Most of us have experienced acid reflux at some point in our lives. If you suffer from chronic acid reflux, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
GERD is becoming an increasingly common condition, and studies have found that over the past decade, the number of young adults between the ages of 30-39 who have GERD has increased significantly.
Symptoms of GERD
The most common symptom of GERD is heartburn, which can radiate from the stomach up to the abdomen and chest area. Other common symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- A sour taste in your mouth
- The sensation of a lump in your throat
- Chest pain
- Chronic cough
While medications may be necessary to treat the condition, many people find relief from their symptoms by making certain lifestyle changes.
Avoid Foods That Trigger Acid Reflux
Because everyone is different, not all common acid reflux triggers will cause symptoms in every person. However, there are several foods that are more likely to cause reflux than others. If you are dealing with heartburn, try eliminating these foods from your diet to see if it makes you feel better.
- Foods high in fat
- Fried foods
- Spicy foods
- Citrusy fruits
- Carbonated beverages
After a certain amount of time, you can try adding these foods back one by one to see which aggravate your reflux and which do not. In the meantime, stock up on leafy greens, high-fiber foods, lean protein and non-citrus fruit the next time you’re shopping at Weavers Way Co-op.
Eat Smaller Meals
People with acid reflux may find it helpful to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. The larger the meal, the more pressure is placed on the lower esophageal sphincter, which is where the esophagus opens into the stomach. Too much pressure can push acid through the opening, causing reflux.
Avoid Laying Down After Eating
Stay standing or sitting for three hours after eating before going to bed. This allows gravity to help you keep stomach acid from rising up into your esophagus. This means no late-night snacks or naps after eating.
Adjust Your Sleep Position
Getting reflux at night can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep. Sleeping on your left side may help reduce your risk of nighttime reflux. Similarly, elevating the head of your bed at night or using a wedge pillow can also reduce nighttime symptoms.
For more information about managing acid reflux or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Pinnacle ENT Associates today.