If you’re dealing with acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, every meal can be a battle. Not only can regurgitated stomach acid be uncomfortable, it can actually be damaging to your esophageal canal and increase your risk of cancer, so it’s not something that should be ignored. Surgery can often help manually strengthen your esophageal sphincter so that stomach acid doesn’t make its way back into your esophagus, but some lifestyle changes can actually help get your acid reflux under control without the need for surgery. Below, we take a look at seven small adjustments you can try to help control your acid reflux without a surgical operation.
Reducing Acid Reflux Without Surgery
Here’s a look at some ways you can adjust your daily life to try to limit acid reflux flare ups and make your life less uncomfortable:
- Avoid Spicy and Greasy Foods – They may be some of your favorites, but they are more likely to cause an acid reflux flareup than healthier options. At a minimum, eat them in moderation and see how your body responds before diving into a larger portion, which brings us to our next point.
- Eat More Smaller Meals – Large meals that can leave you feeling bloated can also increase your risk of acid reflux. More smaller meals instead of a few large meals throughout the day can help keep your acid reflux under control.
- Avoid Alcohol and Carbonation – Beer and carbonation can lead to burping, which can bring stomach acid back up into your esophageal canal. If you’re going to drink these liquids, do so in moderation and consider drinking them alongside a water which can decrease bloating and burping.
- No Late Night Snacking – If you eat late at night, stomach acid may still be working to break down these food particles when you lay down at the end of the night. Gravity naturally helps keep stomach acid from coming back up your esophageal canal, but if you’re lying down, it’s easier for it to make its way back up, leading to a painful nighttime flareup.
- Weight Loss – Excess weight puts increased pressure on your abdomen, making stomach acid backflow more likely. Losing even a little bit of weight can go a long way in helping control your symptoms.
- Give Up Smoking – Smoking can relax your esophageal sphincter, making it harder for it to do its job when necessary. Giving up smoking can help to strengthen this muscle and seal off the potential entry point for stomach acid to make its way back up your esophagus.
- Medication – Some patients find that despite their best efforts, they still experience some painful acid reflux flare ups. They may be candidates for medications that can help neutralize stomach acid or provide additional protection to the lining of your esophageal canal.
If you keep these seven tips in mind, we’re confident that you’ll find more control over your acid reflux. If you’re still having symptoms or want to see if more can be done, we can go over your surgical options as well. For more information, reach out to Bhatti GI Consultants, P.A. today.