With corresponding lifestyle changes gastroesophageal refulx disease or GERD can be properly managed. The primary cause of GERD is the weakening or dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter causing the stomach acid to reflux into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is the part of the esophagus where the esophagus and the abdomen meet.
Caffeinated beverages like sodas and coffee as well as foods and products like nicotine, alcohol, chocolates, mints and fatty foods help relax the LES. Avoiding these foods and products can significantly reduce your acid reflux occurrences. It is also recommended not to eat products such as tomato sauce, spicy foods, citrus juices and fruits as well as carbonated drinks because they irritate the esophageal walls making the symptoms of acid reflux disease more severe.
The way you eat can also be a cause for the flare up of GERD symptoms especially if you eat large portions of foods per meal or if you eat fast. Eating smaller meals and taking your time eating can help avert GERD episodes. You should not lie down after eating a meal for at least three hours since the stomach acid is still very much active in digesting the food you have eaten during those times.
If you have excess weight, try to reduce weight because being overweight is one risk for factor for acid reflux. You can prevent acid reflux by wearing loose clothing or by smoking cessation. Some people prevent GERD by sleeping on their left side or elevating the head of their bed with half-a-foot blocks to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into their esophagus. Some people also use a wedge-shaped pillow during their sleep that raises the upper-part of their body.
Certain drugs like osteoporosis medicines or birth control pills can have side effects like heartburn and acid reflux. If you suspect that some of the medications you are taking are giving you acid reflux and heartburn, you need to talk to your doctor who will likely prescribe a new drug for you instead that will not cause the aforementioned side effects. Do not cease taking a prescription medication until your doctor says you can.
Davis Acupuncture Clinic
2043 Anderson Rd
Davis, CA 95616