Gravity, swallowing, and saliva are important protective mechanisms for the esophagus, but they are effective only when individuals are in the upright position. At night during sleep , gravity has no effect, swallowing stops, and the secretion of saliva is reduced. Therefore, reflux that occurs at night is more likely to result in acid remaining in the esophagus longer and causing greater damage to the esophagus. One study showed that patients who raised the head of their bed had significantly fewer reflux episodes and symptoms, compared to those who slept without any elevation ( 49 ).
Regurgitation is the appearance of refluxed liquid in the mouth. In most patients with GERD, usually only small quantities of liquid reach the esophagus, and the liquid remains in the lower esophagus. Occasionally in some patients with GERD, larger quantities home page of liquid, sometimes containing food, are refluxed and reach the upper esophagus. Summary: Observational studies suggest that eating close to bedtime may worsen acid reflux symptoms at night. Yet, the evidence is inconclusive and more studies are needed.
There are potentially injurious agents that can be refluxed other than acid, for example, bile. Until recently it has been impossible or difficult to accurately identify non-acid reflux and, therefore, to study whether or not non-acid reflux is injurious or can cause symptoms. Avoiding foods and beverages that can weaken the LES is often recommended. These foods include chocolate , peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, and alcoholic beverages. Foods and beverages that can irritate a damaged esophageal lining, such as citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, and pepper, should also be avoided if they cause symptoms.
The same type of baking soda you use in baking or to absorb smells from your fridge can neutralize stomach acid. It’s also cheaper in that form, compared to OTC medications. Some people suffer from reflux symptoms during the night ( 48 ). Lemon is acidic! Lemon would not be good for heartburn or acid reflux at all. Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox , Mylanta , Rolaids , or Riopan, can neutralize the acid from your stomach. But they may cause diarrhea or constipation , especially if you overuse them. It’s best to use antacids that contain both magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. When combined, they may help counteract these gastrointestinal side effects.