If you’ve ever had acid reflux before, you know it’s not a good feeling. Acid reflux (also called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease) often occurs when stomach acid washes up and irritates your throat. When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t tighten enough, acid can reflux from the stomach into the esophagus. This may cause heartburn or a burning sensation in the throat and chest.
To control acid reflux, you’ll need to make some basic diet and lifestyle changes. The following simple steps may be all you’ll need to relieve discomfort.
- Watch What You Eat
- Avoid fatty and spicy foods
- Eat fewer acidic foods, such as citrus and tomato-based foods, which can increase symptoms
- Limit drinking alcohol, caffeine and fizzy beverages, which all increase acid reflux
- Try limiting chocolate, peppermint and spearmint. These can worsen acid reflux in some people
- Watch When You Eat
- Avoid lying down for 3 hours after eating
- Don’t snack before going to bed
- Raise Your Head
- Raising your head and upper body by 4" to 6" helps limit reflux when you’re lying down. You can put blocks under the head of the bed frame to raise it.
In addition to these steps, you can also take medication to control and relieve acid reflux.
Make an appointment with an Ochsner gastroenterologist.