- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Wipe Out Acid Reflux
Acid reflux is the term used commonly to describe the symptoms that come from having your stomach acid damage your esophagus. The primary symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, but it can also cause trouble swallowing, vomiting, nausea, and even chest pain. Acid reflux is very painful and anyone suffering from it will love these tips to avoiding and getting rid of it all together.
The first thing that you have to do is chew your food! By swallowing partially chewed food, you are stretching your stomach sphincter. Your stomach sphincter is the valve at the top of your stomach that normally keeps the acid away from your esophagus. Any damage or stretching of your stomach sphincter can cause it to fail. You should also try to eat primarily soft foods.
Drink at least one glass of water after every meal that you consume. This helps rinse any food particulates down into your stomach and helps to regulate the acid levels in your stomach. It is also really good for you to drink more water anyway!
Avoid spicy and extremely acidic foods as much as possible. The acids in these foods were originally thought to increase the acidity of your stomach acid, but they actually negatively affect your stomach sphincter and cause it to swell and not seal properly. I do love spicy foods, but they must be eaten in moderation.
Try to avoid drinking any caffeinated beverages. Caffeine also negatively affects your stomach sphincter. Since many of us cannot imagine a day without caffeine, understand that reducing the amount that you consume will greatly help your stomach and reduce your acid reflux symptoms. If at all possible, limit yourself to just one caffeinated beverage each day.
Try elevating your upper torso when you sleep. Gravity does affect everything, even stomach acid. If you can keep your stomach lower, the acid will have a harder time affecting your esophagus. This may be uncomfortable at first, but the pain of acid reflux is worse. Also, try to not eat at least two hours before bedtime. Many people claim that this is one of the best cures for acid reflux.
Now on to the harder to accomplish life changes. Reducing your weight and not smoking are also important to reducing or eliminating acid reflux. I realize that these are easier said than done, but we all know the benefits of both that go far beyond just relieving acid reflux.
If your acid reflux continues to get worse or shows no sign of getting better, talk to your doctor. There are many prescription treatments and even surgeries that can be used. Also, research different foods that may be contributing to your stomach problems.