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How To Manage Acid Reflux

Updated on March 21, 2013

Causes of acid reflux and how to manage it with simple lifestyle changes


Acid reflux, also known as gastric reflux, indigestion or heartburn, is caused as a result of stomach acid going up the oesophagus from the stomach. There are simple measures that can be taken that can reduce or alleviate the symptoms. These small changes in lifestyle can help create a big change in the amount and severity of acid reflux being experienced.


Trigger foods
Trigger foods | Source

Find the trigger foods.

Spend some time noting which foods cause the reflux of acid. These can differ from one person to another though there are several common culprits. Fatty foods such as greasy burgers or ice-creams laden with fats and sugars may need to be avoided. Try replacing with grilled leaner meats instead of processed meat products and sorbets instead of ice-cream.

Tea, coffee and fizzy drinks should be reduced or eliminated or replaced with the many non caffeine varieties that are now readily available. Alcohol can cause the problem of indigestion and different drinks will affect different people. Acid foods such as fruits such as orange and lemons are another common cause. Maybe reduce the amounts of these consumed or replace with fruits that have less acidity.

It may not be the case that once found, these foods have to be removed from the diet, it may be more a case of limiting the amounts consumed and at what time.

Avoid eating before bed.
Some people find their symptoms are worse just before going to bed or during the night. The body needs time to process the food that's been consumed and it's best to give three to four hours from the last meal before going to bed in order for the stomach to be empty.

Raise the head of your bed.
To further reduce the chance of reflux at night or in the morning, raise the head of your bed. Laying down causes more pressure on your stomach and reduce the amount that gravity can help to prevent stomach acid from flowing in the right direction. Raising the head of the bed can be done by putting a couple of bricks under the legs at the top of the bed. This will use gravity to keep things flowing in the right direction and make it harder for the stomach acid to pass upwards into the oesophagus.

Don't drink while you eat.
Fluids can dilute stomach acid and enzymes and slow down the time it takes for the food to be processed in the stomach. Allow a couple of hours before and after meals before having drinks to reduce this from happening.

Eat smaller meals.
Rather than eating two or three large meals, have more frequent smaller meals. A full stomach is more likely to put pressure on the stomach and risk squeezing the contents the wrong way. Much better to have smaller meals that can be processed quicker and put less stress on the stomach.

Avoid tight clothes.
These put more pressure on the abdomen and can cause stomach acid to reflux up the oesophagus. Try to wear looser clothing and avoid using tight belts or wearing tops that are tight around the abdomen.



By taking these small steps and implementing them as lifestyle changes, the unpleasant experience of acid reflux can be brought under control, reducing and even eliminating it's negative affects and leaving you free to enjoy life without the discomfort and inconvenience it causes.


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    • jasmith1 profile image
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      Adrian Smith 4 years ago from UK

      articlesocean - lol! that's good. :)

    • articlesocean profile image

      Saira Sheikh 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      Well it doesn't cause me any gastric issues, so maybe yes its not !

    • jasmith1 profile image
      Author

      Adrian Smith 4 years ago from UK

      articlesocean - me too! I am guessing it's not one of your trigger foods then? :)

      mjboomer - I am glad it was helpful and I agree, it should be helpful for most types of gastric problems.

    • mjboomer profile image

      Mike Elzner 4 years ago from Oregon

      Jen, Great advice....I think our advice works well for any type of gastric issue....Thanks for your HUB

    • articlesocean profile image

      Saira Sheikh 4 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      I love fish and chips and pea are my favorite. I use to have fish and chips at lunch times in college. Great hub!

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