For many people, acid reflux is an all-too-familiar and uncomfortable reality. This condition occurs due to stomach acid flowing up the esophagus, causing irritation and pain. Whether experienced as occasional heartburn or a chronic issue like gastro reflux disease, knowing effective treatment options can significantly improve one's quality of life.
Tip: Elevate Your Head
Elevating the head can help prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus during sleep. Sleeping on an incline helps utilize gravity to keep the stomach contents down, reducing the risk of regurgitation and subsequent irritation in the esophagus.
There are several methods for elevating your head while sleeping, such as using a wedge pillow or placing blocks under the top end of your bed frame. In addition to elevation, consider sleeping on your left side because it makes it more difficult for acid to flow upwards.
Tip: Avoid Trigger Foods
Certain foods and beverages are known triggers that can exacerbate acid reflux symptoms. Common culprits include alcohol and spicy dishes. Citrus fruits can also contribute to this condition.
Individual triggers may vary slightly from person to person. To identify yours specifically, maintain a daily food diary, which allows you to note which items you consume and when symptoms occur. This exercise will help uncover diet patterns that may contribute to acid reflux.
Tip: Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Day
Staying well-hydrated helps dilute stomach acid concentration and maintain appropriate levels of digestive enzymes. Adequate water intake also aids digestion by moving food efficiently through the gastrointestinal tract.
Plain water is typically the best choice for hydration when dealing with acid reflux. However, those with particularly severe or frequent acid reflux may benefit from drinking alkaline water. This may neutralize stomach acid and provide relief from symptoms in some cases.
Tip: Consider Prescription Medications
Several prescription medications are available to treat more severe cases of acid reflux. A wide range of types of medications are available for both mild and severe acid reflux. For example, some individuals may benefit from medications targeting the esophagus, while others may need prescriptions more focused on the stomach lining.
While prescription medications can provide significant relief, they may also have side effects. Additionally, they can potentially interfere with other medications you may be taking. In order to evaluate whether prescription acid reflux medication is right for you, consider meeting with a doctor near you for a thorough evaluation.