Talk to your health-care professional about taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or medicines for osteoporosis. These can aggravate reflux in some people. Lose excess weight. Overweight and obese people are much more likely to have bothersome reflux than people of healthy weight. Avoid drinking alcohol.
This is normal, and many women have decreased or no symptoms after the pregnancy is over. Cow’s milk is hard for some people to digest and can contain a significant amount of fat. Like all high-fat foods, full-fat cow’s milk may relax the lower esophageal sphincter, which can cause or worsen reflux symptoms. Herbal teas help improve digestion and soothe many stomach problems, such as gas and nausea.
You can find the pH level of foods on some government sites and in low-acid diet cookbooks. People can purchase over-the-counter (OTC) medications to treat GERD. These include antacids, such as Gaviscon, which neutralize stomach acid.
Large meals may increase stomach pressure, and therefore reflux. How might acid reflux lead to coughing and how is this diagnosed? Learn about treatments, prevention methods, and other causes of chronic coughing. The appropriate treatment should prevent GERD from affecting quality of life.
Raising the head of your bed six to eight inches can help gravity keep gastric acid down in your stomach. You could also use a wedge-shaped support.
Other times, further testing is necessary, and you will be referred to a gastroenterologist. You may need to have a chest X-ray to detect potential breathing problems and lung infections. An upper GI series is an X-ray examination of the digestive organs that can provide information about what is happening in your body. If needed, an endoscopy – a nonsurgical procedure during which a flexible tube passes through your GI tract to take pictures and tissue samples – may be ordered. An instrument called a pH probe can help track the flow of acid from your stomach.
This beverage is a good source of helpful electrolytes such as potassium. These electrolytes promote pH balance in the body, which is crucial for controlling acid reflux. Because tomato-based foods can trigger reflux symptoms, avoiding tomato juice may also reduce GERD symptoms.
- This suggests dietary changes could be a first option to try for reflux symptoms, which may avoid the need for some people to take PPIs.
- Record what triggered your acid reflux episodes, the severity of each episode, how your body reacts, and what gives you relief.
- Although they’re used to treat many gastrointestinal conditions, more research is needed to determine whether they have an effect on acid reflux symptoms.
However, drinking too much water at one time increases the volume of stomach contents and can worsen heartburn symptoms. It is better to drink smaller amounts throughout the day rather than large amounts less often. Another trick is to drink a glass of lukewarm water or herbal tea after a meal to dilute and flush out stomach acid.
Some recent studies have suggested that long-term PPI use may increase the risk of dementia, heart attack, and chronic kidney disease, although this has not been proved. Avoid alcohol.
A Happier, Healthier Life
Likewise, if you’re overweight, losing some of those extra pounds helps. Think “more and mini.” Eat more often, but cut back on your portions. Smaller meals are easier on your stomach because they put less pressure on the valve that connects your esophagus and stomach. Eat small, frequent meals.
11 foods that can help to ease or prevent heartburn
Chew gum. Chewing gum (not spearmint or peppermint, which can relax the LES) increases saliva production and reduces the amount of acid in the esophagus.
However, certain foods may ease symptoms in some people. One reason this happens is that the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is weakened or damaged. Normally the LES closes to prevent food in the stomach from moving up into the esophagus. Although we know the general triggers that can make GERD worse, customizing a lifestyle that works best for you can take some time.