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3 Ways to Treat Acid Reflux

Updated on February 22, 2011

It is estimated that 60 million adults in the United States suffer from acid reflux once a month. At least 2 million Americans are thought to suffer daily. Are you one of them?

According to medical experts, if acid reflux is experienced 2 to 3 times per week or more, treatment or lifestyle changes are necessary to limit the pain and discomfort and to avoid long term damage to your esophagus or other health complications.

What approach will you take to treat your acid reflux symptoms? It may be easier to begin with medicine, over the counter or perscription, but long term you may want to consider making lifestyle changes and commiting to a diet that will reduce your symptoms naturally, without any undesirable side effects.

You don't have to suffer with acid reflux.
You don't have to suffer with acid reflux.

Reduce symptoms of acid reflux by changing your diet.

As easy way to reduce acid reflux symptoms is by learning your food triggers and avoiding them as much as possible. Some of these foods are well known triggers, others may surprise you.

Foods that are common triggers of acid reflux:

  • Fatty foods such as cheese, beef, avocado or nuts
  • Spicy or acidic foods such as tomatoes, onions and garlic
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Caffeine such as coffee, soda and tea.
  • Alcohol: a single glass of wine or a beer may not be a problem for most people, but if you combine it with a fatty, acidic or spicy meal, it will make acid reflux symptoms worse.
  • Carbonated beverages

Unfortunately, most heavy meals can trigger reflux, especially if you eat late in the evening. Shedding a few extra pounds and chewing your food completely and slowly can help ease the pain.Consuming certain foods and supplements can help keep your symptoms to a minimum.

Foods that won't cause acid reflux:

  • Low fat / reduced fat dairy and cheese
  • High fiber foods such as beans, oatmeal and whole grains
  • Fruits (non-acidic) and vegetables
  • Ginger root supplements can help calm your stomach

Adopting a healthy low fat, high fiber diet will have many health benefits beyond reducing your acid reflux symptoms and is worth the effort of establishing new habits.

Lifestyle changes can help ease acid reflux symptoms.

As with many illnesses, stress is a major risk factor for acid reflux. Although there is not much evidence to support the idea that stress causes acid reflux, many patients report that their symptoms worsen when their stress levels increase.

To reduce your symptoms, take a long, honest look at your stress levels. Too high? How can you reduce your stress level and take better care of yourself?

  • Make time to exercise. Take a long, brisk walk, or find a sport to play that will help you stay in shape.
  • Try acupuncture to treat your symptoms and to help restore balance.
  • Practice yoga. It will help relieve your stress, increase your flexibility and strength and teach you to relax your body through deep breathing exercises.
  • Get a massage weekly or monthly to help manage your stress.


Medicine to stop acid reflux:

If you begin experiencing acid reflux / heartburn suddenly and frequently, see your physician before taking over the counter medications, particularly if you are experiencing any other symptoms such as difficulty swallowing. This is necessary to rule out any other possibly serious conditions.

Your doctor may prescribe a medication that can block and reduce stomach acid, called a PPI or proton pump inhibitor. Alternately, an over the counter medication may be suggested.

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    • beingwell profile image

      beingwell 

      6 years ago from Bangkok

      Voted up and useful. I used to have acid reflux. It's not a good feeling. I was able to correct it with proper diet. ...and antacids. :)

    • profile image

      leann2800 

      6 years ago

      Very informative hub. I have suffered from this more times than I care to remember. Digestive issues are so tricky. Taking meds for one problem always causes another. Prevention is the only way I have ever been able to work with this health problem. You can't get enough information to practice prevention.

    • pseudo-scripto14 profile image

      pseudo-scripto14 

      6 years ago from Philippines

      Thanks for this viable hub! Now I know what causes it and what to prevent!

    • Daddy Paul profile image

      Daddy Paul 

      6 years ago from Michigan

      I like this hub. I like the causes and prevention side of things. Just one thing to note one should be very careful when taking a PPI or proton pump inhibitor. They can be very risky.

    • manthy profile image

      Mark 

      7 years ago from Alabama,USA

      Thanks, maybe this can help get me off omerprozalone

    • amy jane profile imageAUTHOR

      amy jane 

      7 years ago from Connecticut

      Thanks everyone! I'm glad that you found this information on acid reflux useful. I was surprised by some of what I learned recently and wanted to share it.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 

      7 years ago from malang-indonesia

      Another great hub from you. Thanks for sharing this. I am glad to know this and I'll bookmark this one. Very helpful. Take care and have a nice weekend!

      Prasetio

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 

      7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      Excellent overview of acid reflux triggers and treatments, Amy. And the Dr. Oz video is excellent, too...I didn't know there might be a relationship between belly fat and flux. Up and useful!

    • PenmanZee profile image

      PenmanZee 

      7 years ago

      Wow! I'm doing it all wrong. Thank you for this useful information, Amy. I'll make changes before problems start.

    • samsons1 profile image

      Sam 

      7 years ago from Tennessee

      voted up and useful! Very good useful and informative article. I've let my reflux advance to where the doctors are now talking surgery for correction. Please take this problem seriously...

    • mindyjgirl profile image

      Mindy 

      7 years ago from Cottage Grove, Oregon

      Very informational!

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 

      7 years ago from NY

      Wow, 60 million adults, thats a lot of folks suffering from acid reflex. I was diagnosed with acid reflex a few years ago and was given medication, but I think mine was mainly stressed related and diet, and since I have reduced stress in my life and eat much better I have not had any problems with acid reflex. Great hub thanks for sharing this.

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