Acid reflux can be aggravated by many different things, including lifestyle, medication, diet , pregnancy , weight gain, and certain medical conditions. For some people, acid reflux symptoms may be relieved by changing habits, diet, and lifestyle. The following steps may reduce reflux. Many people with GERD find that certain foods trigger their symptoms. No single diet can prevent all symptoms of GERD, and food triggers are different for everyone. Diet and lifestyle changes may be recommended first, and perhaps an over-the-counter antacid. Ginger has natural anti-inflammatory properties, and it’s a natural treatment for heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. You can add grated or sliced ginger root to recipes or smoothies or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms.
And unfortunately, the many pills now available to treat acid reflux have done little to curtail its incidence. Approximately 40% of adult Americans now suffer from acid reflux. And shockingly, rates of esophageal cancer in the U.S. have increased 500% since the 1970s. Research, particularly a recent study from Denmark following more than 9, 800 GERD sufferers, has linked proton pump inhibitors with increase risk of esophageal cancer. One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia , acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.
That’s why people with chronic heartburn raise the head of their bed, and why they shouldn’t eat big meals right before bedtime. This sphincter relaxes during swallowing to allow food to pass. It then tightens to prevent flow in the opposite direction. Another surgical procedure called fundoplication can help prevent further acid reflux. It creates an more artificial valve using the top of your stomach. The procedure involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the LES to strengthen it, prevent acid reflux, and repair a hiatal hernia. Surgeons perform this procedure through either an open incision in the abdomen or chest or with a lighted tube inserted through a tiny incision in the abdomen.
Acid reflux can be prevented in some cases by changing the habits that cause the reflux including avoiding alcohol , not smoking , limiting fatty foods and other food triggers, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding large meals within 3 hours of bedtime. Esophageal manometry is a test that measures the function of the lower esophageal sphincter and the motor function of the esophagus. A tube is passed down your throat until it reaches the esophagus. It is often performed along with 24-hour pH probe study.
Avoid fatty or greasy foods, chocolate, caffeine , mints or mint-flavored foods, spicy foods, citrus, and tomato-based foods. These foods decrease the competence of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Play detective. Keep a diary of eating and activities to see what exacerbates acid reflux symptoms; then eliminate the culprits. Certain foods are harder to digest and can increase the amount of acid in the stomach, leading to acid reflux and other GERD symptoms. The types of food that trigger these symptoms can vary from person to person, but common culprits include alcohol, high-fat foods, and spicy foods. It’s important to avoid all foods and drinks that are known to cause discomfort. It also helps to incorporate foods that can ease or prevent GERD symptoms.