Acid reflux, also sometimes referred to as heartburn, is a common problem and is easily treatable in most cases. The burning sensation experienced can keep you up at night or prevent you from completing your daily tasks. When this occurs more than once, you may want to start thinking about how to treat the problem.
By learning more about this medical conditions, you can determine the best way to get rid of acid reflux. Learn how to get rid of acid reflux by discovering the most common causes of the condition and how to treat the issue with natural remedies.
What is Acid Reflux?
Generally, acid reflux occurs when stomach acid moves up along your esophagus. This happens when your lower esophageal sphincter does not close all the way or if it opens too often. The primary symptom is a burning sensation in the center of the chest – which is where the name heartburn comes from.
What is the Cause of Acid Reflux?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which you experience acid reflux more than twice per week. If you have GERD, you may need the assistance of your doctor to come up with a proper treatment. This is often the result of a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. When heartburn occurs infrequently, it is more likely the result of your lifestyle.
Some of the lifestyle choices that are connected with an increased risk of acid reflux include:
- Going to sleep right after eating
- Being obese or overweight
- Eating fatty foods, garlic, onion, or citrus
- Drinking certain beverages, including coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, and alcohol
- Taking certain medications, such as blood pressure medication or muscle relaxants
How do you know if you are experiencing acid reflux? You should notice a burning sensation that works its way up from your stomach toward your chest or even into your throat. This is the heartburn that is commonly associated with acid reflux. You may also notice a sour taste in your mouth, as the result of stomach acid backing up into your throat.
Along with these two primary symptoms, you may experience a few other symptoms, either directly as the result of the acid reflux or in relation to another medical issue, including:
If you experience severe symptoms, you may want to visit your doctor. Otherwise, you can consider trying some home remedies for dealing with acid reflux or take some over-the-counter medications.
Treatments for Dealing with Acid Reflex
There are many ways to deal with acid reflux, including the use of natural remedies and commonly recommended products. For occasional heartburn, doctors often recommend antacids for neutralizing stomach acid. This should treat most cases of acid reflux, but if the symptoms persist, your doctor could recommend a stronger medication.
H2 blockers are sometimes used to deal with persistent cases of acid reflux. In more extreme cases, a proton pump inhibitor may need to be prescribed. This prescription drug can reduce the production of stomach acid.
Other than the use of drugs, you can attempt to use natural remedies. There is no scientific backing to these treatments, but many people claim that drinking certain beverages can reduce the severity of their acid reflux and provide temporary relief.
Sipping on water or warm milk may help reduce the impact of the excess stomach acid until the acid reflux goes away. Unfortunately, these methods and even the drugs will only provide a temporary fix for the problem. The only way to really treat acid reflux is to attempt and prevent it from occurring in the first place.
How Can You Prevent Acid Reflux?
As mentioned, acid reflux is typically the result of your lifestyle choices. By eating certain foods, you may be increasing your chances of experiencing acid reflux and heartburn.
In addition to treating acid reflux, you may want to take steps to prevent it from occurring in the first place. In fact, you might find it easier to deal with acid reflux if you begin making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Here are some ways that you can attempt to prevent acid reflux:
- Do not eat before bedtime
- Quit smoking
- Cut down on your consumption of caffeine
- Lose some weight
- Improve your cardiovascular health
Try to avoid eating food before bedtime. Eat your last meal two or three hours before you go to bed. This gives your food more time to properly digest, reducing acid levels before you fall asleep.
Smoking has been shown to have an impact on the frequency of acid reflux. Quitting smoking and cutting down on your consumption of caffeine could help limit the occurrence of acid reflux.
In general, an unhealthy diet full of processed foods, sugars, and fatty foods can increase the risk of developing acid reflux. Cutting down on the foods that trigger acid reflux, such as sugary foods, alcoholic beverages, snacks, and baked goods, can help prevent this problem.
Acid reflux is typically the result of the foods and drinks in your diet. As long as there is not an underlying issue that is causing your acid reflux, you should be able to treat and prevent the problem by eating a balanced diet and getting regular exercise. Start making healthy choices in your diet. Replace unhealthy snacks with nuts, yogurt, and other nutritious snacks.
You may also want to lose some weight and improve your cardiovascular health. Getting regular exercise can also help prevent acid reflux and lose some weight. Start going for a walk, a bicycle ride, or a jog each day. Only work out for as long as you feel comfortable. Over time, you should be able to extend the length of your workouts.
No one enjoys having to deal with acid reflux. It is a common problem, but you can easily treat the issue by making a few changes to your lifestyle. Remember these suggestions that next time you experience heartburn or begin using them to reduce your chances of ever having to deal with it.