Acid reflux happens due to pressure from the stomach acids or the relaxed movement of the LES muscles. Acid reflux can cause heartburn, stomach pain and chest pain, burning sensation in the throat, regurgitation which causes a sour or bitter taste in your mouth. Further long terms effects are sores in the oesophagus and damage of the abdominal cells. Reducing acid reflux is important in eliminating the pain caused by it.
Can You Reduce Acid Reflux?
Even though acid reflux can occur to anyone at any time, like any other gastrointestinal problems, acid reflux can be reduced if not fully cured in a short time. The food habit is one of the main causes for acid reflux. One thing has to be kept in mind that various things can trigger acid reflux in various people. For example, drinking coffee may be comfortable for you while to some other person; coffee can cause severe acid reflux. Noticeable changes in the daily diet and lifestyle can therefore reduce acid reflux. While you are suffering from acid reflux take medicines which are antacids that will dilute and take the acid away providing temporary relief.
How Do You Reduce Acid Reflux?
Some of the ways that can help you reduce acid reflux are:
- Obesity is one the major reasons for acid reflux, the excess fat put a pressure of the stomach therefore sending the gastric juices up into the oesophagus. This causes acid reflux. It is even suggested by some doctors that if you are over-weight try to lose some and if you are not, try to not gain any further weight.
- Make a habit of eating smaller meals. Instead of having 3 big meals a day, eat several small meals so that your stomach never goes hungry. Larger meals are difficult to digest and put pressure on the LES muscles. With small meals, the amount of acid released by the stomach will be much less and therefore one can acid reflux.
- The foods that you must try and avoid to reduce acid reflux are:
- Acidic food including any kind of raw fruit and vegetable with a very low pH value.
- Fatty foods
- Onions and garlic
- Carbonated drinks
- Drinks containing caffeine like coffee.
- Food contain gluten
- Gravity usually keeps acid reflux from occurring if you lie down after 3 to 4 hours of eating a meal. If you lie down to stretch immediately after a meal, gravity cannot help the situation and therefore the acid will push through the LES muscles by pressing against them and reach to oesophagus. Therefore it is better to not lie down immediately after eating. In case you are already a patient of acid reflux, raise you bed by 6 to 8 inches (not just your head but your whole upper body) to avoid any flow of the gastric juices back to the oesophagus.
Changes in the Lifestyle to Reduce Acid Reflux
Some of the other lifestyle changes that are needed to be kept in check in order to reduce acid reflux are:
Certain medications relax the LES muscles and further cause pain to the already inflamed oesophagus by allowing more acids to reach there. It is better to avoid these medications while you are suffering from acid reflux. Some of them are:
- Anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs.
- Calcium tablets and medications to increase bone density
- Sedatives and pain killers
- Asthma medications.
Try to quit smoking as the make the LES muscles function slower. It further affects the saliva by reducing its productions which is the first step to acid reduction while you are eating. Also try to avoid alcoholism since it causes spasm in the LES muscles which leads to acid reflux. Wear lose clothes that do not constrict your stomach.