Acid reflux, also known as GERD, is a common digestive problem affecting millions worldwide. It occurs when there is an imbalance in the levels of hydrochloric acid and pepsin in your stomach. This imbalance often leads to indigestion or heartburn, chest pain, fatigue, nausea, and bloating. If you suffer from this condition, consult an Anchorage acid reflux specialist to learn about various preventative measures you can take to manage it. While there are some ways you can relieve acid reflux at home, it is best to see your doctor first for a proper diagnosis. Learn more about acid reflux and the best ways to manage it.

Does Acid Reflux Have a Cure?

There is no cure for acid reflux disease, but you can manage it. Medications and lifestyle changes are the most common methods to help avoid or treat the symptoms of acid reflux. However, you may need surgery if you do not respond well to other remedies. While surgery is not recommended for everyone, it can help treat severe symptoms of GERD. Below are various practices you can incorporate daily to prevent acid reflux.

  1. Avoid Acidic and Fatty Foods

Acidic and spicy foods such as peppermint, citrus fruits, and raw onions can trigger acid reflux. There are various acidic foods, so keep a list to help ease your symptoms. Also, fatty foods such as bacon, potato chips, and other fried foods can irritate your esophagus and increase acidity in your stomach. These foods are also difficult to digest due to their high-fat levels. However, fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Therefore, instead of avoiding them, eat in moderation as your dietician advises.

  1. Maintain Moderate Weight

Acid reflux is more common among obese people. Excess belly fat can push your lower esophageal sphincter upwards, which is supported by your diaphragm. When this happens, it may cause your stomach acid to leak into your esophagus.

To prevent this, maintain a healthy and moderate weight to help reduce symptoms of acid reflux. It also offers a long-term solution to your condition. However, it is best to consult your healthcare provider on how you lose weight safely and sustainably.

  1. Avoid Smoking and Excessive Alcohol Intake

Nicotine is generally harmful to your health. It can also affect your digestive system by weakening your lower esophageal sphincter, which prevents stomach acids from re-entering your esophagus. As a result, you become at risk of developing frequent bouts of acid reflux. Excessive alcohol intake can aggravate your acid reflux symptoms and make your esophagus unable to clear out acid.

  1. Avoid Sleeping on Your Right Side

Research shows that sleeping on your right side during bedtime can aggravate symptoms of acid reflux while lying on your left side might decrease symptoms by 71%. When sleeping on your left side, your lower esophageal sphincter lies above your stomach, reducing acid from leading to your esophagus. However, sleeping on our left side can increase acid reflux because your stomach will cover your lower esophageal sphincter.

  1. Check Your Medications

Certain medications for blood pressure, asthma, painkillers, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and sedatives can irritate your esophagus, leading to acid reflux. While these medications help you maintain good health, you should talk with your doctor about replacing them. Doing so can help reduce your GERD symptoms significantly. Also, if you frequently struggle with acid reflux, consult your doctor before buying any over-the-counter medications.

Acid reflux can be uncomfortable and might affect your daily life. Fortunately, there are many ways you can manage it and improve your symptoms. However, if you have severe symptoms that do not respond to treatment or cause significant damage to your organs, your doctor may recommend surgery as a last resort.

It is also important to note that certain factors and health conditions, such as pregnancy and hiatal hernia, can increase your risk of developing acid reflux. To prevent this, consult your doctor about early preventative measures you can take.

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