What are ways to prevent acid reflux?

What are ways to prevent acid reflux?

Avoid Oily and Fatty Foods

Acid reflux is a common condition that causes discomfort, particularly heartburn. It occurs when acidic gastric fluid flows back into the esophagus from the stomach. If this happens more than twice a week, it may indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). One of the main causes of acid reflux is consuming foods high in fat or acidity, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, peppermint, and cheese.

To avoid acid reflux, it is recommended to eliminate oily and heavy foods from your diet. Certain foods are known to trigger reflux, including spicy foods, onions, fatty foods, mint, chocolate, alcohol, tea, tomatoes, and coffee. Pay attention to how your body responds to different types of food.

Keep Your Body Inclined While Sleeping

To reduce acid reflux symptoms while sleeping, elevate your head at least 5 to 8 inches higher than your feet. This can be achieved by using tall bed risers or a foam wedge pillow set for your upper body. Avoid stacking pillows as they do not provide consistent support.

Eat Slowly

Eating slowly can help prevent excessive reflux in the food pipe. Consider practicing “grazing” by consuming small meals throughout the day instead of three large meals.

Don’t Lie Down After Eating

When sitting or standing, gravity helps keep gastric acid in the stomach. It is advisable to finish eating at least three hours before lying down to sleep. Additionally, avoid late suppers, naps after lunch, and midnight snacks.

Drink Less Carbonated Beverages

Carbonated drinks contain carbon dioxide, acids, and bubbles that can increase pressure in the stomach and lead to acid reflux. Limit your consumption of these beverages to reduce symptoms.

Check Your Medicines

Some medications, such as tricyclic antidepressants, anti-inflammatory painkillers, and postmenopausal estrogen, can relax the sphincter and contribute to acid reflux. On the other hand, certain drugs used to increase bone density may irritate the esophagus. If you experience difficulty swallowing or severe pain, consult a doctor to rule out other causes and consider medication to treat acid reflux alongside lifestyle changes.

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