Acid Reflux

January 7th, 2015

 

 Does the thought of a burger or a grilled cheese sandwich make you cringe? Or does a peanut butter and jelly sandwich make your esophagus close up tightly? The cybernurse is here to show you how to deal with your dilemma, and it looks like you are suffering from a condition called acid reflux. Apart from the suggestions below, if you see your doctor he or she will be able to prescribe you medication to treat your condition, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Its a good plan to start to keep a diet diary, so that you will have a clearer picture of which foods cause you the most grief after a few weeks. Being overweight is a big factor when it comes to having acid reflux. Losing some weight is always a good thing to do if you are overweight or obese and it will help to aleviate some of the pressure on  your stomach.

It is a good plan to chew gum after a meal, this prevents acid reflux as you produce more saliva when you chew gum.. Ideally, you should chew on sugar-free gum.  Exercise is also a good way to stop acid reflux. You can reduce and even eliminate acid reflux if you start to exercise just you need to ensure that you don't overdo it as it can make the condition worse if the exercise is too vigorous. Also you need to make sure you have nothing to eat or drink for at least an hour before doing any exercise.

If you are getting symptoms when you are trying to sleep, you could try raising  your bed up at the head about 7-8 inches to keep the acid in your stomach from creeping up your throat If you find you have heartburn more than once a week, you may actually have GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease).  It is definitely advisable to see your doctor about this condition as it won't just get better by itself, you need either treatment or a total diet change, probably both.

Drinking alcohol also unfortunately worsens the symptoms so that has to be reduced -  If you must have a drink, make sure to limit yourself to one or two drinks as alcohol relaxes the stomach muscles which worsens your acid reflux symptoms.  If you suffer from acid reflux you can help alleviate the symptoms and pain by watching what you eat, it's acidic foods and drinks that you need to avoid, like corn, tomatoes, tinned fruit and orange juice.

If you are a smoker, you should definitely give up as soon as possible, smoking will make your acid reflux worse - it slows down the production of saliva and causes all sorts of other terrible health problems, it can even cause you to die from lung cancer so just quit as it really isn't worth the risk to your health.

If you are suffering from symptoms at night  what's needed is to prop yourself up at an angle, not just with pillows as that only lifts up your head, it needs to be the whole top half of your body. You could use wooden blocks or bricks under the mattress as it will aleviate your  symptoms.  You can alter your lifestyle to include habits which are beneficial to your comfort. You will soon be feeling much better once you try some of these strategies to help beat your acid reflux, possibly even for good. You can read more about this condition at the NHS Patient Web site.