, M.D. for help. You can also book an online consultation appointment.