Beat the Burn: Top 5 Do’s and Don’ts for Acid Reflux
The esophagus is the food pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach.
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) consists of muscles at the end of the esophagus that prevents acid from going into the esophagus.
When the LES does not work correctly, acid can reflux into the esophagus, causing symptoms of heartburn, hoarseness, lump in the throat, or difficulty swallowing.
1. Allow for at least 3 hours between meals and lying down
2. Elevate the head of your bed using a wedge block
3. Eat small frequent meals (5-6 a day)
4. Lose weight – find out your ideal body weight for your height (body mass index)
5. Try over-the-counter antacids (if your doctor agrees that it’s safe!)
1. Eat late
2. Drink caffeine, alcohol; eat chocolates, peppermints, peanut butter, tomatoes/acidic fruits (orange, grapefruit, lemon), greasy/spicy food
3. Eat large meals
4. Wear tight clothing/belts
And remember to always see your doctor if you experience chest pain, trouble swallowing, weight loss, loss of appetite, vomiting, blood in the stool (black or red), weakness or dizziness, or if your symptoms persist despite doing all the right things.