Experiencing acid reflux more than twice per week could be a sign of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Antacids taken orally may help reduce symptoms, but making a few tweaks to your lifestyle is often enough to keep acid reflux at bay.
Below, we asked our specialists at Carolina Digestive Health Associates to share some of the ways you can combat your heartburn by making a few adjustments to your diet and habits.
After each meal, grab a pen and a notebook and write down all the ingredients in the food and how you felt after eating. This exercise might sound strenuous, but it’s worth it, as most people’s heartburn is triggered by specific foods. Here’s a list of the biggest offenders:
While some foods can trigger acid reflux, others are known to reduce symptoms. For example, bananas contain natural antacids, and chewing gum can neutralize the acids by stimulating saliva production.
Reducing the size of your meals reduces the amount of acid your body must produce to digest the food. Therefore, instead of eating three big meals each day, you can split your meals into six smaller ones.
Pants that are tight on the waist can put pressure on the stomach. As a result, stomach acid can climb up the esophagus and cause symptoms.
Carrying a few extra pounds in the belly area can also add pressure on the stomach, raising your risk of experiencing acid reflux. One study that looked at the effects of weight loss on acid reflux found that 81% of the participants saw an improvement in their symptoms after losing weight.
Drinking one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar mixed with one cup of water before meals may help with acid reflux. However, using this remedy too often can lead to irritation of the throat and damage to your tooth enamel.
Laying down immediately after a meal can make it easier for stomach acid to climb up into your esophagus and cause discomfort.
If home remedies don’t help with your symptoms, contact us to schedule an appointment. Our staff can recommend medications that lower your stomach acid production and reduce your symptoms.